Last Saturday, September 17th, we observed Constitution Day across the United States.
The Constitution was adopted 224 years ago. Remembering what that document meant when it was written has been on many folks' minds these days.
Our country has faced its share of tough times and each generation has risen to the challenge. Currently, we are faced with challenges all around: a national debt crisis; an ongoing threat against terrorism; and of course we're in the midst of one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression.
For too many years, our nation's unemployment rate has stalled around 9 percent. Even worse, Alabama's unemployment rate for August sits at 9.9 percent.
As the numbers demonstrate, families across East Alabama have the right to be concerned about the direction of our country.
The question is how do we turn things around? As most folks have probably seen, the President unveiled this week the details of his deficit-reduction plan, which would among other things raise $1.5 trillion in new taxes.
This comes on the heels of the $447 billion "second stimulus" President Obama offered earlier as a jobs package to Congress.
The first stimulus bill passed in 2009, which I opposed, was far larger and I believe did more to grow government than help the private sector. I hope the lesson was learned that it is the private sector that creates jobs -- not government.
I oppose President Obama's plan to raise taxes, which I believe could hurt small businesses and stifle job creation across the country. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 75 percent of small business owners file as individuals. So if their company makes over $250,000, they could be hit with higher taxes, which I am concerned would send a terrible message to those Americans out there trying to invest in their businesses and employ their workers.
We can all agree that creating jobs and growing our economy is the number one issue our country faces.
We can agree that we should eliminate unnecessary loopholes on the tax code, and to cut the special interest tax breaks. But I don't support raising marginal income tax rates on anyone in such awful economic times.
There has to be some accountability.
The American people are demanding it.
Which gets us back to the question of the Constitution and the direction of our country. That document has withstood the test of time. It will hold firm. But as we all work to get through these challenging times, it's important we remember our Founding Fathers' original vision for a federal government that focuses only on doing a limited number of things. As stated in the Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Feel free to contact me on this or any issue at www.mike-rogers.house.gov, become a fan on Facebook at Congressman Mike D. Rogers, follow me on Twitter at RepMikeRogersAL and subscribe to my YouTube page at MikeRogersAL03.