Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, the failed policies of the Obama administration continue to drag down the economy. The policies of stimulus programs, bailouts, crony capitalism, the Department of Justice investigating only what they choose worthy to be enforced, bowing to Saudi kings, going to China hat in hand asking for more money have brought down the economy.
Indeed, the unemployment rate, which the administration says is 8.2 percent, that's not accurate at all. They simply got it down that low by omitting a whole lot of unemployed people from the unemployment category. There's about 4 million people who have given up looking for a job, and the Obama administration doesn't even consider them as being unemployed.
In my opinion, there are four things we can do to address this, and we need to do it on a bipartisan basis. I have reached out to the White House. I will continue to. And even in an election year, it's far more important to put America first and party second.
The first thing we need to do is pass a budget. Right now, the national debt is over 100 percent of the gross domestic product, a $15 trillion national debt and a $15 trillion economy. Indeed, we are on the road to Greece. For every dollar we spend, 40 cents is borrowed.
The United States Senate, under Harry Reid, has not passed a budget in 3 years. That is the constitutional duty of the legislative branch of government. The House has done so. The House passes a budget. We had a great debate 2 weeks ago. We had a budget offered by the Democrats, one offered by the Progressive Caucus, one offered by the Congressional Black Caucus, one offered by the most conservative caucus, one offered by the Ryan Budget Committee. We had a great debate, and we passed a budget.
Now, the Senate doesn't like that. I understand that. Footnote: we even offered the President's budget, which increases the debt $1.2 trillion--another $1.2 trillion--and not a single vote from Nancy Pelosi to John Boehner, not one vote for the President's budget. The same thing happened in the Senate last year.
But I understand the Senate doesn't like our budget. They don't like the President's budget. But where is your budget? You have got to pass it. And if you would pass a budget in the U.S. Senate, we can hammer out our differences between the House and Senate. Indeed, both parties will have to give; both bodies will compromise. That's always been the case. But it would send a huge international signal that America, the economic leader of the world, is serious about getting our hands on our debt. We are leading the way instead of falling to the demise of Greece, Spain, Portugal, and so many of the other troubled countries.
So the first thing we need to do to change our economy around is to pass a budget.
The second thing to do is to look at regulatory burden, which is stifling new jobs, and instead of government bureaucracies going to the small businesses with this ``I gotcha'' attitude--we know you hate people; we know you hate consumers; we know you want to pollute the air; we know you want to poison the food--maybe the Federal Government regulatory agencies should go into the small businesses and say: We recognize what you're doing right; we want to encourage it. And where you're doing wrong, we're going to discourage it; and if you don't address it, we will fine you. But don't go to every business in America assuming they're guilty of something besides creating jobs and delivering goods and services to people.
So we need to ease up and find the balance in the regulatory burden.
Thirdly, we need to drill our own oil, and we need to encourage the new technologies of horizontal drilling, fracking, and all the great promises that are out there. We need to look at the example of Williston, North Dakota, which has brought its oil production from 200,000 barrels to 600,000 barrels in less than a year's period of time. Indeed, America could perhaps become an energy exporter. Not only would that be an economic boon, but the national security advantage of it would be an unbelievable sea change in the world stability today.
Fourth and final, we need to have tax simplification. How many Americans within the sound of my voice fill out their own tax return? More and more people are turning to accountants and lawyers to figure out what the heck we owe Uncle Sam every April 15. And when you pay an accountant $300 or $400 or $500 or $1,000 to figure out what you owe Uncle Sam, that's a tax in itself. Businesses spend lots of time avoiding taxes. We need a tax system that's certain, that's clear, that's concise and fair so that everybody understands it and everybody pays their fair share. Indeed, tax simplification would help turn the economy around.
So, Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, Democrats and Republicans have the moment right now to change the economic direction of America by passing a good, solid budget; by having balanced regulatory reform; drilling our own oil and having a good energy policy; and, finally, tax simplification.