Mr. CHABOT. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate that, and I really appreciate Chairman Graves making it possible for so many of us who care about small business in this country this evening to take a little time to talk about how important it is and what we ought to be doing to support our small business folks all over the country. After all, 70 percent of the jobs that are created historically in the American economy aren't the big guys. They're not the huge corporations, although we want them to do well and hire a lot of people. But even though a lot of people think it's the huge corporations that are doing all the hiring, it's really small business folks. It's mom-and-pops places. It's people that have fewer than 500 employees. Oftentimes, fewer than 50. Sometimes it's 5, or even 1. These are the folks that historically have created 70 percent of the jobs.
And, unfortunately, I would argue that this administration and the policies that have been implemented by many of the folks on the other side of the aisle, unfortunately, have made it very challenging to these small businesses to be successful and to hire additional employees. And there's a whole range of issues that we're going to talk about this evening. We have limited time, so I'm going to turn it over to a couple of my colleagues.
I would like to first recognize the gentleman from Arizona, David Schweikert, who's been a leader in trying to come up with policies that will be supportive for small businesses in this country.
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Mr. CHABOT. I thank the gentleman.
Reclaiming my time, the gentleman mentioned the Buffett rule. And maybe I'll talk about that as well very briefly here because I think the gentleman from Arizona did a great job in showing that this is really all about politics, is all this so-called Buffett rule policy is.
There's a gentleman named Charles Krauthammer who happens to be, I believe, one of the smartest, most interesting political commentators or pundits in the land. I saw him talk about the Buffett rule and what a farce it is the other evening, and he illustrated it a little bit differently but it's the same type of illustration. One that brings it, I think, down to Earth.
He had the numbers run on this from a very reputable organization. And if the dollars were collected on the so-called Buffett tax for the next 250 years--so the next 250 years this tax is collected--and he commented that that is longer than the Republic has been in existence, the United States of America. This is longer than our existence. So you collect it for the next 250 years. Do you know how much we would actually collect from that relative to the deficit, which is what this is supposed to do, pay down the deficit? It wouldn't cover last year's deficit alone. So not one year of the Obama deficit would be covered by the so-called Buffett rule if we collected it for 250 years. So it's nothing but pure politics. Don't be fooled by that.
Now, Mr. Speaker, as small businesses across the country fight to make ends meet and stay out of debt, the Federal Government continues to dig itself into a hole with its exorbitant spending habits. Small businesses are burdened with massive regulations brought on by ObamaCare. They're further plagued by the threat of tax increases--significant tax increases--next year, should the relief from the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts be allowed to expire. And that's what some people, particular those on the other side of the aisle, would like to happen. They would like the tax cuts to go away. In other words, if tax cuts go away, taxes go up. And this wasn't on the very wealthy. It was on virtually all Americans--middle class folks, people that take advantage of the child tax credit, and a whole range of people in the middle. And yes, at upper income levels as well.
So a lot of folks would be hit very hard with this, particularly small business folks, because the so-called wealth in this country, many of them are small business folks. Again, as I mentioned before, 70 percent of the jobs in this country are created by those folks. So if you're trying to bring the unemployment rate down, why put additional burden on the people that are actually creating the jobs?
Mr. Speaker, tax issues are the single most significant set of regulatory burdens for most small businesses. A recent NFIB Research Foundation study--the NFIB, by the way, is the National Federation of Independent Businesses--found that 4 of the top 10 small business problems were tax-related. Just this week, struggling families and businesses were forced to give the government more of their hard-earned money to satisfy the hungry appetite of government bureaucracies.
Mr. Speaker, enough is enough. Confiscatory tax rates and fiscal irresponsibility have got to come to an end. Small businesses across the country are fighting to keep their doors open and keep their lights on. It's shameful for the Federal Government to expect these hardworking taxpayers to foot the bill for GSA excursions to Las Vegas and inept corporate schemes like Solyndra while the backbone of our economy, which is the small businesses, continues to suffer. After all, American small businesses are responsible, as I said before, for 70 percent of the jobs that are created in this country. Why do we want to continue to make life so difficult for them? Why are they the target for the left in this House so often?
The America I know is a Nation where hard work creates opportunities for success. After all, that's what our forefathers were seeking in the first place. At the founding of our Nation, small businessowners came to this land to escape excessive taxation and cumbersome regulation. These were families of farmers and builders, traders, inventors, and merchants. It's disheartening that today it's our very own government that's creating the job-killing taxation and regulation.
Our economy is still struggling to rebound from the worst recession since the Great Depression, and we must support the engine that will propel America forward. This engine has always been fueled by hard work and an economic climate that rewards success.
When I'm back home in my district in greater Cincinnati, I make a point to frequently meet with small businessowners to talk about their successes as well as their struggles. I too often hear that the burden of taxes and regulations, coupled with great uncertainty, is keeping these businessesfrom growing, and in many cases forcing many of them to close their doors altogether.
That's why I'm a cosponsor of H.R. 9, the Small Business Tax Cut Act. If passed, this legislation would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow American businesses a tax deduction of 20 percent. This is common sense. It's a fair bill that would help small businessowners to keep more of what they have earned to invest in expansion and hiring. That's the important thing--hiring Americans who now need those jobs.
We still have over 8 percent that are unemployed. I urge my colleagues to support this critical legislation that will be a shot in the arm to small businesses across the Nation. If there are any of my colleagues that would have any additional things they would like to say, we would welcome them at this time.
May I ask the Speaker how much time we have remaining.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Ohio has 16 minutes remaining.
Mr. CHABOT. One of the other issues that we haven't covered too much here, and let me talk about this very briefly, is the impact that the high cost of energy, gasoline in particular, what kind of difficulty that's causing small businesses across the country, because I hear this all the time from my small business constituents. It's not surprising that energy prices, and gas prices in particular, have been going up so much. They're double--the gas prices alone at the pump are double what they were when the Obama administration took over, and that's most unfortunate.
But it's really not surprising when you consider the person that President Obama appointed to be the head of energy in this country. The chief mind about energy and what we should do about it is the Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. Steven Chu a couple of months before President Obama appointed him to that position said that it was his goal, what we ought to try to do, what we ought to strive for, is to raise the price of gasoline in this country, energy costs, prices of gasoline, for example, to European levels. Think of that.
Now they've got approximately, it depends on the country you're talking about, but it's around $9 a gallon--they do liters over there--but it's about $9 a gallon. Now we're not there yet, but, unfortunately, we're well on our way. It's approaching $4 back in my district in Cincinnati. Here in Washington, just the other day, I had to fill up, and it was about $4.50. So we're not quite there yet, but we're approaching that. It's just unbelievable that we're in this state.
But really I guess it shouldn't be surprising when you consider that the person that President Obama put in control of our energy policy here in this country said that it was his goal to get energy prices up to European levels. As I say, unfortunately, we're well on our way.
Those gas prices, that's what the delivery trucks have to pay, the small business folks that are delivering things to towns, or getting products from other manufacturers. When they come in, they cost more. So they can't charge the consumers as much; or if they do, they drive those consumers away. So it's a vicious circle. We need to get energy prices down in this country, and, unfortunately, they're on their way up.
Another, I think, terrible mistake that this administration has made is to basically shut the door on the Keystone pipeline. This is oil sands from Canada, our friendly neighbor to the north. Our largest supplier of petroleum, by the way, is Canada. And this is a pipeline that would mean a significant number of jobs here in the United States, tens of thousands of jobs. And if we ever needed jobs, we know it's now. And those are good-paying jobs. Many of them are union jobs. But the President has decided that, no, we're not going to make this decision until maybe after the election. So tens of thousands of jobs are at risk here.
Canada has been pretty clear about what they're going to do. If we're not going to accept the oil in our country and build the pipeline, it's quite likely that they'll go ahead and build the pipeline through Canada to British Columbia and ship that oil that ought to be going to the U.S. to China, who is one of our biggest competitors in a lot of ways. And if you know anything about China, the environmental controls that they have over there are far weaker than what we have in the United States.
So if your goal is to make sure that you're protecting the environment--and that's what many of the President's allies, the really radical left-wing environmentalists who are fighting against the Keystone pipeline--if you buy their argument, what they're saying is they want to protect the environment by not having that oil come down here and be refined in the gulf. But the controls we have here are much stronger than what they are over in China. So you're not protecting the environment at all or climate change or anything else if you're going to allow them to spew out what they usually do in China when they handle refining and manufacturing oftentimes and a lot of other things.
We all know how the administration supported an organization like Solyndra and how much tax dollars were wasted there. And it goes on and on. So the energy policy in this country by this administration is impacting consumers. It's impacting you and me and anybody who goes and fills up at the gas pump nowadays. But it's also adversely impacting small businesses and job creation.
Another way that this administration, I believe, has made a mistake which is causing these high prices is to continue to keep off limits much of the Outer Continental Shelf. The gulf, the moratorium, was disastrous for jobs in the gulf region after the spill down there; and, yes, it should have been investigated very thoroughly. But a lot of those oil derricks ended up leaving that area. They couldn't hold out with that cost, the expensive capital costs over 6 months' period of time, so they ended up off the coast of Brazil, for example.
And the President famously said, We'll be happy to buy your oil, Brazil. Well, we can look at oil all around the world, but we ought to be self-sufficient. And the President said he was interested in being energy self-sufficient in this country, but his policies are anything but that.
So he continues to put off limits much of the Outer Continental Shelf. We had the disaster in the gulf, and ANWR up in Alaska the administration has continued to put off limits. Now, we need to do all these things in an environmentally safe manner. And we have the ability to do that now. But, again, this administration has shut this down. That's affecting all of us in higher and higher gas prices. So it's long overdue for this administration to take a look, a long hard look, at what their policies are doing to the country and to reconsider this, to allow us to go after oil that we have available to us, clean coal, natural gas, and a whole range of fuels that we have here in this country so we don't have to be buying that from countries that oftentimes don't have our best interests at heart.
It sends a lot of money over to regions and countries where, unfortunately, a lot of terrorism that has endangered the world and endangers us has come from. So those dollars aren't always spent in a way that's going to help the United States. So, it's time for the administration to turn its policies around.
Mr. Speaker, without further ado, I will yield back the balance of my time.