By Jennifer Summer
The affects of job loss and the downturn in the economy are both high on the priority list for most residents throughout the country as many question how it will affect them.
U.S. Representative Kevin Brady shared information about the economy and how it will affect local residents in the East Montgomery County areas with a special district update at the Community Chamber of Commerce of East Montgomery County August luncheon.
"At the end of the year, there is a tax that will affect everyone. There is so much coming down right now at the end of the year that it is hard to comprehend. We are in a spending; there is a tax cliff as well as automatic spending cuts to military defense, unemployment benefits, payable tax, the way local physicians are funded, benefits for local seniors and debt ceiling that will affect every one of us at some point," Brady said.
As far as the job market, there were 163,000 new jobs created which may sound like plenty but this is the slowest job growth in about two years for the country because of the size. To break even, the country needs to develop 130,000 to 15,000 new jobs created so they do not fall further behind but in all reality, they really need to create 200,000 to 400,000 a year to really decrease unemployment numbers.
"The one thing that worries me is how many people have just given up and dropped out of trying to find employment. We have millions of Americans who are able to work but do not look for work anymore. The lowest number of Americans in the workforce in three decades; that is not a good sign," Brady said.
There have ten recessions and recoveries since World War II and the country's current recovery process from the recession ranks as number ten which means they have not bounced back like they have in the past.
According to Brady, the country also needs to get spending under control. In the next three weeks, Brady estimates the country will hit the $16 trillion mark in debt.
"At the end of the year, we have this tax cliff which has never happened before. We have so many key parts of our tax code that is going away that is going to hurt us. The death tax will come back alive which is why a lot of farms are not handed down to generations, decreases in tax credits for families raising children or working to send their children to college and decrease in tax credits to senior citizens. We have tried to highlight the impact of these tax hikes in order to get more people aware and involved with how this will impact people in our own county," Brady said.
If there is no action and these tax increases are approved, the average tax increase for constituents in Brady's district will see a $3,648 per person and gets more specific for baby boomers which will be a little over $3,000, young people where they will see around $1,000 less in their pocketbooks, low income workers will get hit and the tax increase on retirees and senior citizens will be much higher because of interest rates.
"My belief is small businesses, right now, are looking at these taxes, the red tape coming from Washington and the impact of President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and they are not hiring. They are looking to see how long they can hold on and stay in business," Brady said.
Additionally, there are more cuts expected to hit the military this next year. Through the best estimates they have received, they will separate from service about 100,000 soldiers, sailors and airman who have made the military their career. This would be the smallest amount of force since the 1940s.
Brady encouraged residents to hit the polls in November to cast their ballot on which direction they feel the country needs to go and to decide whether the government spends too much or they tax too little.
"The decisions we make today have an impact on the future. We do not know exactly what the next threat will be to our country but we will have to defend it with the decisions we make right now," Brady said. "We need to make cuts, I just do not think this is the right way we need to go about them."