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Economic Encouragement


Location: Washington, DC

Economic Encouragement

Roskam Op-Ed

Washington, Aug 29 - News of an unpredictable stock market and fluctuations in the housing market can make you scratch your head and wonder - how strong is the U.S. economy? Where are the economy's weaknesses? What must be done to strengthen and prolong our current economic gains?

The current state of the economy is strong, due in part, to pro-growth Republican policies of low taxes and fiscal responsibility. For the 47th consecutive month the economy has added jobs, including a solid 92,000 new jobs just in the last month. This impressive figure is dwarfed by the following statistic: Since August 2003, 8.3 million jobs have been created - more jobs than all the other major industrialized countries combined. These figures have resulted in an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, close to its lowest in six years.

Just last month, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that this year's federal budget deficit will be nearly $40 billion lower than originally expected, from $244 billion to $205 billion. In addition, the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 3.4 percent in the second quarter, supported by strong gains in business investment and exports.

While these strong economic numbers predict growth over the second half of the year, the housing sector remains fluid and must be thoughtfully addressed.

As home foreclosures continue to spread across the nation, Congress will be debating what actions are necessary to improve the housing industry. Congress can address the situation and provide measured solutions that do not inappropriately interfere in the financial markets.

With overall positive economic performance now is not the time to panic. Some Democrats argue that more regulation is the answer to the current housing market woes. However, too much regulation can excessively burden consumers and producers. Over-regulation can even exclude families who were able to obtain home loans previously, further negatively affecting the economy.

I believe that Congress must work to reduce spending and decrease the tax burden on the hard-working families and businesses of this nation. More than anything, this will allow continued growth and prosperity, which will buttress the housing market. This is fundamental to the American dream - there is always room for growth as better days lie ahead of us.

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