WHERE ARE THE JOBS?
As 2009 comes to a close, we are all preparing and building hope for the future while still keeping in mind our shared experiences and lessons learned over the last year. The decline in our nation's economy and job market in the past year have impacted millions of Americans in every corner of the country. Unemployment figures nationwide, including San Diego County, remain at double digits as federal debt levels, perpetuated by an unwise tax and spend agenda in Washington, continue to grow.
Americans are growing weary of financial bailouts, job summits, so-called stimulus packages and other questionable initiatives that offer no real prospect for economic recovery. For all the action taken so far, as well as talk of a second stimulus package in the not too distant future, I join a strong majority of Americans in asking, "Where are the jobs?"
The reality is that small business, not government, is the real engine of economic recovery. Whenever I visit business owners in San Diego or talk to hard working employees, regardless of the industry, I am reminded of the strength and ingenuity of our workforce. Most of all, these conversations forcefully illustrate that economic recovery does not begin with more government spending and intervention, but rather by supporting America's small businesses. These are the entities that can create and keep jobs in our communities and therefore should be the focus of any recovery effort moving forward.
Still, millions of private sector jobs have been lost over the last year and small businesses continue to be excluded from the national debate on our economic future. The majority in Congress and the Administration have instead directed their attention to a job-threatening government takeover of healthcare, a national energy tax and other policies that fail to encourage substantive job growth.
In place of these policies, legitimate alternatives have been put forward that would undoubtedly get our economy back on track. These alternatives -- many of which I strongly support -- are centered on tax and regulatory relief for businesses and households. Here are just a few ideas offered in Congress that I am currently working to advance:
* Provide a 5% across-the-board income tax cut;
* Permanently reduce the rate on Capital Gains and Dividends;
* Maintain secret ballot protection in the workplace;
* Allow small business to take a tax deduction equal to 20% of their income;
* Protect businesses against frivolous ADA lawsuits;
* Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax;
* Make unemployment benefits tax free;
* Increase the Child Tax Credit to $5,000;
* Increase the tax deduction on student loans and qualified higher education expenses;
* Permanently repeal the Estate or "Death Tax."
These initiatives represent just some of the steps we can take to help stabilize our economy and get businesses hiring again. I have also cosponsored other pieces of legislation in Congress that are focused on tax and regulatory relief for businesses and working Americans, including the Workforce Investment Protection Act, which will be introduced in the coming days. A summary of this legislation is available by clicking here.
I look forward to continue working with my colleagues to promote sensible job creation and tax relief measures as we get ready to enter the next year. I hope to hear from you on these issues and learn of any other proposals you support or suggestions you might have. You can contact me through my website by clicking here.
2010 JOB FAIRS
In September, I hosted a community job fair that attracted numerous local businesses, joining them with qualified area job seekers. The event was a tremendous success and I am excited about the opportunity to host additional job fairs and community forums in the future.
By subscribing to this newsletter, you will receive scheduling updates about these events. Also, I encourage you to forward this edition of my Washington Report to your friends and family so that they can sign up for my newsletter to receive additional information on these events in the future.