2010 Community Job Fair Approaching
My community Job Fair is right around the corner. If you are looking for work or even considering a new career path, I encourage you to stop by the Ronald Reagan Community Center in El Cajon on February 19th to speak with any of the area-based employers on hand. More information regarding this free event is available by contacting my office at 619-448-5201 or visiting my website.
The State of the Union, Economy and Jobs
Much of the conversation this week focused on President Obama's first State of the Union address. As expected, the President acknowledged the ongoing challenges we face and the importance of taking action to restore the economy and create jobs -- a top issue for all of us.
My focus right now is on jobs and the economy. Unemployment nationwide is stagnating at 10 percent. In San Diego County, unemployment is stuck at 11 percent and many people in our community continue to actively look for work in today's tough job market.
Experience tells us that markets, businesses and individuals create jobs, not government intervention or spending. That is why I have such big concerns with the policies under consideration in Congress, or proposed by the President and reaffirmed in his State of the Union address.
Without question, government provides a very important function but direct involvement in the economy, or even health care for that matter, should be limited. Basing policies on the idea that government intervention and expansion will accelerate recovery and job creation has proven counterproductive. Unemployment is still at 10 percent -- a figure that is even higher when factoring the millions of Americans not currently receiving federal benefits. National debt levels remain on the rise and taxpayers continue assuming more of this burden every day.
The stimulus bill that was sold to the American people under the condition that it would limit unemployment and immediately create jobs is doing just the opposite. It did create some new government jobs -- that much is true -- but these do not constitute real jobs that are available to the vast majority of Americans looking for work.
In fact, since the enactment of the stimulus bill, 49 out of 50 states, including California, have lost jobs. So Americans continue to ask, "Where are the jobs?"
If we truly want to get serious about job creation, then we need to look toward small business, which is the foundation of the American economy. We must also not forget about the manufacturing sector. Many of these businesses are small, independently run operations that, due to onerous regulation and high taxes, are being forced to lay off workers or close their doors altogether.
In California, we can't seem to keep these businesses in our State anymore, let alone establish new enterprise and the jobs that follow. These business owners are either leaving California or, worse, moving offshore to places like India and China.
So instead of losing more jobs and putting future generations deeper in debt, we should harness the power of small business and the innovation of a workforce that, over the course of history, has proved to be the most resilient in the world. We rebound every time.
We can specifically refocus our efforts by offering incentives that encourage businesses to start hiring again. We can reduce tax rates and regulatory policies to ensure competition -- the basic tenant of the free market. And we have to restore our industrial base by making it more appealing to manufacture and do business here in the United States rather than countries far from America's shores.
Spending Freeze, Budget Cuts or Both?
The size of the federal deficit is growing. For the fifth time in three years, Congress once again increased the national debt limit, this time to $14.3 trillion. I opposed the most recent debt limit increase because deficit reduction -- not expansion -- should be as much a priority as economic recovery and job growth.
Given the uncertain economic future this creates, I was pleased to hear the President call for a spending freeze. This is a good starting point but I think we need to go further. Instead of just a freeze, we should cut spending wherever possible and reform entitlement programs to contain costs and enhance efficiency.
Take for example that within the Department of Education alone, there are 62 programs that have been identified by the GAO, the independent auditor of Congress, as wasteful and duplicative. This is just one example. We can jump from agency to agency and cut lots more from the federal budget.
Deficit reduction must be an integral part of our economic recovery and job creation efforts. Otherwise, we will continue facing growing deficits that will impair the competitiveness of future generations.
BRIDGE Resolution Offers Principles for Bipartisan Immigration Reform
Immigration reform was mentioned by President Obama during his State of the Union address. In anticipation of this debate, I have joined a bipartisan group of House lawmakers to introduce the Bipartisan Reform of Immigration through Good Enforcement (BRIDGE) Resolution.
The measure is simple. It defines three guiding principles for immigration reform: No amnesty, strong border enforcement and workplace verification. Bipartisan support for this resolution continues to build and I will be working over the coming months, especially as we discuss possible immigration reform efforts, to ensure we closely adhere to these basic principles.
Articles and Commentary
Click on any of the following titles to read:
My press release on the BRIDGE Resolution
My commentary, Crushing the Status Quo with Policies that Work, on Townhall.com
My commentary, Open Health Care Negotiations, in the North County Times