by Lindsay Vaughn
Eleventh District candidate for Congress Adam Kinzinger (R-Bloomington) made a quick stop in Princeton on Wednesday and then moved on to Ottawa during his "Putting America Back to Work" tour.
Kinzinger said it's time to remind incumbent Debbie Halvorson (D-Crete) about what matters most to her constituents -- jobs.
With double-digit unemployment rates in 96 of Illinois' 102 counties, including La Salle County at 16.7 percent and Bureau County at 15.6 percent, Kinzinger said families and businesses are struggling to find or keep jobs and make ends meet.
"But you'd never know that from watching our congresswoman or her party leaders in Washington. Instead of creating incentives for businesses to grow, to invest and to create new jobs, Congresswoman Halvorson and her colleagues have obsessed on forcing through their health-care legislation," Kingzinger said.
To return the focus to jobs, Kinzinger outlined a multi-point agenda for economic recovery that he said includes common bipartisan steps that reflect a new approach toward business on the part of the federal government.
- Eliminate business uncertainty. "Faced with higher healthcare costs, the threat of higher taxes, the growing government influence on business, employers are understandably nervous about what comes next, and that paralyzes investment and growth," Kinzinger said.
- Extend existing tax relief. "Congress must immediately make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent," Kinzinger said.
Right now, he continued, businesses are hesitant to plan for the future because they don't know what it will hold. Without congressional action, the tax relief will expire in 2011, essentially inflicting a massive tax increase, he said.
- Encourage business investment. Kinzinger encouraged the implementation of tax incentives, similar to those instituted after 9/11, that would permit businesses to write off vehicle and equipment costs purchased within one year in the United States.
- End unnecessary spending. "With the federal debt burden reaching unimaginable heights, we must end unnecessary spending in order to protect the dollar and our nation's place in the global market, placing priority on national security and infrastructure," he said.
- Embark on energy independence. Congress must more aggressively explore its vast energy resources including wind, nuclear, coal, off-shore oil, natural gas and oil shale in order to create new jobs, save money and strengthen national security by becoming energy-independent, according to Kinzinger.
- "Allow the entrepreneur to be an entrepreneur." Moving forward, Kinzinger said the belief that government jobs or government-created jobs are the answer must change.
"The healthcare bill (created) 16,500 new IRS agents. Did we create 16,000 jobs? I guess, technically, but all we did was tattoo that responsibility into the federal budget so now we're continually having to pay that every year at a time when the government's already over-inflated," Kinzinger said.
The answer, he said, is that "government has to take a step back and allow the entrepreneur to be an entrepreneur" and quit over-taxing and over-regulating businesses.
"The entrepreneurial spirit is what has made us great. That's why for the last 200 years we've been the greatest country in the world, and that's why over the last 60 years we've had the best economy in the world," Kinzinger said. "We need to just let the entrepreneur run free."