Unemployment is not a statistic. Unemployment is a critical problem facing millions of Americans who struggle daily to meet their basic needs. But where do jobs come from? They don't come from Washington. They come from private sector employers who see opportunities for growth and invest in them. High taxes, complicated and inconsistent regulation, an unwillingness to expand domestic energy production, and protectionist trade policies all lead to higher unemployment. The January 2009 "stimulus" bill was too expensive and too ineffective. Dominated by state government bailouts, pet projects, and liberal policy priorities, the bill did little to actually stem rising unemployment. I voted against it. Instead, we should have lowered taxes for individuals and businesses, worked to lower the price of energy (a key cost for all businesses), and finalized trade deals with eager markets like South Korea, Panama, and Colombia. In his State of the Union Address earlier this year, the President finally recognized these things as priorities. Even so, Congress still has not acted on them.