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Public Statements

We Need to Get People Back to Work

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, last September President Obama referred to America's small businesses as the ``anchors of our Main Streets.'' Unfortunately, economic data released on Wednesday proved that the President's actions speak louder than words. The failed policies of the Obama administration have left small businesses struggling.

According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, confidence in small business has dropped into recessionary levels. And the reason? Small businesses will tell you that their economic uncertainty is caused by low sales, high taxes, and burdensome government regulations.

Now, I hail from the State of Illinois. Let me tell you a little story about Illinois. Illinois just went and raised its personal income tax level and it raised its corporate tax level. So, as a result of this, just a few days ago, we saw The Wall Street Journal put out an editorial which basically said Illinois has raised $300 million in revenue because of the corporate tax increase. Oh, but however, because of the businesses threatening to leave Illinois, they've already spent $240 million in giveaways to corporations to keep them there.

This idea, this thing that we've been on over the last couple of years of tax, borrow, and spend our way to prosperity isn't working. I remember when the President's economic--well, you know what? In my own home district, unemployment exceeds 11 percent in many of the counties. People are asking me: What are you doing to create jobs? Well, I tell them this: Look, the Federal Government can do one thing. We can create an environment for job creation, but the Federal Government doesn't create jobs, and that's been the problem, because in the last 2 years we've been counting an $800 billion stimulus as a miraculous job recovery bill.

In fact, the President promised that by this time unemployment would be 6.7 percent. How's that working out? The President's team promised that if we passed an $800 billion stimulus bill unemployment would never exceed 8 percent. We saw it approach 10 percent, and now it's back on the rise again.

Mr. Speaker, you don't solve our jobs problem by spending more money, because we spent money, and where are the jobs? Where are the jobs? What we need to do is to understand that jobs are not created by this body, but they're created by the private sector, by the folks who get up every day and they put their minds together. They come up with an idea. They risk their capital. They risk their financial well-being, and they hire somebody in hopes that this dream that they have succeeds. In many cases, it doesn't. A lot of folks with an idea to begin a small business are not successful, but then they get up and they try again.

But if you talk to any small business owner, you talk to any manufacturer in the United States, they will tell you that the biggest impediment to job creation is government regulation and taxation.

Is there really anybody that believes--now, I understand some people can argue we have to raise taxes to get more money to government, fundamental disagreement, but I understand people can argue that. But is there anybody that truly believes that raising taxes creates jobs? Is there anybody who really believes that? And what's the number one issue we have right now.

We want to take people, the almost 10 percent, the 9.1 percent of folks in this country that desperately want to have a job, we want to take them from a tax recipient to a taxpayer because they want to be a taxpayer, too.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over and expecting different results each time. But you're going to get the same result. When this body spends money, when we spend $800 billion on a stimulus, we've got nothing but a future of debt, doubt, and despair. Well, I believe we have a future in this country that's prosperous, that never accepts second best.

There's a lot of youth watching here today, but you have a job when you graduate from college, a country that never accepts anything less than being a world leader, and I believe we never ever accept second best. So when we talk about what to do in the future, we need to talk about the most important thing. We do have to rein in spending, but we have to get people back to work, and more and more spending isn't going to do that.


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