One year ago, President Obama proudly announced the beginning of his "Recovery Summer", a public relations blitz aimed at promoting his $787 billion dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
But what did American taxpayers really get for this enormous sum of money?
One year after "Recovery Summer", the general consensus is that the "stimulus plan" has proven to be nothing more than another example of wasteful Washington spending that has only further increased our nation's debt --not the number of American jobs. In fact, since this bill was signed into law in 2009, approximately 1.5 million jobs have been lost and any jobs "created" were reported to have cost taxpayers an average of $278,000 per job. President Obama and Congressional Democrats promised the American people that their "stimulus plan" would prevent unemployment from exceeding 8% -- it's now at 9.2%.
Like many of my constituents, I was disappointed to hear President Obama make light of the failed stimulus package by joking that the shovel-ready projects were not as "shovel-ready as we expected". At a time when our nation is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend, we can't afford trillion dollar errors. The American people deserve better. They deserve a serious plan that will create jobs and jumpstart our economy.
Since the 112th Congress began in January of this year, House Republicans have taken the lead in creating jobs by cutting government spending and removing burdensome federal regulations. As part of this continued effort, we recently announced our blueprint for economic recovery, which is entitled the "Plan for America's Job Creators". This plan is built upon the principles of removing government-imposed barriers to private-sector job growth by reining in burdensome government regulations, expanding domestic energy production, lowering our nation's tax rate and paying down our massive debt.
While touring businesses in Tennessee's Fourth Congressional District as part of my Tennessee Job Creators Tour, the thing I hear most from business owners is that bureaucratic red tape is making it extremely difficult for them to hire new workers. According to the Small Business Administration report, federal regulations cost U.S. businesses $1.75 trillion each year and small businesses spend as much as $10,585 per employee to comply with federal regulations. The Plan for America's Job Creators would rein in excessive regulatory burdens by requiring congressional approval for any federal regulation that would have a significant impact on the economy or place burdens on small business.
The high cost of gas we are forced to pay each time we visit the pump is not only hurting families across Tennessee, but small businesses as well. To help lower energy costs, House Republicans have already passed four pieces of legislation that will expand oil and gas production and end the administration's de facto moratorium on offshore energy production. Our jobs plan builds upon these efforts by further expanding domestic energy production so that we can create jobs and lower gas prices.
Americans want a simple, fairer tax code that will make our country more competitive in the global marketplace. Our plan accomplishes this by lowering tax rates for all individuals and small businesses, while closing tax loopholes so that everyone pays their fair share. Also, we allow American businesses to bring back their overseas profits without having to pay a tax penalty so they can invest it back in our nation's economy.
Most importantly, the "Plan for America's Job Creators", accomplishes these things while paying down our debt. Without a doubt, our deficit spending is the single greatest threat to our economy and we must take bold actions to get our fiscal house in order to give employers the confidence to start hiring again.
Our pro-growth agenda will foster innovation and investment and help job creators without raising taxes on working families and small business owners. We have all been shown that the answer to our nation's economic woes is not more government spending. We need a new direction where we empower the private-sector to get our nation back on the right economic track.