Here in Southwest Washington, we understand the need to restart our economy and grow jobs as well as any other region in the country.
I ran for Congress so that I could help make job creation the number one priority of Congress. From the Gifford Pinchot Forest to Long Beach, our region has a reputation for our tremendous resources -- but the greatest resource of all is our people. It's time Congress focused on getting these folks to work.
Small business and private enterprise act as America's engine for job creation, but right now these job creators are struggling to survive. We know that big-spending government programs, bailouts and new taxes haven't helped. In fact, stimulus packages paid for by businesses and families have hurt jobs. Still, Congress can play a critical role in restarting Southwest Washington's economy.
Removing Barriers to Job Creation
Reverse government overspending: The first step Congress can take to empower job creators is stop government's disastrous habit of overspending. Right now, the federal government is borrowing 42 cents for every dollar it spends and adding to a federal debt that is more than $14 trillion. That level of spending continues to result in more and bigger tax burdens on small business.
If we reverse the trend of overspending, we're allowing businesses to leverage more of their capital, grow their operations, and hire people.
Reduce harmful and unnecessary regulations: Entrepreneurs and job creators rank overregulation as one of the biggest hurdles to building their business. Regulatory burdens cost businesses more than $1 trillion each year in this country.
For example: to date, the EPA has attempted to regulate and hamper biomass energy. Biomass has tremendous promise in our region, both as a source of jobs and as a means to produce clean, affordable energy. I want to see this source of energy thrive and bring jobs with it. I've been actively working with the EPA to recognize woody biomass as a clean, renewable source of energy.
Also, last year Congress and the President passed a health care overhaul that impacted several areas that have nothing to do with health care. One piece of the bill caused an outcry among the business community because it requires companies of all sizes to file more forms with the IRS. What is known as the "1099 mandate" would have required a business to file an IRS 1099 form for any purchase over $600. Picture a small business with four or five employees having to meet this new paperwork burden. Again, that's taking their time away from growing their business and hiring. One of my first acts as a Member of Congress was to cosponsor a bill to repeal this mandate, and I'm proud to say that three months later it was signed into law.
Obtaining federal permits, navigating rules and meeting federal regulations impose costs and take resources away from businesses they could otherwise be using to hire people. Yet one well-known federal agency has issued 900 new rules in the last year.
I will actively work to reduce and eliminate unnecessary and over-burdensome regulations wherever possible, because small- and medium-sized businesses should spend their time expanding and creating jobs -- not navigating a maze of government rules.