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A GOP Congressman’s Response to the President’s State of the Union Address

Jobs come first. Mr. President, let's put America back to work.

by
Todd Akin

Bio

January 28, 2010 - 12:42 pm
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So how are the administration and Congress working to get our economy back on track? What are they doing to encourage businesses to grow and expand? First, they want to pass a health care bill that increases taxes on small businesses, which comprises over 90% of the U.S. economy. Second, they want to let the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire, and add new taxes on financial institutions. Third, they want to tax America’s carbon emissions, which instead of helping the environment will only drive up energy costs, forcing more jobs overseas where there are even less environmental safeguards. Lastly, once the Democrats are done taxing America to death, they will still have to borrow more money to pay for all of their spending.

There is no doubt we need to deal with the rising cost of health care and be good stewards of the environment, but the bottom line is that the most important issue facing our nation today is getting the economy back on track.

So what should the president do about the economy? First, we need to let Americans keep more of their money and encourage them to invest in ways that will strengthen our economy. We also need to extend the research and development tax credit, which encourages businesses of all sizes to invest in technology of the future. We should cut the capital gains and dividends tax. Statistics show that this tax cut in 2003 played a significant role in creating new jobs and growing our economy, as evidenced by the several consecutive quarters of real GDP growth.

Cutting the capital gains and dividends tax frees up capital which can be put back into the economy and invested in new technology and companies, producing new jobs. While these are just a few suggestions, the guiding principle in getting people back to work is that the government does not encourage growth of the economy, it just taxes it. As President Ronald Reagan once said, “Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.” We need to return to market-based principles of economic growth which will lead to more jobs for Americans and keep our economy competitive in the world market.

As Congress begins the 2010 session, we need to focus on what the American people see as the biggest problem: our economy.  The bottom line is this: jobs come first. Mr. President, lets put America back to work.

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Congressman Todd Akin represents the 2nd District of Missouri. He serves on the Small Business Committee.
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