Economic Growth and Opportunities
There is no greater challenge facing families and businesses today than our nation’s struggling economy. And the American people know that “Job #1” for this Congress should be restoring growth and private sector job creation. The Administration and Congress should be working aggressively together to find more effective ways to spur private sector job creation and opportunities.
The “real economy” is what I hear about when I visit small businesses and meet with constituents. People are hurting. Nearly 20 million are underemployed or unemployed, many for a year or more. The civilian labor force participation rate is at its lowest level since the Carter years. We remain stuck in the slowest recovery from a recession since World War II.
Adding to this misery is the belief of many Americans that 1) they will not see a pay raise anytime soon, 2) the value of their home will not increase in coming months, and 3) this is not a wise time to make new investments. These factors perpetuate a deep sense of financial pessimism, uncertainty and limit consumer demand.
American resilience and private entrepreneurs and business will, in the end, bring our nation back.
These are among the actions that must be taken to create private sector jobs and careers, encourage growth, protect families and restore badly-needed economic confidence:
1. Fix the tax code to help job creators. We can increase American competitiveness to spur investment by streamlining the tax code and lowering the tax rate for individuals and businesses, including small business owners, to no more than 25%. We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. It needs to be lowered. In addition, we should allow businesses to bring back their overseas profits without having to pay a tax penalty so those proceeds can be invested at home.
2. Reduce government burdens on job creators. Businesses in Morris, Sussex, Passaic and Essex counties want government to get “off their back” and “out of the way.” We should require Congressional review of any government regulations that have a significant impact on the economy or burden small businesses, reform the damaging Obamacare takeover of health care, exempt smaller companies from the onerous provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley accounting law and revisit the burdensome Dodd-Frank banking “reform” law which let the government pick “winners and losers” instead of the marketplace.
3. Allow American manufacturers to compete and win in global markets. We should continue to work to open additional new markets to American-made products. New Jersey plays an integral part in the world economy and expanding access to markets across the global will create more jobs in our state. We also need to ensure that China lives up to its responsibilities under the World Trade Organization.
4. Reform government mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Our housing markets will not emerge from its current crisis until these financial relics adjust to a more competitive environment.
5. Encourage entrepreneurship and growth by investing in real infrastructure (roads, bridges, rail, power grids).
6. Maximize domestic energy production by diversifying supplies and encouraging increased conservation.
7. Pay down America’s unsustainable debt and live within our means. We must stop spending money we do not have by enacting significant federal budget cuts and spending controls. In the meantime, Congress should pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. And, of course, we should address entitlement reform.
This plan is not all-inclusive and recognizes that neither Republicans nor Democrats have every answer. But clearly, we do not need more government. We need common sense solutions.
The American people expect us to bring together the best of both parties’ ideas, and it is our desire to work together to find common ground.
Let’s get America back to work!