After all the anxiety and hardship people are facing because of double-digit unemployment and a continued sluggish economy, at this point, it’s not what the President says, it’s what he does. During the last year, the administration’s focus has been on government spending, government control of the financial system, energy and health care policies that mean more regulation, higher taxes and new mandates for employers, and a national security strategy that treats terrorists like common criminals. The President’s initiatives tripled the deficit, piled on the debt and created a hostile environment for small businesses, where more than 70 percent of new jobs are created. That’s on top of a tight credit market for the little guy, thanks to government officials favoring special interests on Wall Street and in Detroit with their management of taxpayer-funded bailout programs.
There’s also tremendous frustration and anger about a lack of transparency and accountability in Washington. On the most sweeping proposal in decades, the health care bill, the administration and the Democratic leadership of Congress made major decisions behind closed doors, promised earmarks and cut deals with special interests. To try to restore some level of trust, the President needs to show that he won’t operate this way or tolerate it from congressional leaders in his own political party.
People wanted President Obama to change Washington, not change America. With the record of the last year, it’ll take sustained action in the opposite direction — rather than one big speech or even a few weeks of rhetoric and public relations — to convince people that those who are in charge in Washington really understand the reality for most people who are working to make ends meet in their own households and survive the economic recession.
For job creation, I’ve urged the President to get behind a comprehensive tax relief plan to encourage small business activity, and I introduced a bill last summer (S.1381) that would leave more money in the hands of small business owners to hire workers, pay employee salaries and make investments that lead to new jobs. I’ve also urged the President to seize opportunities for U.S. exports, which create jobs in value-added agriculture, renewable energy, manufacturing and the service sector. For a year now, international trade has been neglected and effectively rejected by the administration, putting U.S. employers at a competitive disadvantage because America’s trading partners have moved on and made trade agreements among themselves and not with us.
Looking ahead, bipartisanship needs to be established in the beginning of an initiative. It’s not a matter of peeling off a few votes at the end in order to push through extreme-type measures. And, Congress and the White House need to listen to the grassroots, where people are looking for a landscape that will let them create jobs and build opportunities for the future, not a heavy hand from government that saps the strength and inhibits the ingenuity that have defined the American dream for generations.”
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