We are learning first hand the cruel lesson that the larger the government is, the less responsive it is to the people. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the so-called stimulus bill, which we were told would create millions of new jobs and keep unemployment below 8%.
It’s no secret – the stimulus failed. The “recovery” has been dismal at best. Consider the graph and unemployment numbers below and then ask yourself if his words match reality:
South Carolina: 8.8%
Marlboro County: 16.8%
Dillon County: 13.1%
Chester County: 12.9%
Fairfield County: 11.9%
Lee County: 11.6%
Lancaster County: 11.1%
Cherokee County: 11.0%
Listed above are a few counties in Mick’s district. As if these unemployment numbers aren’t bad enough -in reality – things are much worse than the numbers reflect. Many people have simply given up looking for a job. Others have exhausted their unemployment benefits. And, these numbers do not include recent college graduates who are trying to enter the workforce, but are not accounted for in the unemployment statistics because they were never in the workforce to begin with.
To have employees, we need employers. Simply demanding jobs, or conjuring them up with deficit spending, does not solve the problem. In fact, for every federal job that has been created, 5.3 private sector jobs have been lost.
How do we turn this around? In contrast, I have proposed several specific actions we could take to rein in spending and get our country back on the right track:
1) Make the government live within its means: Federal workers make twice what their private sector colleagues make. That needs to change. We should bring federal pay into line with the private sector. We should also roll back discretionary spending – which has grown 84% over the last few years — to 2008 levels. And to keep spending from ballooning again, we should establish real spending caps, linking the growth of government to the growth of our own incomes. These steps alone would save more than a trillion dollars over the next ten years. Of course, a great first step in that process would be to actually pass a budget.
2) Repeal Obamacare. Nothing threatens job growth or long-term budget solvency like the massive health care takeover that Mr. Spratt shepherded through the House. Not only will this law cripple our health care system, but there is also no way to calculate how many agencies it will create, how many jobs it will destroy, or how much all that will cost. Even the Obama Administration has abandoned their original assertion that the health care takeover would reduce the deficit. The only question now is how big will the price tag eventually be.
3) Let business create jobs. When small businesses are laying folks off while the government is increasing its hiring, that is a formula for more spending and larger deficits. To control government growth, we should institute a federal hiring freeze. To kick-start business hiring, we should eliminate the capital gains tax and let American business do what it does best: grow, prosper, and create jobs.
4) Don’t Raise Taxes. Nearly everyone agrees that we should not raise taxes during a recession. Unless Congress acts, income taxes, taxes on dividends and capital gains taxes will increase. The death tax will return in an even more dramatic fashion than before. The marriage penalty will be resurrected. And every family will have to pay $500 more in taxes for every child.