Boehner: Five actions Obama should do to break economic uncertainty. Fire Geithner and Summers and repeal the 1099 mandate
Boehner is coming into his own. His principles of limited government seem sincere. He has been a voice of reason during the so called health care debates. He is pushing for a repeal of the 1099 mandate.
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Today I am proposing five actions President Obama should take immediately to break this economic uncertainty and help more Americans find an honest day’s work:
First, President Obama should announce he will not carry out his plan to impose job-killing tax hikes on families and small businesses.
Unless Congress acts, virtually every American will see their taxes go up on January 1, 2011.
President Obama has stated he wants to stop some tax hikes, and not others, once again putting the government in the position of picking winners and losers and pitting taxpayer against taxpayer. According to an analysis by the non-partisan Joint Tax Committee, Congress’s official tax scorekeeper, half of small business income in America – half – would face higher taxes under the president’s plan.
Of course, as if on cue, the same Washington politicians who have spent the last 18 months borrowing and spending our economy into the ground are now fretting over whether we can afford the ‘cost’ of stopping job-killing tax hikes.
Only in Washington would it be acceptable to think that taxpayers should have to pay for the privilege of keeping more of their own hard-earned money.
We will not solve our fiscal challenges until we cut spending and have real economic growth – and we won’t have real economic growth if we keep raising taxes on small businesses.
One of President Obama’s predecessors once said that “an economy constrained by high tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget, just as it will never create enough jobs.”
That president was John F. Kennedy.
So let me be clear: raising taxes on families and small businesses during a recession is a recipe for disaster – both for our economy and for the deficit. Period. End of story.
That’s why President Obama should work with Republicans to stop ALL of these job-killing tax hikes.
Second, President Obama should announce that he will veto any job-killing bills sent to his desk by a lame-duck Congress – including ‘card check,’ a national energy tax, and any other tax increases on families and small businesses.
The House passed a ‘cap-and-trade’ national energy tax last year, but the Senate has yet to act. Remember, this is a plan under which the president said “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
The national energy tax has the capacity to wipe out many of the manufacturers and family farms here in the Rust Belt that are just barely hanging on.
Also pending is ‘card check.’ This bill is the top priority for the public-sector unions that provide the money and foot soldiers for Democratic campaigns.
It eliminates a worker’s right to a secret ballot in union elections, making it easier for unions to organize while putting employers at a firm disadvantage. Card check is essentially a ‘how-to’ guide for destroying small business jobs.
When I asked the president about his support for ‘card check’ during our meeting last month, he accused me of scare tactics, while the rest of the Democratic Leaders in the room acted like they didn’t know what I was talking about.
The very next week, the president told a union crowd he will ‘keep on fighting’ for ‘card check.’
Democratic Leaders refuse to rule out the possibility of forcing these job-killing bills through in a lame-duck session, after the election, after the voters have had their say.
Their failure to level with the American people only compounds the ongoing economic uncertainty.
President Obama should announce that he would veto these job-killing bills, and I pledge that Republicans will work with him to sustain those vetoes.
Third, President Obama should call on Democratic Leaders in Congress to stop obstructing Republicans’ attempts to repeal the new health care law’s job-killing ‘1099 mandate.’
The president’s government takeover of health care is already wreaking havoc on employers and entrepreneurs. This is a law that – upon its enactment – triggered the creation of more than 160 boards, bureaucracies, programs, and commissions. By the end of July, Washington had already racked up nearly 3,833 pages of regulations to direct the law’s implementation.
One of the new law’s most controversial mandates requires small businesses to report any total purchases that run more than $600.
If a landscaper wants to buy a new lawnmower, or a restaurant needs a new ice-maker, they have to report that to the feds. If you’re a Mom-and-Pop grocery store, and you buy $1000 worth of merchandise from 15 different vendors, that’s 15 different forms you have to file.
What is the point of making employers and entrepreneurs spend $17 billion to send all this paperwork to Washington, where it’s going to cost about $10 billion to log it in and file it away? Talk about overhead.
Last month, Republicans attempted to force a vote on the House floor to repeal this job-killing mandate. Democratic Leaders blocked that vote and instead attempted to use this as an opportunity to impose another job-killing tax hike on U.S. job creators.
President Obama should call on Congress to repeal this mandate without delay, and without strings attached.
Fourth, President Obama should submit to Congress for its immediate consideration an aggressive spending reduction package.
When Congress returns, we should force Washington to cut non-defense discretionary spending to 2008 levels – before the ‘stimulus’ was put into place. This would show Washington is ready to get serious about bringing down the deficits that threaten our economy.
For his part, President Obama says we should wait and talk about a deficit reduction plan next year. I say, let’s talk about it right now.
All this ‘stimulus’ spending has gotten us nowhere, but it comes from somewhere. We are now borrowing 41 cents of every dollar we spend from our kids and grandkids. Think about that – 41 cents of every dollar we spend.
This spring, when power changed hands in Britain – another country racked by red ink – one Treasury minister left a one-sentence note for his successor. The note read, ‘I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.’
Well, I’m not afraid to tell you there’s no money left. In fact, we’re broke. Our debt is now on track to the exceed size of our entire economy in the next two years.
And the government has no plan in place for paying this debt back. In fact, Congress did not even write a budget for the coming fiscal year – they just canceled it altogether.
Without a budget, Washington will try to get away with continuing to spend at current levels. We cannot allow that to happen.
Economists have warned that all this borrowing runs the risk of causing a damaging spike in interest rates, which would cripple job creation.
We also cannot allow politicians in Washington to continue trotting out the same tired scare tactics because they don’t have the courage to say no to whichever union or interest has their hand out.
That’s not governing, and that’s certainly not leadership. Those are just the last gasps of a failed government clinging to the discredited belief that more spending, more taxing, and more borrowing can solve all our problems.
Republicans are ready to work with President Obama to take this first step on the path to fiscal sanity.
Lastly, employers and small business owners are rightly frustrated by the fact that no one in the White House -- not the president, not the vice president, not his economic team -- is listening to them.
Part of the reason for that is that virtually no one in the White House has run a small business and created jobs in the private sector. That lack of real-world, hands-on experience shows in the policies coming out of this Administration.
The American people are asking ‘where are the jobs’ and all the president’s economic team has to offer are promises of ‘green shoots’ that never seem to grow. The worse things get, the more they circle the wagons and defend the indefensible.
We have been told that the president’s economic team is ‘exhausted’ - already, his budget director and his chief economist have moved on or are about to. Clearly, they see the writing on the wall, and the president should too.
President Obama should ask for – and accept – the resignations of the remaining members of his economic team, starting with Secretary Geithner and Larry Summers, the head of the National Economic Council.
Now, this is no substitute for a referendum on the president’s job-killing agenda. That question will be put before the American people in due time. But we do not have the luxury of waiting months for the president to pick scapegoats for his failing ‘stimulus’ policies.
We’ve tried 19 months of government-as-community organizer. It hasn’t worked. Our fresh start needs to begin now.