It’s Not Politics, It’s Proof
It’s Not Politics, It’s Proof
By Congressman Huelskamp
Last week I attended the President’s speech before a Joint Session of Congress. I listened, but I was disappointed with what I heard. Despite mountains of evidence pointing to the failure of the first Stimulus, Congress is being asked to get behind a second Stimulus. I think we can all agree the first did not work, and another is likely to result in the same failed outcome. I want to get America back to work as much as the next person, but unfortunately the path the President wants us to pursue is unlikely to work.
But, before I am accused of partisanship or playing politics, let’s take a look at the facts.
The first Stimulus was supposed to deliver unemployment levels below 8%. The opposite occurred - and unemployment has averaged 9.4% since it was signed into law. President promised then that by the end of this last month, unemployment would be down to 6.4%. But the most recent jobs report shows that America is stuck with 9.1% unemployment. The difference between success and failure here is 6.7 million more jobless Americans than what was promised.
The first Stimulus cost the American people more than $1 trillion when you include the interest we will pay to the Chinese and others to bail out Washington. This second Stimulus, the details which may not be available even this week, is said to cost upwards of $450 billion. The first failed to deliver what the President promised, and there is no evidence that borrowing, taxing and spending for another Stimulus would be any different.
Our opposition to this expensive plan has nothing to do with politics, but rather principle and plain, simple proof. If my responsibility as a Member of Congress included simply saying yes to every piece of legislation just so I could have a list of bills that passed, then I would support this legislation. But, that’s not doing my job. My list of responsibilities includes being a steward of taxpayer dollars. Another expensive Stimulus plan is a waste of taxpayer money and raises multiple red flags.
The role Washington can play in fostering prosperity is simple: restore confidence and certainty. Job creators need to know what to expect year after year. Changing the tax code every 12 months or surprising employers and employees with new regulations that cost tens of thousands of additional dollars does nothing to help people to plan for the future. Not knowing what else Washington has up its sleeves creates restlessness and anxiety. The only certain thing for businesses large and small right now is uncertainty for which the federal government is largely to blame.
Expanding the places where Kansans and all Americans can sell their goods would also foster additional prosperity. During his speech, the President talked about finalizing trade agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama. I am fully behind him on that one. When he sends them to Congress, I will be one of the loudest proponents for seeing them made into law. But, our hands in Congress are tied until he sends them to us - and we have been waiting now for seven months.
We have all the proof we need that more Stimulus is not the solution. Pointing this out is not playing politics. It is standing up for principle, fiscal responsibility, and doing (or not doing in terms of regulation) what America needs to get the economy moving again.