Congressman Peter Roskam

Representing the 6th District of Illinois

Recovery Summer?

Jun 21, 2011
Opinion Piece


A year ago this week, the Obama Administration declared the summer of 2010 "recovery summer." One year and twelve unemployment reports later, our national unemployment is still 9.1%, and our economy continues to underperform. Americans experienced no "recovery summer." Rather, for most in the Sixth District, the false promise of "recovery summer" is just one more reminder of this Administration's broken promises and flawed policies -- much like the failed "stimulus."

Regrettably, even in the face of continual underperformance, Washington Democrats cling to and even cheerlead their failed policies, showing a striking detachment from reality. In what can only be considered a shockingly tone-deaf moment last week, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz went so far as to declare that Democrats "had turned the economy around."

In reality, Americans continue to struggle to find jobs -- especially the right ones -- to pay bills and to put away money for their family's futures. The policies of Washington Democrats have been no solution at all. The 14 million unemployed Americans still looking for a job are a testament to that.

The hard fact is that Democrats have no credible plan to grow our economy. Simply hoping for a change is not an economic policy.

We need more than just hope. That's why House Republicans have a robust plan to grow our economy, to remove obstacles to job creation to create an environment where the private-sector will flourish and create jobs. The central pillars include reforming the tax code to make it simpler and fairer, removing onerous regulations, and fundamentally reducing our skyrocketing national debt to create pro-growth certainty.

We need a comprehensive fundamental tax reform overhaul — one that produces a system that raises the necessary revenue for the government to run as efficiently as possible, while removing barriers to private-sector job creation. More specifically, we need a revenue code that is fairer, simpler and no longer hinders our economic competitiveness — all of which cost jobs.

A fairer and simpler tax code would reduce costs for American citizens and job creators. Right now, the tax code often forces employers to make investment decisions based on the tax code, not by what is best for their business.

Even Japan has pledged to lower its corporate tax rate, which when delivered, will leave the U.S. holding the dubious distinction of having the highest corporate tax rate in the world, at nearly 40 percent. To say our tax code puts American job creators at a disadvantage is a serious understatement. With unemployment still above nine percent and bleak projections ahead, we simply can't afford to allow our tax code to continue to hinder our competitiveness. It costs too many jobs.

We also need to fundamentally change the breadth and scope of Washington's mountain of regulations on our job creators. Our plan would empower businesses large and small by reducing the types of regulations that have killed jobs. We passed legislation easing regulatory burdens in March, and soon will take up the REINS Act, which would subject regulations that will have a major impact on the economy to a vote in Congress. Unelected bureaucrats should not be given the authority to weigh so heavily on the economy, and an up-or-down vote on these regulations in Congress will be a restraining influence on such regulations.

Maybe most importantly, our plan boldly and meaningfully attacks America's growing mountain of debt, enacting substantial spending cuts that would force Washington to live within its means. Our plan builds upon the Path to Prosperity budget passed last April, reversing the dangerous spending and debt binge Washington has been hooked on.

America needs an economic turnaround. Washington has created obstacle after obstacle for job creators, and the current Administration still refuses to recognize that their policies have to change to create jobs and grow the economy. That's why it's as important as ever that our jobs agenda is enacted. With 9.1% unemployment, my constituents deserve a credible plan to grow our economy.