President Barack Obama's engagement in job creation is "welcome," Sen. Mike Crapo said this week, and it's time for Congress and the White House to get past its "tired, back-and-forth political battles" and produce results.
But in his weekly guest opinion to Idaho newspapers, the Republican senior senator staked out his side on what could be Capitol Hill's next "back-and-forth political battle." He rejected what has emerged as the centerpiece of the $450 billion Obama jobs plan: financing job programs by increasing taxes on upper-income groups.
"The misguided talk of some in Washington in favor of tax hikes at a time when the economy cannot stand it is incomprehensible," Crapo wrote.
Here's the Crapo guest opinion in full:
We need more secure, high-skilled jobs in America. There is broad agreement on that fact. All the discussion about how to create American jobs has served its purpose of identifying solutions. We have had enough talk. We must get to work creating the environment for job and economic growth.
While home during the state work period, I had the opportunity to discuss directly with fellow Idahoans the challenges our nation faces and hear ideas about how to resolve these challenges. It is clear that people are furious with the status quo. They cannot understand why the president and Congress continue to try to spend our way out of our nation’s fiscal crisis rather than control spending. The misguided talk of some in Washington in favor of tax hikes at a time when the economy cannot stand it is incomprehensible.
Generating lasting, good jobs and economic growth depends on improving the economic climate in the U.S. so that small businesses can innovate and invest in growth. The regulatory burdens and uncertainty, as well as our national debt, create the opposite climate and serve to exacerbate the current economic downturn. Our long-term debt picture is strangling current and future job creation.
The recently enacted $2.5 trillion deficit reduction measure was a modest but necessary beginning. But with a national debt of almost $15 trillion, many more deficit reduction measures, even larger in scope, must still be passed by this Congress, simply to keep our collective head above water. In addition to significantly cutting spending, we must reform the tax code to reduce tax rates, stimulate the economy and encourage job growth. The proposals I have supported and have been working on would control federal spending, cut taxes, grow the economy, reform the regulatory policies negatively impacting job creators, expand market opportunities for U.S. businesses and institute an energy policy that provides for the affordable energy necessary for increasing U.S. productivity. While we have differences of opinion on the best remedies, President Obama’s engagement with Congress regarding job creation and economic growth is welcome. To achieve the large-scale results necessary, full focus on this task and leadership is imperative.
We know what we need to do to set our nation on a strong course and demonstrate that we have heard and acted on the clear message from the American people. The tired, back-and-forth political battles do not get results. To grow our economy and encourage sustainable American jobs, we need to act on the solutions. We need further enforceable federal spending cuts; a pro-growth overhaul of our tax code and regulatory policy; a reduction of all individual and corporate tax rates; a strengthening of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to ensure their solvency for current and future recipients; expansion of market opportunities for U.S. businesses; and budget enforcement through spending caps and restraint of the use of budget tricks. Enough gridlock. Let’s get this done.