The recovery of our economy should be a top priority for Congress, and we must act now. It is our obligation as a legislative body to foster a stable economy and assure families everywhere that government can create a business environment where jobs thrive.
Toward the goal of economic recovery, we must undo the damage wrought by congressional Democrats, who have refused even to vote on extending the Bush tax cuts, instead opting for one of the largest tax hikes in modern history. The first step must be repealing all the disgraceful bills enacted in the past four years under the Pelosi-Reid political marriage that have concentrated power in Washington, at the expense of individual liberty.
For starters, to give just one example, any unspent stimulus funding should be returned to the treasury to pay down our debt. Businesses belong in private hands, not in the majority ownership of the federal government. Accordingly, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, General Motors, Chrysler, Citigroup, and Bank of America should be returned to the private sector. Instead of nationalizing ever more industries, Congress should begin returning industries to the free market.
Similarly, student lending programs should be left to private companies instead of allowing Washington bureaucrats to decide what is best for our children. Since when does an out-of-touch Washington elite know what's best for regular Americans?
The federal government must announce that it will no longer be available to bail out public employees' pensions or health care plans. The federal government should also state it is not in the business of bailing out any private business, regardless of size or unionization. Wall Street firms should not expect the federal government to save them after they indulge in risky business practices.
Perhaps most importantly, Congress should heed the repeated calls of the nation to repeal ObamaCare. The monstrosity of ObamaCare will raise health insurance costs, increase dependency on the government, lower health care standards, and further put us into debt. Real reform would allow people the freedom to buy insurance plans across state lines, on a tax-free basis.
Instead of punishing American businesses and the entrepreneurship spirit, there are a number of across-the-board measures Congress should take to foster a healthy business environment. For instance, eliminating the death tax, lowering the business tax from 34 percent to 9 percent, cutting useless government bureaucracy, and getting rid of the alternative minimum tax would all help businesses recover. Furthermore, we should reform our tax system by eliminating the thousands of pages of fine print that no one seems to understand, and instead replace it with a commonsense tax plan.
All these legislative accomplishments would just be a start on our road to full recovery. I believe that, once the economy has returned to its former strength, we should also plan for energy independence. We can achieve that goal by opening up American resources with an "all of the above" policy that includes exploring wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, petroleum, and clean coal energies.
Lastly, the enormous current and future planned deficits threaten to choke out our economy. We can balance the budget and should do so without raising taxes, by eliminating useless programs and cutting government spending. Congress cannot be given the latitude to spend money it doesn't have.
Recovery means a stable economy, a trusted and limited government, and optimistic enterprise. Recovery can be ours if we maintain faith in free markets and limited government, and I pledge to help start the recovery next January.