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U.S. Rep John Boehner: Spending spree won’t fix our ailing economy
Detroit News

When President Barack Obama speaks in Holland today, I hope that instead of trying to convince the people of a city suffering from 11.8 percent unemployment that our economy is “moving forward,” he will listen closely when they ask, “Where are the jobs?”

After all, Michigan is one of 48 states that have lost jobs since Obama signed the trillion-dollar “stimulus” into law amid promises it would create jobs “immediately” and keep unemployment below 8 percent. Since February 2009, our economy has lost roughly 3 million private sector jobs while the federal government has grown by more than 400,000 jobs.

More government, fewer jobs: This isn’t the picture of recovery; it’s the epitome of failure. To boost the economy and put people back to work, we need to stop the taxing-spending-and-borrowing-binge and cut Washington waste, stop job-killing tax increases, and provide small businesses with the certainty they need to get back on their feet. Last month, I handed the president a statement signed by more than 100 economists supporting this plan of action.

•  Less spending, more jobs. Washington’s spending spree has gotten so out of control that Democrats have canceled the federal budget, an unprecedented failure of leadership. House Budget Committee Republicans have already identified $1.3 trillion in specific spending cuts (like canceling unspent TARP funds) that could be implemented right now to make Washington do more with less.

•  Keeping taxes low. We also need to prevent job-killing tax hikes that are set to take effect in less than six months. Unfortunately, Democrats have indicated that that they intend to raise taxes on middle-class families -- by how much, they won’t say, not until after the coming election. This abdication of leadership is a job-killer in and of itself: struggling small business owners can’t save or invest without knowing how much they will owe in taxes next year.

•  Helping small businesses put people back to work. Having run a small business, I know the anxiety that comes with every burdensome mandate and tax hike handed down by Washington. President Obama’s new health care law is the granddaddy of them all. Here’s an example: The new law requires businesses to file a 1099 form for each and every purchase of goods or services of $600 or more per year from another entity. While large companies can afford to hire an army of lawyers to interpret these regulations and accountants to do all the paperwork, small businesses do not have the same luxury. Republicans are fighting to repeal this government takeover of health care and replace it with common-sense reforms focused on lowering costs and protecting jobs.

Americans should join us in building a more responsive government and a better country.

Republican John Boehner of Ohio is the U.S. House minority leader.