Right now is a critical time in our nation’s history. In March, unemployment in Ohio reached nearly 11 percent, a figure not seen in decades. Even in the wake of a nearly $800 billion stimulus bill, the unemployment rate continues to climb. Yet despite the continued financial pressure on small businesses and families, many lawmakers in Washington continue to promote costly, unsustainable policies, in an effort to spend our way out of this crisis.
Last year, the President released a budget that would amount to more accumulated debt than all the presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush combined. And this year’s deficit is anticipated to reach $1.5 trillion. Thus far, this year hasn’t been much different. The recently passed health care reform law will amount to $311 billion in additional spending on health care than would have otherwise been spent if no law existed, according to a new report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). And currently, the Senate is moving forward on a financial regulatory reform bill, aimed to reign in excesses on Wall Street. While I agree we need more oversight and transparency of the markets, I have concerns that the regulations included in the bill could further restrict credit for small businesses, working families and those who need it most.
Bringing our nation back on a path of economic recovery and sustainable growth, demands limited government and more focus on investment coming from the private sector. It means putting tax dollars back into the hands of the American people who know best how to invest them. It means cutting back on the wasteful government spending that is driving up our nation’s debt to nearly $13 trillion and jeopardizing the livelihoods of future generations. It means giving businesses and industry the right kind of incentives so as to generate certainty in the market place and promote long-term job creation.
These decisions are not easy, but it is clear that the current spending behavior we have witnessed in Washington must end. Be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to develop sound solutions to meet the challenges we face.