Weekly remarks: Obama vows more jobs are coming; Eric Cantor vows GOP will be party of 'cut and grow'
Last month, our economy added more than 100,000 private-sector jobs and the unemployment rate fell sharply. This follows encouraging economic news, from increased auto sales to continued expansion of our manufacturing sector.
Now, we know that these numbers can bounce around from month to month. But the trend is clear. We saw 12 straight months of private-sector job growth -- the first time that’s been true since 2006. The economy added 1.3 million jobs last year. And each quarter was stronger than the last, which means the pace of hiring is picking up.
Now we’re seeing more optimistic economic forecasts for the year ahead, in part due to the package of tax cuts I signed last month. I fought for that package because, while we are recovering, we plainly still have a lot of work to do. The recession rocked the foundations of our economy, and left a lot of destruction and doubt in its wake.
So, our fundamental mission must be to accelerate hiring and growth, while we do ....
I’m absolutely confident we will get there. I am confident, first and foremost, because of you; because of the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs and business owners; the tenacity of our workers; and the determination of the American people. This is what has made our economy the envy of the world. But we have to do everything we can to help our businesses and workers win in this new economy.
Yesterday, I visited the Thompson Creek Window Company, a small business in Maryland. Over the past year, sales there have grown by 55% thanks, in part, to an energy tax credit we created. And this year, they’re also planning to take advantage of a new tax incentive for businesses. For one year, any business, large or small, can write off the full cost of most of their capital investments. This will make it more affordable for businesses like Thompson Creek to expand and hire.
So, if you’re a business owner, I’d encourage you to take advantage of this temporary provision. It will save you money today and help you grow your business tomorrow.
This incentive is part of the economic package I signed into law last month -- a package that also includes a payroll tax cut that will mean $1,000 more this year for a typical family. In fact, 155 million workers will see larger paychecks this month as a result of this tax cut.
Twelve million families will benefit from a $1,000 child tax credit and an expanded earned income tax credit. Eight million students and families will continue to benefit from a $2,500 tuition tax credit to make college more affordable.
And millions of entrepreneurs in big cities and small towns across the country will benefit not only from the business expensing plan I mentioned, but from additional tax cuts that will spur research and development.
Independent experts have concluded that, taken together, this package of tax cuts will significantly accelerate the pace of our economic recovery, spurring additional jobs and growth.
And that is our mission. That should be the focus, day in and day out, of our work in Washington in the coming months, as we wrestle with a challenging budget and long-term deficits. And I’m determined to work with everyone, Republicans and Democrats, to achieve that goal. What we can’t do is refight the battles of the past two years that distract us from the hard work of moving our economy forward. What we can’t do is engage in the kinds of symbolic battles that so often consume Washington while the rest of America waits for us to solve problems.
The tax cuts and other progress we made in December were a much-needed departure from that pattern. Let’s build on that admirable example and do our part, here in Washington, so the doers, builders and innovators in America can do their best in 2011 and beyond. Thanks everyone, and have a nice weekend. ####
Hi, I’m Eric Cantor from the 7th District of Virginia and the majority leader for the 112th Congress.
This week, the transition of power in the United States Congress took place and John Boehner was elected speaker of the House. We know that we have been given a golden opportunity to listen, lead, and deliver results.
From the start, I think you’ll see that our actions will define us as the ‘cut and grow’ majority. We are going to cut spending and cut job-killing government regulations while growing the economy and private-sector jobs. We will abide by a three-part rule:
Each day, we will come to work asking: One, ‘Are our actions focused on job creation and the economy?’ Two, ‘Are our actions focused on cutting spending?’ Three, ‘Are our actions focused on shrinking government while protecting and expanding liberty?’ If not, why are we doing it?
It is in this spirit that we’ve opened Congress by cutting our own operating budgets by 5%. Our next step is to fulfill our pledge to repeal the trillion-dollar job-killing healthcare law that was rammed through Congress last year by the previous majority -- despite the public outcry against it.
This week I joined Speaker Boehner and other key Republicans in releasing a new report that documents how the healthcare law is destroying jobs and piling up more debt. It makes a compelling case for taking immediate action to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with reforms that will lower costs and protect jobs.
At a time when we need to do everything in our power to encourage job creation, the healthcare law hangs around the necks of businesses small and large, causing them to not hire new workers -- or worse, be forced to let current employees go.
Just as harmful, businesses that would currently be hiring more employees are reevaluating their decisions and in some cases sitting on large piles of cash.
With each day that ObamaCare remains law and continues to engulf our healthcare system, this destructive pattern continues and too many Americans remain without a job.
It has now been 10 months since ObamaCare was signed into law. And it is telling that the more Americans learn about it, the more discouraged they are by its harmful effects. The law is fundamentally flawed because it enables federal bureaucrats to come between patients and their doctors, limiting choices. And because of its mandates, ObamaCare has already caused the cost of healthcare to increase, while forcing some Americans to give up the healthcare they have even if they like it.
Despite claims of reducing deficits and saving taxpayer dollars, the new law is riddled with budget gimmicks that double-count savings, offset six years of benefits with 10 years of tax increases and rely on cuts to Medicare and tax increases to fund a new entitlement.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office works hard to provide accurate accounting, but they are only able to score the legislation put in front of them -- even if it includes budget gimmicks and fiscal shell games designed to hide its true cost. The reality is that this trillion-dollar, new government entitlement will lead to one-size-fits-all care and put our country on a path to bankruptcy.
Republicans care about healthcare. We simply disagree that excessive government regulation and sweeping mandates on individuals and businesses are the right way to go about it. The status quo is unacceptable, and we understand that the key to real healthcare reform is to lower costs and improve access.
That is why after the House passes repeal of ObamaCare, we’ll begin a two-step process of conducting continued oversight of the continued harm that it is doing to our economy and our healthcare system, as well as beginning work on a new vision to improve our healthcare system without bankrupting our country.
We will provide Americans with the mainstream solutions they were denied when Democrats used dubious procedural tactics to jam through the bill along strictly partisan lines.
Looking ahead, the best boost that Congress can provide to the economy is to send a credible signal that we are serious about cutting spending and eliminating job-killing regulations. Our surging debt burden hangs over the economy like a dark cloud, waiting to unleash a storm of inflation, higher taxes and higher borrowing costs upon businesses and families. Only when the cloud is lifted can we get on the path to long-term growth.
America stands at a crossroads, and the decisions we make today will determine the type of country that we leave to our children and grandchildren. We face some very tough decisions and the coming weeks and months will not be easy, but it’s time to make government accountable to the people. For years, families have been doing more with less, while government has been doing less with more.
We will work each and every day to reverse that trend so that America can return to opportunity, responsibility, and success. ####
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Photos: Pete Souza / White House; Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press (lone worker vents hot air from the Capitol); Steve Helber / Associated Press (Cantor).