As I travel around Arkansas, one of the most common questions I hear is “Where are the jobs?” Natural State residents are rightfully looking to Congress for leadership on how to get our economy back on track. One of my top priorities is to create policies that preserve and promote an environment that is business friendly, encourages productivity and innovation, supports educational opportunities, and affords all Americans the opportunity to achieve economic freedom.
It has been more than two years since the passage of President Obama “stimulus” plan. Unfortunately, this approach of spending, borrowing and taxing hasn’t worked. Growth in government will not create long-term, sustainable jobs because it is the private sector that creates jobs, not “Big Government.” As a former small business owner, I know firsthand that increasing government mandates is a counter-productive approach to empowering small businesses.
To no one’s surprise, we’ve seen nationwide unemployment rates continue to increase in the two years since the “stimulus” plan was enacted. In that time, Arkansas’s unemployment rate has hovered between seven and eight percent. As if the “stimulus” weren’t enough taxing, spending, and government expansion, this administration also has forced a job killing health care law upon small business owners and they continue to push destructive ideas like cap-and-trade and card check.
These disturbing trends have left us with policies we can’t afford. Our job creators have been forced to comply with unfunded mandates and pay higher taxes, resulting in countless layoffs and business closures. Job creation cannot happen in an environment of uncertainty, which is exactly what the Obama Administration’s policies of excessive spending and overregulation have created.
American private sector job creation is needed and I am committed to supporting legislation that will help Arkansas businesses succeed. This begins with a broad range of market-based solutions that will help turn the economy around by encouraging private sector job creation and economic growth.
To encourage investment in small business, the heart of our nation’s economy, we need to provide business owners and investors with the predictability they need to make sound investment decisions. In order to accomplish this we need to rein in spending, reform our tax code, reduce regulatory burdens imposed by government agencies, increase exports by passing pending free trade agreements and create a new energy policy that allows us to use American resources and make us less dependent on foreign oil.
These are all commonsense ideas that have widespread support in Congress. Arkansans deserve well-paying, reliable employment and these proposals will achieve that. Given the right tools and circumstances, small businesses can and will create good paying jobs for the people of Arkansas. In order to foster that environment, policymakers must promote tax cuts and encourage growth and innovation—not stifle it.