|San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Brady rips Obama's jobs plan
San Jacinto News- Times
COLDSPRING – U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) talked about the nation’s economy and debt while gathering input into Social Security and Medicare changes Monday night during a town hall meeting held at Cape Royale near Coldspring. “Sixty-two percent of young Americans believe America’s growing debt is a threat while 80 percent of Americans believe our economy remains in a recession. We are in a debt crisis and we have a spending problem. We could double everyone’s taxes in America and never catch up,” Brady said. “Rather than borrowing money America doesn’t have to create jobs we never see, which is what the President proposes in his second stimulus, why not bring back a trillion dollars of American profi ts from overseas and invest it now in American jobs and expansion?” Brady asked. Driving America’s debt, according to Brady, is Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. “We have got to fi gure out how to preserve these programs for every generation,” he said. “Also driving our debt is the lack of a balanced budget,” Brady said. According to Brady a Balanced Budget Amendment will go to vote next week. “It will be a big challenge to get it passed – it’s going to be a tall hurdle to pass,” he said. A Balanced Budget Amendment, if approved by Congress and ratifi ed by the states, would forbid Congress to appropriate more money than the federal government receives in revenues. This requirement could be waived in wartime by a three-fi fths vote of Congress. The amendment would also require a three-fi fths vote to raise taxes. In 1997, during the 105th Congress, the amendment failed by one vote in the Senate, just as it had in the 104th Congress. The House of Representatives approved the measure by a large margin in both instances. Proponents argue that without the Balanced Budget Amendment Congress will be unable to resist deficit spending; opponents argue that it would hamstring Congress unnecessarily, especially in times of national emergency. Another act Brady spoke about is the Maximizing America’s Prosperity Act of 2011, which he sponsors. The Act would cap noninterest Federal spending as a percentage of full employment GDP, to require that budgets and budget resolutions adhere to these caps, to enforce these caps, to increase financial transparency for mandatory programs, to provide for a lineitem adjustment, to require the parings of significant spending increases and adjustments to the debt ceiling and to provide for a Federal Sunset Commission to assist Congress in eliminating Federal agencies and programs that no longer serve a public need or reforming those that are inefficient or ineffective in serving a public need. “Its goal is to shrink the size of the Federal Government by imposing smart spending caps to control future spending and places guardrails around the House GOP budget,” Brady said, adding, “It’s getting a lot of support now.” Brady blasted President Obama’s American Jobs Act, saying, “The President’s economic policies are just not working. Hardworking Americans deserve a fresh start. What they don’t need is a second round of stimulus we can’t afford that creates taxpayer subsidized government jobs. The Administration needs to stop patting itself on the back and reverse course on stimulus spending and over-regulation that actually harm American workers and keep our businesses from making key job-creating investments.” An overview of the American Jobs Act, according to www. whitehouse.gov, a reference which Brady used during his presentation, includes: • Tax cuts to help America’s small business hire and grow cutting the payroll tax cut in half for 98 percent of businesses; The President’s plan will cut in half the taxes paid by businesses on their first $5 million in payroll, providing a tax but targeting the benefit to the 98 percent of firms that have payroll below this threshold. • A complete payroll tax holiday for added workers or increased wages: The President’s plan will completely eliminate payroll taxes for firms that increase their payroll by adding new workers or increasing the wages of their current worker (to ensure that this tax cut is focused on small businesses, the tax relief is capped at $50 million in payroll increases). • Encouraging businesses to make investments by extending 100 percent businesses expensing into 2012. This extension would put an additional $85 billion in the hands of businesses next year. • Help entrepreneurs and small businesses get access to capital, grow and hire by expanding Small Business Administration backed loan limits, cutting red tape and reforming our patent system. According to the President, the bill would not add to the national deficit and would be fully paid for. Further debating the jobs program, Brady said, “Increased Federal spending has not led to private sector job creation. As Uncle Sam grows jobs decrease. Private sector jobs increase when private investment increases.” Concerning Social Security, Brady said, “It’s financially got problems.” According to Brady there are two options to fix Social Security – the mild option and the spicy option. The mild option includes increasing the retirement age to 70 and tying benefits to the actual cost of living. The Spicy option includes offering young people to put a small amount into safe investments. “By making money work for them their checks are twice the size. I think we ought to give young people coming into the system an option to try,” Brady said. “The longer we wait the harder it gets,” he said. Posing a question to the audience, Brady asked, “Should we keep working on Social Security for change? What do you think?” Brady said the mild option would be easy to do but money would have to be borrowed to make the transition. A show of hands from those in the audience indicated that something needs to be done about Social Security to make it secure for all, including cracking down on fraud in the program.