Recently, the Obama Administration and Speaker Pelosi have joined many of their colleagues to call for yet another “economic stimulus” package, like the one passed in February of this year, as a means to encourage economic growth.
As a reminder, the first “economic stimulus” package cost the American taxpayers a whopping $789.5 billion. And since that money needed to be borrowed, the interest drove the total cost to around one trillion dollars. One trillion dollars. I’m not quite sure when that dramatic dollar amount became so common place, but it is still troubling for me to hear. President Obama and Speaker Pelosi promised the American people this legislation would create between three and four million jobs and pull this country out of economic recession it.
Yet, here we are, four months later and the unemployment rate has increased, not decreased. In the month of June alone, a staggering 467,000 Americans lost their job, raising this country’s unemployment rate to 9.5 percent. And now, as the unemployment numbers continue to rise, President Obama and Speaker Pelosi want to solve this country’s continued economic problems with yet another high-priced “economic stimulus” package.
I’m not sure about everyone else, but I’m still waiting for the economic stimulation and jobs promised by the first package.
The American people are hurting right now. Many are having to make tough choices and are finding it difficult to provide for their families. Rather than spending another trillion dollars of their hard earned money on pet spending projects and calling it a stimulus package, Congress needs to get back to the economic basic: fiscal responsibility is the best policy.
First, we need to put money back in the pockets of the American people by cutting taxes on American families and small businesses. This will raise the standard of living and encourage economic growth by lowering the cost to do business. As we have learned from history, increased taxes do nothing but grow the size of government and stifle economic growth. Second, just as families across this country are doing right now, the federal government must begin to tighten their proverbial belt and cut back on spending. For the 2009 fiscal year, it is estimated that 46 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government will be borrowed. That means almost half the money allocated by Congress this year alone was borrowed.
That isn’t just poor fiscal planning- it’s mortgaging our children’s futures to pay for the present.
Frank Lucas represents Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. For more Frankly Speakings, please visit Rep. Lucas’ Blog at http://www.house.gov/lucas/frankly-speaking/index.shtml.