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Committee on The Budget
Committee on Ways & Means
Path To Prosperity
Since 2008, we’ve seen record unemployment, skyrocketing debt, and a crumbling economy. When Republicans took control of the House in 2010, we promised you a new path to prosperity and we have kept to our promise: lowering taxes, repealing Obamacare, and ending the crippling government mandates placed on the shoulders of middle class families and business owners alike.

Congressional Democrats and the Administration continue to insist that we can spend our way out of this recession and create jobs, but the numbers just don’t add up. Over a year ago, the so-called ‘stimulus’ bill was passed with the promise that it would create jobs and keep unemployment below eight percent. I opposed the so-called ‘stimulus’ bill because I'm against borrowing more foreign dollars and putting greater debt on our children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, the $862 billion ‘stimulus’ bill has expanded the government, seriously added to our national debt and has failed to keep unemployment down, especially in the private sector.

Small business and entrepreneurship have been the backbone of our economy and the engine of job creation in America. Rather than spending money we don’t have for government programs, a job-killing government-run health care system, and a national energy tax, it's time for policies that empower small businesses, restore consumer confidence, and create private-sector jobs.

It's time to restore fiscal sanity in Washington and get our economy back on track. As someone who has run a small business, I know the challenges businesses face, especially in a tough economy. Just as a business must balance its books and watch the bottom line, our government must return to policies of fiscal discipline.

The Path To Prosperity
The House Republican majority introduced a Fiscal Year 2012 budget that moves the debate from billions in spending cuts to trillions. The first step to getting our economy back on track is to stop spending money that we don't have. At its core, this plan of action is about putting an end to empty promises from a bankrupt government and restoring the fundamental American promise: ensuring our children have more opportunity and inherit a stronger America than our parents gave us. Click here to read more about the Path to Prosperity. 

Keeping America Competitive

Free Trade Agreements:
America was built and bred on the bedrock principle of free enterprise: Let us invent it, let us build it and let us sell it. This industrial and entrepreneurial spirit has consistently fueled America as the global leader of enterprise and prosperity. If we are going to get America working again, we have to return these founding principles to our policies. In the 112th Congress, we took a significant step toward growing our economy, creating jobs and ensuring America’s global competitiveness by passing Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. These agreements offer an opportunity to expand market access for U.S. goods and services with important trading partners.??They will level the playing field for American companies, boost demand for American products, increase America’s global competitiveness, give consumers more choices and lead to $13 billion in new export opportunities. Most importantly, these three agreements will create approximately 250,000 jobs without government spending according to the President's analysis. Free trade agreements have proven to be one of the best ways to open up foreign markets to U.S. exporters. Trade agreements reduce barriers to U.S. exports, protect U.S. interests and enhance the rule of law in the FTA partner country. The reduction of trade barriers and the creation of a more stable and transparent trading and investment environment make it easier and cheaper for U.S. companies to export their products and services to trading partner markets. Our ability to export American goods is a crucial component of our country’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness in that 20 percent of all manufacturing jobs, almost 3 million, are dependent on U.S. exports. Every $1 billion in exports generates 25,000 new jobs, spanning all sectors of our economy: manufacturing, transportation, logistics and agriculture. It is time to level the playing field and protect America’s place at the global dinner table.

Ending Overbearing Government Mandates: 
Job creators are being bogged down by burdensome regulations from Washington that prevent job creation and hinder economic growth. These regulations are particularly damaging for the real job creators in the country: small business owners. We must remove onerous federal regulations that are redundant, harmful to small businesses, and impede private sector investment and job creation. 

American Manufacturing:
Under President Obama, manufacturing employment has fallen to its lowest level since 1941, dipping below 12 million for the first time in the post-WWII era. Since President Obama was inaugurated, the manufacturing sector has shed 600,000 jobs. American manufacturing is vital to keeping American the most competitive nation in the world. Manufacturing jobs in the 25th district of California are especially vital to our local economy, where thousands of jobs are supported in the industry. It is critical that we strengthen manufacturing to maintain a flourishing economy for generations to come. 

National Debt
In 2011, the national debt hit the $15 trillion mark. This is unprecedented and unacceptable. Since President Obama took office the national debt has increased by $3.7 trillion. To put that in perspective, it took the U.S. 216 years, from 1776 until 1992, to accumulate the same amount of debt that the President has borrowed in 2.5 years. The grim realities of our dangerous fiscal situation could not be clearer. Across the globe we are witnessing firsthand the perilous ramifications of fiscal irresponsibility. We as a country must act now if we want to maintain our standing as the globe’s leader of power and prosperity. I support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, that will force the federal government to live within its means. We have a chance to realign the spending mentality in Washington that has prevailed for far too long. It's time to end Washington's spending binge has put our nation in debt, eroded economic confidence, and caused massive uncertainty for private sector job creators. 

Each year, families and businesses across the country forge through mountains of forms and receipts, attempting to properly navigate their tax returns. At over 72,500 pages, our tax code has become a broken maze of complexity, bureaucracy and political favoritism, and it has to be fixed. We need a tax code that is simple and fair for all Americans.

This year, the House passed a budget that will reform our broken tax code to spur job creation and economic opportunity by lowering rates, closing loopholes, and putting hardworking taxpayers ahead of special interests.

Here is the breakdown of our vision for how we can fix our broken system with a fair, simple and competitive tax code:
  • Fair Tax Code: The Republican budget proposes lower rates for all Americans to promote growth and it also proposes to roll back deductions that go overwhelmingly to a relatively small class of mostly higher-income individuals. The value of tax preferences is often very low for lower-income individuals but they sum to the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands for upper-income Americans. Without the benefit of these special deductions and credits that serve to minimize taxable income, upper-income individuals could pay roughly the same amount they pay now even at a lower tax rate. This budget plan also proposes to eliminate the carve-outs and loopholes that have allowed some corporations to avoid paying taxes altogether. The tax code is full of deductions, credits and loopholes that let politically-connected companies avoid paying taxes. Every dollar that businesses spend lobbying for a better tax deal is a dollar they’re not spending on making a better product. And, since every dollar hidden in a loophole doesn’t get taxed – politicians make up for this lost revenue by increasing overall tax rates. So we need to close these loopholes. The federal corporate tax rate is 35 percent, which is very high--compared to other industrialized nations. If we add state and local taxes, the corporate tax rates can climb up to 39.2 percent – the second highest tax rate among developed countries. On top of sending almost 40 cents out of every dollar earned to the government, businesses pay additional taxes including investment taxes and payroll taxes. If we are going to get America working again, America has to be a great place to do business.
  • Simple Tax Code: Individuals and businesses spend over six billion hours and $160 billion every year, trying to understand and comply with the tax code. Congress should simplify the tax code, not just by closing loopholes, but also decreasing the number of different tax brackets. Fewer brackets, along with lower individual rates, will make the tax code less complicated, and let more people keep more of the money they earn. America has had tough recessions before and we know that the secret to growing jobs and prosperity in America are through the ingenuity and the hard work of our businesses – of our small businesses, of our large businesses, of job creators. Our tax system should not reward people for coming to Washington and getting special favors. We want a tax system that rewards Americans for hard work, risk taking, entrepreneurship, investment and innovation. These ideas made America great in the past. We need these kinds of ideas going forward if we want to grow our economy in the future and compete in the 21st century global economy.
  • Competitive Tax Code: The budget we passed in the House of Representatives calls for closing loopholes and lowering the tax rates. The President’s bipartisan Fiscal Commission proposed something similar. Its plan would reduce the corporate tax rate to as low as 26 percent, and to lower the top individual rate that many small businesses pay to as low as 23 percent. If we lower tax rates, does that mean the wealthy pay less in taxes? It does not if we close loopholes. The people who use most of the loopholes are those in the top tax brackets. The money parked in these tax loopholes is taxed at zero. If you take away the tax loophole and lower everybody’s tax rates, that money is taxed. It is taxed at a fair, more simple, more competitive tax rate so they can compete in this global economy. The President, however, has proposed increasing the top individual tax rate to as much as 50.6 percent. This would be a direct hit on small businesses, as many businesses pay the individual income tax, not the corporate income tax. 

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