Friday, July 2, 2010
McCarthy: Obama stimulus planned failed. Time to bring budget and debt under control
Bakersfield Rep. Kevin McCarthy gives us his view from Capitol Hill:
"As hardworking Americans, all of us keep track of our bank accounts, and as taxpayers, you should know what is in the federal government’s bank account. This week, the Congressional Budget Office predicted
that our national debt will represent 62% of our economy by the end of the year, which is the highest level since World War II. My colleagues at the Ways and Means Committee just published a summary of our country’s financial health, showing that our public debt is over $13 trillion and our minimum payment that is due in interest for 2010 is over $1.9 trillion. Since the $787 million stimulus that was passed at the beginning of last year,
Congress has increased our debtby 22%. During this time, unemployment has hovered at over 9 percent, and private sector jobs have decreased by 2.3% but government jobs have increased by 14.9%. Washington needs a new direction and it should not include increasing federal spending right now.
On the legislative front, the House passed a Financial Regulatory Reform bill that will do more harm than good for our economy. It creates a new bureau at the Federal Reserve with sweeping authority
and a budget to create new government jobs in Washington, DC. Additionally, it creates an Office of Financial Research, empowered to collect personal information about all of our financial transactions.
Rather than focusing on private sector jobs, this expansion of government will only raise costs for consumers and small businesses. My colleagues and I came up with an alternative that would have addressed too big to fail and the failures of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But it was rejected. I continue to believe that Congress needs to be focusing on pro-small business policies that allow banks to lend to job creators that are the heart of our local economies.
"This week, I coauthored and introduced the Federal Land Counterdrug Strategy and Enforcement Act (H.R. 5645). This bill would require Federal land management agencies (i.e. the Forest Service, BLM, and
NPS) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy to produce a comprehensive plan to combat drug trafficking and production on our public lands, as well as increases the penalties for these crimes.
Earlier this year, I attended a meeting with officials from these agencies and was shocked to learn they had no such counterdrug drug strategy. If you are like me and enjoy hiking in the Sequoia, Angeles, or Los Padres National Forests in our area, this is particularly troublesome--just imagine if a hiker stumbled across drug
traffickers, who are becoming increasingly violent, somewhere in the back country. It is vital that our public lands are safe for us to visit and enjoy, and H.R. 5465 is a good first step to help ensure that.
"I am looking forward to being home for the July 4th district work period. I hope you have a good and safe 4th!