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President Obama’S Jobs And Deficit Reduction Bills

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Southerland) for 5 minutes.

Rep. Steve Southerland

legislator photo

I rise today with great disappointment in the administration's misguided agenda on job creation and deficit reduction.

You see, I have been in a family that has created jobs for generations. Shortly after World War II, my grandfather wanted to create an opportunity for his family. He wanted to create an opportunity to make a difference in his community. So, with a sixth-grade education, with $3,000 of borrowed money, and with a dream to make a difference, he did what small businesses do naturally when they do not have the impediments of the Federal Government: He created jobs. His dream, his vision, included that--to make a difference, to give other people an opportunity to forge a brighter and better future for them and their families.

It wasn't a self-serving dream.

It was a dream to serve others.

During those decades following World War II, we saw that same example all across this great Nation of people doing what people were created to do--make a difference.

It is not government's responsibility to create a job through a bill. It is government's responsibility to create an environment, an environment that produces certainty, an environment that a small business owner has the guarantee that he knows what his taxes are going to be, that he knows what his fees are going to be, that he knows what his regulations are going to be, not just in 6 months or 12 months, but for years, and that creates certainty.

I had never served in elected office before being sworn in as a Member of this House in January. I went from small business to Congress, and so I bring with me that understanding that, if government gets out of the way and if we can do what Americans do better than any country in the world, we will make our communities a better place, and, yes, because of our benevolence, we will make the world a better place.

It was a great disappointment when the President came to this Chamber and the President introduced his plan. I was saddened. Yes, there were some things that I agreed with that we need to do--the free trade agreements. We are still waiting for those free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. We're waiting. There was agreement on tax reform. There was agreement on payroll tax reduction to give small businesses more money, to give individuals more money on their paychecks. We agreed there. But if you look deeper into this bill, you will see, unfortunately, more of the same.

This jobs bill creates a brand new, permanent, government-owned bureaucracy. As a matter of fact, it's a corporation--the President's American Infrastructure Financing Authority, a solely owned subsidiary of the Federal Government. It is not time for the Federal Government to create corporations, corporations that have chief executive officers and chief financial officers, risk officers, chief compliance officers, chief operating officers, chief lending officers, general counsel, and boards of directors who are lending money--lending money--with terms out to 35 years.

Now, unfortunately, this is insanity. This sounds so much like the first stimulus--and the first stimulus, we know, with 35 percent of those funds having yet to be spent. We were promised our unemployment numbers would not go over 8 percent. As a matter of fact, the administration claimed that unemployment numbers by this time would be at 6.5. Well, we all know that is not true. As a matter of fact, in my home State of Florida, we're living with 10.7 percent unemployment, and, last year, we spent most of the year at 12--historic unemployment numbers.

Unfortunately, insanity, when you do the same thing over and over and over again, expecting different results, seems to be the order of the day; and that is not what the American people want right now. They want certainty. They want certainty to be able to work hard, to have honest dealings and to know that after they work hard and they're honest, that they will have a brighter future when they wake up tomorrow.

They deserve that. They deserve that and unfortunately this plan goes in the opposite direction. So it bothers me that with the regulations that we face, the cloud of uncertainty just grows.

Madam Speaker, I say in closing, business has never been asked to do more with less, and they clearly know less certainty.