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Posted on December 01, 2010

Republican leadership is set to meet with President Obama’s economic team today to continue discussions about the Democrat’s pending tax increase. While Republicans are opposed to any tax hikes, Democrats continue to send mixed messages.  For several months, the White  House and the liberal leadership in Congress have signaled support to increase taxes on small  businesses and individuals making over $250,000.  However, according to ABC News, White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs today announced a willingness to preserve the current tax rates for all Americans for at least two years.  Republicans in Congress are eager to work with the President to stop any and all tax increases. 

The American people have made it clear that they are fed up with Washington’s out of control tax and spend policies.  With  the national unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, Americans are continuing to struggle to make ends meet.  Republicans and many Democrats both agree that a tax increase during a recession is not conducive to small business growth, who create over 70 percent of new American jobs.  Not only will these tax increases take much needed earnings away from Georgians, it will compound the problem by discouraging job creation.

As the TEA Party put it, the American people are Taxed Enough Already.  I urge the liberal leadership in Congress and President Obama to listen to the message the American people sent in November.  I assure you I will continue to vigorously oppose these tax increases and ensure that the American people keep their much needed, hard-earned money.

Posted on November 15, 2010

Less than two weeks ago, the American people made it clear they want Washington to cut back.  This week, Congress returns to Washington for the first time since September to consider unfinished business.  Unfortunately, with the liberal leadership still in control, it will be business as usual.   According to the Hill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to push for a tax increase on individuals and small businesses.  Liberals have attempted to cite deficit reduction as their main concern; however, their records demonstrate that tax increases do not translate in deficit reduction.  In fact, since January 2009, Democrats have increased taxes by $670 billion and instead of decreasing the debt, they simply increased spending. 
                       
With unemployment continuing to hover around 10 percent, I am opposed to raising taxes on any individual or business.  The truth is this tax increase will hurt small businesses and kill more Georgians’ jobs.  According to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation, small business owners will pay over half of the taxes raised by increasing just the top two tax rates.  With over 15 million Americans unemployed, it is negligent to raise taxes on small businesses that created over 70 percent of new American jobs.

In “A Pledge to America,” which the American people overwhelmingly supported, Republicans promised to oppose any tax increase on individuals, families and businesses.  I will continue to stand by the American people to ensure they can keep more of their hard-earned money.

Posted on October 08, 2010

The Labor Department today reported that the unemployment rate continues to remain above 9.5 percent.  Last month, 159,000 government employees lost their jobs while only 64,000 private sector jobs were created.  Let me put that into perspective.  When Speaker Nancy Pelosi took over the House of Representatives in January 2007, America’s unemployment stood at 4.6 percent, or 7 million individuals.  If we continue to only create 64,000 private sector jobs a month, it will take over 10 years to return to pre-Pelosi employment numbers.   Unfortunately, the Obama Administration considers these abysmal numbers a recovery. 

The good news is I, along with my Republican colleagues, have gathered several ideas from small business owners that would create jobs immediately.  First, we must do no more harm.  At the end of this year, small businesses will be hit hard with the largest tax increase in American history.  I’ve heard from numerous small business owners in the 10th District who explained they will not hire more employees because Washington has failed to eliminate the uncertainty for how this tax increase will affect them.  Small businesses create over 70 percent of new jobs in America, and if we only increase taxes on the top two percent tax rates, small businesses will still be responsible for picking up half of the tab.  In fact, according to the Heritage Institute, the tax increase could cost Georgians over 27,000 jobs.

Merely stopping the tax increase is not enough.  Businesses are struggling today, under the current tax laws, to create jobs.  We must provide additional incentives, such as those proposed in my JOBS Act and “A Pledge for America.”  The JOBS Act proposes a two year moratorium on capital gains and dividend taxes and a 50 percent reduction on self-employed, payroll, and corporate tax rate.  The Pledge also allows small business owners to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their business income. If we want businesses to create jobs, we must allow them to keep more of their hard earned money so they can afford to keep and create new jobs.  We have already wasted almost two years trying to spend our way to a recovery.  We cannot afford to wait another day.
 

Posted on September 23, 2010

During the health care debate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said we must pass the bill to find out what’s in it.   Six months later, the American people are finding out the law is falling short of its promises. For example:

• Health insurance companies have announced premiums are expected to increase by as much as 20 percent next year. 

• 1 in 5 seniors could lose their Medicare Part D plan.

• 1 out of 2 Americans who receive health care from their employers will lose it.

• Health insurance companies announced they will stop offering child-only policies due to uncertainty caused by the health care law.

 CMS economists announced that health care costs will increase by $311 billion and government spending on health care will rise to 21% of GDP by 2019.

• Fifty percent of seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plans.

• Doctors may drop out of Medicare because of the changes in Medicare reimbursement rates.

Sixty one percent of Americans support repealing Obamacare, and I have fought to translate their ideas into legislation. In addition to introducing a bill to repeal Obamacare, I am working with the American Center for Law and Justice, a public interest law firm protecting constitutional freedoms, to submit an Amicus Brief in support of a legal challenge brought by 20 states (including Georgia) challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. The Amicus Brief demonstrates that Congress lacks the authority under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause to impose Obamacare’s individual mandate. 

I understand our nation’s health care financing system is broken.  Unfortunately, the recently-signed health care law does not address the rising cost of health care, but rather it throws taxpayers’ dollars at it.  It is critical we do no more harm and repeal the unconstitutional law.  However, once repealed, I stand ready to implement real, commonsense reforms that lower the cost of health care and increase accessibility for everyone. 

Posted on September 20, 2010

According to a report published by Heritage Foundation, the Democrats’ pending tax increase could kill 27,134 jobs. Almost 2,000 of those jobs come from the 10th District of Georgia. Click on the images below to see the full text.

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Posted on September 17, 2010

Throughout our nation’s history, America has fought battles against other nations to preserve our freedom.  Today, America is fighting a new battle for freedom.  This battle is unlike any other.  It is a war within our borders.  This battle is being fought without weapons; however, it is critical that we do not disregard the importance.  The winner will determine whether we limit or empower our children and grandchildren.

For decades, our government has slowly strayed away from the principles established by our Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution to protect our God-given right to freedom.  Rather than strictly applying the Constitution as the Founders intended, radical judges have violated their Article III powers by legislating from the bench.  Meanwhile, Congress has expanded its powers far beyond those authorized in Article I, section 8, and as a result, our government has significantly grown in size and produced unsustainable deficits and debts. 

Over the past several years, the political discourse has revolved around health care, bailouts, the federal budget, financial regulations, and immigration reform.  Often times the debate is centered on the costs and merit of a new, government program.  While these topics may appear relatively and seemingly insignificant compared to a debate about freedom—do not be fooled.  A debate to expand the size and scope of the government is ultimately a debate about the future of our freedom.  The federal government imposing mandates on individuals to purchase health care affects your financial and personal health freedom.  And the federal government imposing regulations on state education systems is a violation of the 10th Amendment and negatively affects a school’s freedom to make the best decision for their students. 

Many of our problems could be resolved if we adhered to a strict, original-intent application of the U.S. Constitution.  Understanding that the Constitution is a stable document is the crux to restoring our nation.  If the Constitution is viewed to be ever-changing, it opens the door to wide interpretation by judges and legislators.  We cannot rule by whatever way the political wind blows.  We need something to guide our steps, and the Constitution is our compass. We shouldn’t loosely interpret the Constitution.  We should apply the Constitution as the Founders intended.

In order to fully engage in the battle to preserve our freedom, we must understand just how severe an attack our freedom is facing.  Constitution Day is a good opportunity to re-familiarize ourselves with the principles and limitations established in the Constitution.  We cannot begin to understand just how far our nation has drifted from the original intent of the Constitution if we are unfamiliar with its historical creation and its content. 

Freedom is not static.  If we are not willing to fight to keep it, we will lose it. Our Founding Fathers sacrificed so much to preserve our God-given rights, and we must continue to fight to ensure we do not lose them.

Posted on September 15, 2010

Democrats in Washington are scrambling to pass legislation that creates the illusion of assisting small businesses.  Over the past 21 months, the liberal leadership in Washington has killed jobs and increased uncertainty in the economy by supporting tax increases, health care mandates, and new financial regulations.  In an effort to cover their tracks, they have introduced a new “jobs plan”.  However, the business community cannot be fooled by last minute political stunts.  In an attention grabbing article titled,  “Business Groups to Fight Jobs Plans,” the Wall Street Journal yesterday explained,

“Multinational companies and small-business interests are working in concert to oppose some of the Obama administration's jobs proposals, including some that would raise taxes on big multinationals to pay for business hiring incentives. The Business Roundtable, once the White House's chief ally on business policy, has joined in recent weeks with the Republican-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the capital's main small-business lobby, to oppose major elements of the Democratic jobs agenda.  They say even a proposed $30 billion small-business lending plan, which initially won support from business groups across the political spectrum, isn't their biggest priority, given poor sales in a troubled economy.” 

Democrats control the House, Senate, and White House. They hold the keys to every lever of power in Washington, and for two years, they have had the opportunity to implement legislation that creates incentives for businesses to create jobs.  Instead, Democrats have repeatedly voted against our nation’s job creators. For example, every Democrat on the House Rules Committee rejected an amendment I offered to the health care bill that would have exempted businesses making less than $500,000 from all employer mandates.   If they truly want to assist our nation’s job creators, they should listen to the business owners.  Instead, they continue to do more harm as the largest tax increase in American history is poised to occur on January 1, 2011.  A tax increase during an economic recession is the wrong move at the wrong time.  Businesses, Republicans, and even some Democrats understand this.
 
If businesses are rejecting the Democrats’ “job plan,” it’s time to go back to the drawing board and consider legislation, such as my JOBS Act, which would provide real, economic growth by providing tax relief, not a tax increase.

Posted on September 13, 2010

As Congress returns to Washington this week, the Democrats’ pending tax increases remain the center of debate.  Currently, the largest tax increase in American history is poised to hit every American on January 1, 2011.  Democrats are fighting amongst themselves to determine which Americans will be affected by this increase.  While House Republicans support reducing taxes on every individual and business, the Obama Administration has announced its support to increase taxes on individuals making over $200,000 or $250,000 for those taxpayers who file joint tax returns.  The simple truth is small business owners will be responsible for picking up the tab of over half of the taxes raised by increasing just the top two tax rates. Given that they account for approximately 70% of all job creation, Congress should be looking to provide small businesses tax relief, not a tax increase.

A small business owner in Evans, Georgia contacted me last week to express her concern with the pending tax increase.  She wrote,

Years ago my husband and I started our careers with zero dollars in our pockets.  We worked for years, learned business skills and eventually - about 10 years ago - got up the nerve to start our own business. As with all new businesses, things were slow at first but we persevered, knowing that in the end we would succeed and prevail.
 
Flash forward to today.  We have steadily, despite the recession, increased our business revenue and we are now at the threshold of income that this administration deems “wealthy”… I would like to point out that we are in a position to expand our business.  We would need to hire one more person to do that.  In this big government, tax increasing, anti-capitalist, redistribution of wealth environment I will not expand.  The uncertainty and daily attacks on those who are successful in our nation have left me stunned and afraid. 
 
I am afraid that I will not be able to meet the tax burden being imposed on me.  I am afraid that I will not be able to meet Federal regulations and restrictions imposed on me.  In fact, I have considered moving the other direction and eliminating one of our employees in order to pay for the extra tax burden in 2011.  The money has to come from somewhere, right?  Again, this tax increase will affect the lower and middle class income groups.  Just to pay for our taxes, since we are considered “wealthy”.

…The federal government should reduce their spending instead of forcing me to pay for their inability to fiscally control themselves.

Georgians understand that a tax increase on small business owners will kill jobs, prolonging our nation’s economic recession, why can’t Washington?  I urge President Obama to heed the advice of his former budget director, Peter Orszag, and reconsider increasing taxes on all individuals and small businesses.

Posted on September 10, 2010

Health insurers confirmed conservatives’ concerns regarding the new health care law when they announced this week their plan to raise premiums.  Companies, such as Aetna and BlueCross BlueShield, explained premiums will increase between 1% and 9% due to new, costly mandates in the health care law.  The Wall Street Journal reported, “The rate increases largely apply to policies for individuals and small businesses and don’t include people covered by a big employer or Medicare.”  The article continues, “Many carriers also are seeking additional rate increases that they say they need to cover rising medical costs.  As a result, some consumers could face total premium increase of more than 20%.”

As the Wall Street Journal noted, this is a far cry from the 1%-2% increase predicted by Democrats.   Throughout the health care debate, my Republican colleagues and I expressed concern that a health care law that simply mandates people to buy a product does nothing to address the rising cost of health care, but instead, hurts small businesses and individuals already struggling to pay for their health care costs and other living expenses.

With unemployment still hovering around 10%, it is critical we relieve the burden on individuals and small businesses.  In an effort to repeal the Democrats’ job-killing health care bill, I have signed Rep. Steve King’s discharge petition.  If 218 members sign the petition, Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be forced to allow an up or down vote to repeal Obamacare.  In addition, I have also introduced my own bill that would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a bipartisan, health care reform bill aimed at lowering the cost of health care.   During the health care debate, Speaker Pelosi said we must pass the bill to find out what’s in it.  The majority of Americans opposed the health care law before Congress rammed it through and opposition has only increased since its passage.  It is time to listen to the American people, repeal Obamacare, and replace it with real health care financing reforms.

Posted on August 23, 2010

The liberals in Washington have developed a bad habit.  When policies fail to live up to their promises, they simply implement a new PR campaign. When the big-government stimulus failed to keep unemployment below the promised 8 percent, the Administration developed “Recovery Summer.”  After Washington rammed through a government take-over of health care, the Administration launched another campaign to win over the majority of Americans who opposed the health care mandate.  And now, small business owners can expect to be the next targeted audience for Washington’s latest PR campaign.

After spending months pushing legislation that increases uncertainty, regulations, and taxes on small businesses, The Hill today reports, “House Democrats are planning a coordinated effort to highlight the party's small-business agenda this week.”  It will take more than a PR campaign to make small business owners forget about the Democrats’ job-killing agenda.  Entrepreneurs in the 10th District of Georgia are already feeling the pain of the Democrats’ health care mandate, and they are hesitant to employ new workers with more ill-conceived legislation, such as cap and trade or the Democrats’ record-high tax increase, still pending.

Rather than create another messaging scheme, I urge my Democratic colleagues to pass legislation, such as my JOBS Act, that offers real relief and incentives for our nations job creators.  In order to spur the economy, I propose a two year moratorium on all capital gains and dividend taxes, and reducing the payroll, self-employed, and corporate tax rates.  Allowing job creators to keep their hard-earned money will protect, preserve, and create the jobs our nation desperately needs.