The economic recession has left Americans little cause to celebrate. However, after closer examination of the state of our union today, we start to find a glimmer of hope in our collective future.
Last week, President Obama and his administration once again proved they are doing all they can to help America create jobs through the recent passage of the Small-Business lending bill.
The bill will provide tax breaks and other incentives to the sector of our economy that provides the most new jobs, yet have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn: small businesses. Specifically, it creates a $30-billion small-business lending fund, easing access to credit, and provides $12 billion in tax breaks to encourage investment, entrepreneurship and hiring. And it will NOT add a single dime to our deficit.
Up to now, our tax code has provided billions of dollars in tax breaks that encourage companies to create jobs in other countries. However, according to White House economist Jason Furman, eliminating these tax breaks and closing the corporate loopholes will provide an estimated $300 billion in new revenue.
But once again, the leaders across the aisle are saying no. Senate Republicans have held this job creating measures hostage for the last few weeks, urging, instead, of an additional tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. In fact, without the help of 2 Republicans who broke away from the pack and helped break the GOP filibuster in the Senate, this bill would not have passed.
So what made Republican Sen. George LeMieux of Florida and Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio wise up? Neither of them are seeking re-election.
At a time when small business owners are struggling to make payroll and holding off hiring, we need leaders who are not fancy to the political whims of an election but, instead, are concerned about helping the average American.
But if we can only expect leaders on the right to vote for progress in an “off-year” (when they are not concerned about getting votes), does that really account for a party truly concerned with Americans? Can we really count on the Republicans to help us through the recession after November?
It seems not.