Is Congress Missing the Big Picture?
It was refreshing to see Senator Marco Rubio (Republican from Florida) and Senator Chris Coons (Democrat from Delaware) appear on Morning Joe (MSNBC) this morning. They were promoting a new Job Bill (Agree Act)as an alternative to the President’s Job Bill that hasn’t gone anywhere. The key difference between the Senators’ Job Bill and the President’s is that this bill covers items that both parties can agree on, which in turn they hope will result in passage of the bill in both houses.
Senator Coons (D) and Senator Rubio (R)
This bill does provide some positive news for America. It does include items that would help the business community and job creation efforts, but it also shows bi-partisan efforts, which has been lacking in congress ever since Obama got elected to be President. Some of the highlights of the Jobs Bill are:
1) Extend 100 percent bonus depreciation through 2012 for the full cost of qualified investments such as equipment and property
2) Extend Section 179 expensing levels for small businesses through 2012
3) Eliminate taxes on certain small business stock through 2012
4) Extend the Research & Development tax credit until 2013, increase theAlternative Simplified Credit (ASC) from 14 percent to 20 percent, and makes the ASC permanent
5) Provide veterans with a tax credit equal to 25% of the fee associated with starting a franchise up to $100,000
6) Provide a five-year exemption from Section 404(b) of Sarbanes-Oxley for the first five years of a company going public, or for those below $250 million in total gross revenue (whichever comes first)
7) Eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrant visas and adjusts the limitations on family based visa petitions from 7% per country to 15%
8) Protect intellectual property by clarifying the Trade Secrets Act, and making it explicitly clear that it is not a crime for federal officials, in the performance of their duties, to share information about suspected infringing products with the right holder of a trademarked good
Notice a theme in this job bill? It costs money! It takes tax revenue away and it increases spending at the same time. Not something you’d like to hear in today’s day and age of $15 trillion national debt.
Now, I do give the Senators credit for putting forth a bill that actually has a chance of passing in congress and actually having a small impact on creating some jobs, but it doesn’t solve our financial situation. The Super Debt Commission
, which is supposed to provide us with a $1.2 trillion debt reduction plan by next Wednesday isn’t probably going to much better. Remember, their target is $1.2 trillion, which only amounts to $120 billion per year in debt reduction. Peanuts….when you compare it to the overall debt of $15 trillion and compare it to our annual federal budget deficit of $1 trillion over the past 3 years.
All these ideas (Job Bills, Debt Reduction, etc.) are nice starts and nice intentions, but they don’t resolve the big issues of annual deficit, which adds to the national debt. We need a bigger plan, which is why many house of representatives and Senators in the past few weeks have openly asked the Super Debt Commission to go big! I’m all in favor of it, but let’s do it right:
A) Tax Reform – cut tax rates, but close loopholes at the same time, which in turn will actually add revenue
B) Cut Spending – you’d be surprised how much money is being wasted. No, keep the E.P.A. Rick Perry, because nobody likes to light their water faucet on fire… Overhaul the healthcare system by replacing Medicare/Medicaid with private insurance regulated by the government for example
C) Combine # 1 and # 2 and create a 15% annual budget surplus. Use 10% to pay down the principle on our debt and use 5% to invest in our infrastructure
Now that’s thinking big…!
Share your thoughts/comments
November 16th, 2011 in Politics
| tags: agree act
, budget deficit
, deficit reduction
, jobs bill
, Morning Joe
, Senator Coons
, senator Rubio
, spending cuts
, super debt committee
, tax reform