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From the 8th district desk – 8.09.11

From the 8th district desk – 8.09.11

Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:01 pm
By: Stephen Fincher, Congressman

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics released its job report for the month of July showing that the U.S. added 117,000 jobs and unemployment dropped slightly to 9.1 percent. While these numbers show a slight improvement in job creation, for the nine percent of the country that continues searching for work – this is not good enough. We can do better and together as a country, we have to do better.  
President Obama promised that increased spending and regulations would bring much needed jobs to our country – but nearly three years later Americans continue to wonder, where are the jobs?  The policies put in place by Washington over the past few years have hampered our economy’s ability to grow.  
The increased and burdensome regulations put in place by the Administration have made it more costly for businesses to operate efficiently, and in turn have led to increased layoffs. In addition, Washington’s reckless spending policies have sent our budget deficit soaring and created additional uncertainty to the economic environment.  Business owners and job creators have become increasingly hesitant to invest and grow in an uncertain economic environment.  
Since I came to Congress, I have worked hard to turn these policies around in order to bring much needed jobs back to Tennessee.  I am confident we have the ability to create jobs, if we stop the reckless policies coming out of Washington.   Only then can we create a stable economic environment that encourages job creation and investment.  
One of the ways to bring stability back to our economy is to reduce the nation’s $14.3 trillion dollar deficit. This year, when President Obama asked Congress to give him a clean increase in the debt ceiling, I rejected that request and joined my colleagues to vote it down in the House of Representatives.
Instead, I favored a common-sense approach that would significantly cut and cap spending and introduce a balanced budget amendment to Congress.  
The reality of the situation, however, is that we currently operate under a divided government and many liberals in Washington would like to continue on the same course with their tax and spend policies.  But after much debate and negotiation, Congress was able to pass a bill that would cut federal spending more than it increases the debt limit, places a cap on future federal spending and advances a vote on a balanced budget amendment.  
This bill is far from perfect, and did not include everything I would have liked, but I also realize that this bill is a significant step in the right direction.   Six months ago, President Obama had hoped to pass a clean increase in the debt ceiling without any corresponding cuts to federal spending. Now, we have passed a bill that cuts more than it increases the limit, caps federal spending, and advances the balanced budget amendment.
Part of governing is legislating responsibly and making the tough choices in the best interest of West Tennessee.  My decision to support this bill was by no means easy. I spent much time listening to my constituents and weighing the positives and negatives.
While I had hoped for additional spending cuts and bolder action, I also understand that we could not simply play a game of chicken with the future of our country.  I made a commitment to our seniors to continue to protect their Social Security checks and Medicare benefits, to ensure members of the military continue to receive their pay, and to create a stable economic environment in order to create the jobs Tennessee so badly needs.  
I came to Congress on the promise that I would change the way we do business in Washington and use common sense ideas to put America back on the right path.  
Significantly cutting spending and reducing our debt in Washington is one of the important ways we can do just that. Our path to recovery is by no means easy, but I am confident if we can continue to put in place common-sense reforms in Washington, we can turn our economy around and finally bring those much needed jobs back to Tennessee.   
Editor’s note: Stephen Fincher represents the 8th District of Tennessee.

WCP 8.09.11

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