Coats Column: Take Steps to Grow Our National Economy
Senator Dan Coats
Poll after poll shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans think our national economy is on the wrong track. Unfortunately, this perception reflects the reality under the Obama Administration.
Today a smaller share of Americans are in the workforce than when the recession ended in June 2009.
Productivity has slumped and business expansion has slowed down significantly. For those Americans who have been able to obtain jobs, a larger share are working part-time. When adjusted for inflation, the median American household is still bringing home less money than it was before the recession began almost nine years ago.
Based on these facts, it is clear that the economic policies of the Obama Administration have not worked. Under President Obama, taxes remain too complex, regulations are tying the hands of job creators and the federal debt continues to rise at an unsustainable rate.
In three months, President Obama will leave office, and we must ask ourselves whether we are satisfied with the current economic trajectory.
I believe there are three economic policies that the next president and the next Congress must pursue.
First, we must reform our broken tax code. America has the highest combined corporate tax rate in the developed world at 39 percent, which puts American businesses at a disadvantage in the global marketplace. Small business owners face mind-numbing complexity and rates as high as 44.3 percent due to Obama tax increases. Reducing effective tax rates will help American companies retain their competitive edge in the face of globalization so they can expand and create new jobs.
Second, policymakers and the new administration must streamline and reduce burdensome regulations that are holding our economy back. The Obama Administration’s flood of red tape wastes time and resources, stifles jobs and new business startups and dampens economic growth. The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that the cost of these regulations is about $1.9 trillion per year. That’s about $15,000 for each American household. Smarter regulations would allow existing businesses to hire, new businesses to start and family incomes to grow.
Finally, we must address the growing federal debt. Over the years, President Obama has nearly doubled our national debt, racking up more debt than all his predecessors combined. We need to enact sensible spending reforms to mandatory programs, which combined with interest on the debt will consume over 96 percent of federal revenues in just a decade.
In our state, Hoosiers have seen that sound policies like these result in more jobs and a better economy.
Under the leadership of Governors Mike Pence and Mitch Daniels, our state’s economy has turned around. Pro-growth reforms that reduce taxes, regulations and spending have resulted in our state receiving Indiana’s first ever triple-A credit rating.
Let’s hope our next president turns away from the failed Obama economic policies and uses the Hoosier model as a guide.
Sen. Dan Coats is a Republican from Indiana.