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Jobs and the Economy
“There’s no greater issue facing the country today than creating jobs and getting people back to work.” – Congressman Charlie Dent
If re-elected to serve the people of the 15th District in Congress I intend to focus my efforts on supporting and leading efforts to enact pro-growth, pro-jobs legislation. There’s a straight-forward common sense way to do this. Here’s how:
*Reform the tax code to make it fairer and simpler with less loopholes but with lower marginal rates across the board;
*Rein-in government spending, address our long-term debt and place America on a sustainable fiscal path;
*Reverse the present Administration’s restrictive energy policies and increase American energy production;
*Create a better regulatory environment by cutting through the red tape that is strangling small business.
Continued unemployment rates above 8 percent must stop. I have voted for 30 bills aimed at helping the economy recover and helping businesses rebound so that they can begin hiring workers. Twenty-seven of those bills sit in the Senate awaiting action.
I have been a leader in supporting pro-growth policies in Congress. My voting record demonstrates that I value small business people, entrepreneurs, hard workers and innovators. The United States Chamber of Commerce through its political arm has regularly endorsed my candidacies, as has the National Federation of Independent Business. I have also received the National Association of Manufacturers “Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence.”
I understand that those who lost their work are suffering right now. The unemployment statistics aren’t simply numbers the press talks about on the nightly news — they represent millions of people hurting and struggling. I know that the best thing for people without work is a growing, job-producing economy. However, I realize they need immediate help as well. That’s why I’ve held successful job fairs, to connect quality employers with prospective workers, as well as voting to ensure the unemployed get the assistance they need. People who have been displaced in this economy are our family members, our friends and our neighbors, and I am doing everything I can to help them get back into the workforce.
“I believe every American should have access to affordable health insurance, and no government bureaucrat should stand between you and your doctor. That’s why I voted against the President’s health care law and later to repeal it.” – Congressman Charlie Dent
The law that President Obama pushed through Congress will:
*Increase health care costs;
*Balloon our national debt;
*Cut over 700 BILLION dollars from Medicare (according to the Congressional Budget Office);
*Raise taxes by nearly 700 BILLION dollars;
*Result in the loss of over 800,000 jobs (according to the Congressional Budget Office);
*Stifle medical innovation;
*Insert the IRS and government bureaucrats into you and your family’s health care.
We can do better.
I have supported addressing the problem of health care access with commonsense proposals that fix the actual problem – not a “one-size fits all” Big Government approach.
In 2009, a group of my colleagues and I put forward the Medical Rights and Reform Agenda. This legislative initiative was designed to expand access, ensure affordability, lower costs, improve quality and foster innovation. This plan included elements like:
*Giving states, small businesses and other groups more purchasing power to band together and offer health insurance at lower costs through small business health plans, interstate compacts and catastrophic coverage plans;
*Providing families with more options by expanding consumer-driven coverage options such as Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts;
*Making sure those with pre-existing conditions would be covered through building on state-run high risk pools and/or reinsurance models.
We also dealt with the important subject of medical malpractice reform. A staggering amount of money is spent every year on treatments and tests designed more to protect against lawsuits than to protect the health of the patient. The health care law now in effect is over a 2,000 pages long, but you won’t find any substantive provisions to curb law suit abuse or enact medical malpractice reform.
Please know that I support protecting those with pre-existing conditions and offering greater flexibility regarding covering eligible dependents. However, the goal of increasing access to quality health care could have been met with rational, market-driven reforms that would actually drive down health care costs. It didn’t require the government assuming control of one sixth of the American economy, increasing health care costs, imposing 20 new and higher taxes, destroying 800,000 jobs and stifling medical innovation.
I will continue working to REPEAL the health care law before it can irrevocably damage our economy and our high-quality health care system, and will work to REPLACE it with commonsense reforms designed to increase access, lower costs and maintain quality of care.
Social Security & Medicare
“Since the creation of Social Security and Medicare, the Federal Government has made a promise not just to our senior citizens but to future generations as well. I will continue working to make sure that our government keeps its promise.” – Congressman Charlie Dent
The continued solvency of Social Security and Medicare is critical for the millions of Americans who rely on these programs and to the long-term fiscal stability of the U.S.
Projections indicate that Social Security will become insolvent by 2033. The projections for Medicare are even worse. In as few as eight years or as many as twelve the program will no longer be able to meet its obligation to seniors.
In other words, we’re running out of road down which we can kick the proverbial can.
Let me be very clear on two important points.
I DO NOT SUPPORT privatizing Social Security.
I DO NOT SUPPORT ending Medicare.
I DO SUPPORT maintaining current benefits, strengthening the program for generations to come and getting all Americans back to work because a healthy economy will mean a brighter, more stable outlook for both Social Security and Medicare.
Ensuring the future of Social Security will need to be done in a bipartisan manner. I have two very straightforward principles when it comes to protecting Social Security.
*Any action taken MUST NOT impact current retirees or near retirees (55 years of age and up).
*Any action taken MUST be decisive. It must guarantee many decades of future solvency.
Medicare is facing an even greater solvency crisis. President Obama’s health care law, which cut over $700 BILLION from the program (based on figures from the Congressional Budget Office) made the situation worse. It hurts both the benefits of current beneficiaries and further jeopardizes Medicare’s future. The impact it has on Medicare is just one of the reasons I voted against this law and then more recently voted for its repeal.
I have supported policies that will make sure Medicare is there, not just for our grandparents, but for our grandchildren as well.
We also know that our retirement security is not solely linked to Social Security or Medicare. People put away funds throughout their whole working lives to build nest eggs that will be there for them after retirement. I oppose raising taxes on dividends and capital gains so that you are not punished for your investments and can keep more of your earnings. A lifetime of hard work, thriftiness, savings and investment should be celebrated, not punished with higher taxes.
Spending & Taxes
“Every dollar that Washington spends is a dollar that Washington has taken from you and your family. I have a straightforward goal in Congress – make sure that Washington takes less of your money.” – Congressman Charlie Dent
Forty cents of every dollar spent by the federal government is borrowed.
There is no way we can continue spending at this rate without facing enormous damage to our standard of living and jeopardizing our children’s futures.
In 2010, I was appointed to be a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. The Appropriations Committee controls the outlay of funds by the Federal government. During my time on the Appropriations Committee discretionary (non-entitlement, non-defense) spending has been cut two years in a row, something that has not been done since WWII. In 2011 alone we cut spending by $95 billion.
This year, my colleagues and I on the Appropriations Committee have produced a package of bills that will bring domestic discretionary spending below the Fiscal Year 2009 level. The budget plan I supported would cut cumulative spending by $3.8 trillion over the next 10 years and begin the process of setting our nation on a sustainable fiscal trajectory.
I voted against both “Stimulus” plans that President Obama proposed because they were too costly, too unfocused and as we have seen, created too few jobs.
Since I was first elected I have supported and voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution to put restraints on Congress’s ability to spend money moving forward. In 2011 I voted for a policy that cut excessive spending and capped the future growth of government outlays.
Spending is only part of the equation. Keeping taxes low is the other part. I support comprehensive tax reform that eliminates special interest tax breaks, loopholes and preferences in exchange for lower individual and business income tax rates. Bringing about greater tax certainty is essential to restoring confidence needed to create jobs. That’s why I voted to stop tax rates from rising at the end of this year to protect against large tax increases for many families (as much as $2200 a year for a family of four making $50,000).
If we’re going to get our economy growing again it won’t be due to hundreds of billions of dollars in wasteful government spending. The economy will grow again when politicians in Washington enact tax policies that encourage growth. For example, I’ve voted to reduce the U.S. corporate income tax rate (the highest in the world) and stop an increase in the tax rate on dividends and capital gains. Washington politicians who say they want to increase capital investment to grow the economy, but then raise the dividends and capital gains rates are misleading the public. You can’t tax job creators, disincentivize investment, and then expect people to create jobs.
It is your money. You worked for it. You and your family need it and you should get to keep it.
Serving our Veterans
“The sacrifices of the men and women who wear the uniforms of America’s Armed Forces to defend my family and yours are many and great. We owe them a measureless debt of gratitude and the appreciation they so richly deserve.” — Congressman Charlie Dent
Since I first began serving in the Congress, it has been my honor to receive the endorsement of the political arm of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). I am also pleased that my actions in Congress have been given high grades on the scorecard sent out by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).
As a Congressman, I have cast many votes to assist veterans but none more important than the one to permanently extend GI Bill education benefits for veterans who have served since 9/11/2001. Spouses may also take advantage of these benefits.
I have consistently voted for training programs to help veterans find jobs. I’ve also supported programs to make sure that those of our veterans who find themselves without homes can find housing services and significant rental assistance.
I continue to support fully funding the Veterans Administration so that it has the personnel it needs to process claims and deliver care to our veterans across the country in both rural and urban settings.
It has been my personal privilege to meet men and women from the 15th District who are serving America overseas. I’ve visited with them while they’ve been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as at the sides of their hospital beds whether at Landstuhl in Germany, at Walter Reed or at Bethesda.
I am humbled by their courage and their patriotism.
“The saying goes that small businesses are the engine of our national economy. Like all engines they need fuel. That’s why I support an energy policy that includes more domestic production of conventional and alternative sources while embracing efficiency and conservation.” – Congressman Charlie Dent
During my time as a Representative in Congress I have been a strong supporter of opening new areas for energy exploration in Alaska and offshore areas. I have also opposed the Obama Administrations efforts to shut down drilling in the Gulf Coast region with ill-conceived drilling moratoriums.
America is blessed when it comes to natural resources. Not only do we have them in abundance, we are also technologically sophisticated enough to effectively and safely access and develop them. When the Federal Government restricts the development of domestic energy resources on Federal lands, they’re making us more dependent on unstable parts of the World for energy and denying Americans good jobs.
I support developing clean coal technology and research into technology that will allow us to develop engines that can run on hydrogen fuel cells and natural gas. I also believe that we should encourage the further development of nuclear power. I do support solar and wind power, but I believe it is wrong to mislead the American people into believing that they are a viable alternative without substantial Federal subsidies in the near term to coal or other conventional energy sources.
I voted to approve the construction of the Keystone Pipeline project. This construction project has the potential to create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs in the construction, energy and other ancillary fields. That the President of the United States would oppose this project with our Canadian allies denying us both the jobs, which we desperately need, and the oil itself, which will now likely be sold to China, remains incomprehensible to me.
We need a comprehensive energy policy that is diverse and focuses on developing American Energy and the related technologies that will power our country in the future. I am proud to be doing my part to lead on this key issue.