December 14, 2009 (Washington) – In a newsletter to his constituents, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) issued criticism of the Obama administration fiscal policies and called for changes to provide tax relief for Americans and help small businesses boost job creation.
“As 2009 comes to a close, we are all preparing and building hope for the future while still keeping in mind our shared experiences and lessons learned over the last year,” Hunter stated, noting that the economic decline has impacted millions of Americans.
“Unemployment figures nationwide, including San Diego County, remain at double digits as federal debt levels, perpetuated by an unwise tax and spend agenda in Washington, continue to grow,” Hunter continued. “Americans are growing weary of financial bailouts, job summits, so-called stimulus packages and other questionable initiatives that offer no real prospect for economic recovery. For all the action taken so far, as well as talk of a second stimulus package in the not too distant future, I join a strong majority of Americans in asking, “Where are the jobs?”
San Diego has been allocated more than $250 million in federal stimulus funds (a quarter of a billion dollars) thus far. However less than $2 million of those funds have gone to the 52nd Congressional district represented by Congressman Hunter, the newest member of San Diego’s Congressional delegation. The largest share (over $110 million) went to fellow Republican Darrell Issa’s district, followed by Democrat Susan Davis ($26 million), Democrat Bob Filner ($22 million) and Republican Brian Bilbray ( $12 million). For a detailed breakdown, see http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/2413.
Hunter plans to make jobs a key focus in 2010. A job fair that he hosted in East County in September was a “tremendous success” said Hunter, who added that he plans to host additional job fairs and community forums in the future. Watch for news of these upcoming events in East County Magazine or through the Congressman's website.
“The reality is that small business, not government, is the real engine of economic recovery,” said Hunter. “These are the entities that can create and keep jobs in our communities and therefore should be the focus of any recovery effort moving forward.” He faults the majority in Congress and the Administration for directing attention to healthcare reform (which Hunter terms a “job-threatening government takeover of healthcare”).
He also criticizes energy tax policies that he says “fail to encourage substantive job growth.” (The Obama administration contends its policies are designed to encourage growth in green jobs, i.e. shifting the economy toward sustainable energy policies while diminishing fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
Hunter supports alternatives centered on tax and regulatory relief for businesses and households, He outlined policies he plans to work to advance, though as a member of the minority party in Congress, he faces an uphill battle. Hunter’s goals include providing a 5% across-the-board income tax cut, permanently reducing the rate on capital gains and dividends, and allowing small businesses to tax a tax deduction equal to 20% of their income. He called for maintaining secret ballot protection in the workplace and making it harder for businesses to be sued for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance issues. In addition, he wants to repeal the alternative minimum tax, make unemployment benefits tax free, increase the child tax credit to $5,000, increase the tax deduction for student loans and qualified higher education expenses, and permanently repeal the federal estate tax. Hunter did not specify what programs he would cut to offset the lost revenues should such measures win passage, nor how reducing federal tax revenues might increase the federal deficit.
“These initiatives represent just some of the steps we can take to help stabilize our economy and get businesses hiring again,” he concluded. “I have also cosponsored other pieces of legislation in Congress that are focused on tax and regulatory relief for businesses and working Americans, including the Workforce Investment Protection Act, which will be introduced in the coming days. A Republican-prepared summary of this legislation can be viewed here.