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Turning our Economy into a ‘Well-Oiled Machine’

Mar 31, 2015

Turning our Economy into a  ‘Well-Oiled Machine’

Earlier this month U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew spoke in front of a group of CEOs in Manhattan and compared the U.S. economy to a "well-oiled machine.”

One week later he testified before the House Committee on Financial Services, on which I serve, and I told him his statement bothered me.

Taking into account stagnant wages, the lowest labor participation rate since Jimmy Carter’s presidency and a national debt of more than 18 trillion dollars, I explained I think we can do better.

First, we need to stop kidding ourselves and pretending our economy is recovering faster than reality. This means we must accept numbers that, while maybe not desirable, more accurately illustrate what is happening.
President Barack Obama has no problem claiming responsibility for a declining unemployment rate. He is correct that at 5.5 percent it is the lowest since 2008. However, it does not take into account those who have given up looking for work.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U-6 measurement, which includes discouraged workers and those underemployed for economic reasons, is twice as high as what the president publicly cites. I believe Washington must accept this hard truth if we really want to get serious about enacting policies that will truly transform our economy for the better.

To enact pro-growth policies we must repeal one size fits all regulations. While well intended, they do not work.  

Ironically, the federal regulations that were signed into law after the financial crisis of 2008 are crippling Main Street today.

My committee has estimated that $27 billion will be taken out of the economy because of the Dodd-Frank Act. Additionally, it will cost U.S. taxpayers $3 billion during the first five years of its implementation.

As a business owner of 44 years, I see firsthand the effects of Washington's failed policies on job creators every day.

Although Texas has one of the healthiest economies in the country, we have 115 fewer banks today than we did four years ago. The burden of Washington’s one-size-fits-all regulations is wiping them out.

Inefficient regulations are not just hurting community banks and credit unions but also the customers who depend on them. They hurt home buyers and home sellers. They impact the plumbers, electricians, local contractors and the hardware stores too – all of whom might benefit from the sale of a home.

At 2,300 pages in length, Dodd-Frank will force businesses to spend more than 24 million hours each year to comply with its first 224 out of more than 400 new rules. This cost of compliance is counterproductive when we should be encouraging investment in new research and more workers, but we should not stop there.

The United States must also become more competitive on the international stage, and American families must be allowed to keep more of their hard-earned money.

The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. It's higher than rates in the UK, France and Japan. We are simply not competitive in the global economy in which we live.

My plan, Jumpstart America, would lower the U.S. corporate tax rate to 20 percent and reduce personal tax brackets. It would incentivize American companies to remain in America. It would bring more businesses to the U.S., just as Texas attracts out-of-state companies to do business here.

As your congressman, and member of the House Financial Services Committee, I am committed to protecting the free market, personal choice and our individual freedoms.

As a business owner I have the experience to know what it takes to truly turn this economy into a well-oiled machine.