In November 2014 our troops will return from Afghanistan. Wags have noted that "America has been at the shopping mall. The Army has been at war" . We have had over 30,000 wounded. Others have paid with their lives. The nation has spent a couple of trillion dollars. History can judge the wisdom of these wars. Many of those who served have made incredible sacrifices.
Economy & Budget
In the past few years, we have seen companies that are “too big to fail” drive us near the brink of financial collapse with their bad investments. Then, we watched as the government let hardworking American taxpayers bail out these failing companies. Since coming to Congress in 2009, I have tried to reverse these policies and ensure there is accountability for institutions that make decisions that risk our future prosperity.
The Senate will vote today on a proposal that will extend Bush-era tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans, but end the extra breaks that are due to expire at the end of the year for the richest 2 percent only (on their take-home income beyond the first $250,000). As a small business owner – my wife and I own and operate an auto repair shop with a dozen employees – I’m all for it. Especially the part about ending extra breaks for the top 2 percent.
Where do conservative firebrands like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and liberal stalwarts like California Governor Jerry Brown find common ground? Political icons from both ends of the spectrum agree it’s time to close the loophole that requires Main Street merchants to collect sales taxes from customers, while allowing most online retailers to offer tax-free shopping.
The Defense Department’s budget is going to be cut next year, whether through sequestration or through the regular authorization and appropriation process. Armed Services and Appropriations Committee members and staff are even now searching through the DOD budget looking for savings, and to find one that would have no adverse effect on national security, while actually providing a better response to natural and manmade disasters, would seem almost miraculous. But it is there, right in front of us: merger of the federal reserve forces of the Army and the Air Force into those of the National Guard. Our country can no longer afford to keep the distinct federal and State military forces, with their duplicative headquarters and inefficiencies, while depriving State Governors of the resources they need to cope with natural and man-made disasters.
"If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen." - President Obama, Roanoke, VA on July 13, 2012
Mr. President, I fundamentally disagree. In our capitalist system, businesses are created by an individual or group of individuals who have an idea for a product or service that others will want to purchase and, yes, so they can make a profit. This fundamental truth of our opportunity society is what built America, not government, bureaucrats, or mass armies of community organizers.
The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce supported the last increase in the federal minimum wage on July 24, 2009 and we believe another raise is overdue. The business owners I talk with every day say that, far from hurting their businesses, raising the minimum wage in fact helps small businesses and the broader economy.
A lot of what’s in Dodd-Frank was hotly debated two years ago, but there was nearly unanimous agreement in Congress that we had to make sure taxpayers would never again have to bail out a too big to-fail bank.
Just before the financial crisis, the largest banks’ assets amounted to 43 percent of the U.S. economy. At the end of 2011, the five largest banks’ assets had increased to 56 percent.