Strong economic numbers mean Congress has to pause spending

Strong economic numbers mean Congress has to pause spending
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The tide has turned in the economy. Jobs are coming back and Americans are returning to work. The latest figures make it clear that the nation is on the road to recovery, with a decline in unemployment. In staying with the trend under President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' MORE of surpassing expectations, the jobs report blew the predictions out of the water. Instead of 8 million additional lost jobs, as some estimated, gross employment rose by more than 2 million jobs, and unemployment fell to 13 percent. What could be next?

Let us see if Congress takes this great news to heart and uses some time to reassess its coronavirus response. The latest figures tell us that further spending is unnecessary. Workers and businesses across the country are powering the economy rather than corporate bailouts and aid packages. As the economy restarts, the need for more stimulus evaporates.

We are not out of the woods yet, as more spending seems inevitable. But Congress has to keep spending down and target funding where it will be needed the most, such as hospitals and health care facilities. At the same time, businesses will open responsibly. Americans get far less credit than they deserve for taking this pandemic seriously without all the lockdown restrictions. I am confident employers will take all steps to keep workers safe and protect members of society who face the greatest risk.

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To help speed our recovery, Congress has other fiscal options on the table besides massive spending bills. A payroll tax holiday and capital gains tax relief would give workers the help they need and businesses the freedom to operate. The coronavirus is a big gift to bankruptcy attorneys. We need substantial liability shields for businesses, or else trial lawyers will have a field day by sending even more businesses into bankruptcy. By providing businesses with a liability shield, we would be granting the much needed regulatory certainty to a country that is plagued by uncertainty.

Another fantastic option for lawmakers to spur our recovery would be the introduction of a capital gains tax holiday. Although the stock market has begun to rebound, investment has been incredibly stifled for the past few months amid the pandemic. As Jason Pye, our vice president of legislative affairs, explained, “A capital gains tax holiday for stocks purchased during the crisis and in its immediate aftermath will incentivize more investment and, in turn, help retirement accounts recover from the recent losses and supply many businesses with the necessary capital to expand.”

We have to let the private sector take the lead on rebuilding the economy rather than the central planners in Washington. If they are left unchecked, elected officials will continue to spend. Politicians love to spend taxpayer dollars as it is the easy way out. The coronavirus gave them the pretext to take more control over our lives. Massive spending bills continue to hand Congress and even unelected bureaucrats far more of the same.

The latest jobs report indicates that the nation has begun to rebound. As we predicted, restarting businesses worked, yet many states lag behind. Much remains to be done to push the economy back on track. Congress must take all these signs as evidence that future stimulus is not needed. But if spending will be inevitable, then it has to be done carefully.

Adam Brandon is president of the nonprofit organization FreedomWorks.