Some Suggested Resolutions for the 112th Congress –
by Tom Collamore
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Every year I make new year’s resolutions, and sometimes I even keep them. The same could be said for Congress–the new leadership comes in with a long list of resolutions and campaign promises, but often goes out with many unfulfilled. Let’s think all the way back to January 2008–it seems so long ago–when the incoming leadership of the House and Senate pledged to focus on fiscal responsibility and getting the economy back on track. Instead they passed bill after bill that raised spending and created enormous new burdens on businesses—the folks who actually create jobs and hire people. It even took Congress until the last minute to make the crucial decision to avoid harming the economy, by preventing tax rates from rising. So in the spirit of the new year and the new Congress, here are some suggested resolutions:
1. First, do no new harm. Resolve to not pass any more bills that increase the taxes, regulatory burdens, or uncertainties for businesses. They’re having a hard enough time growing and hiring as it is.
2. Rein in regulations. The bills passed by the last Congress will result in thousands of new regulations. Resolve to use your oversight powers to ensure that regulations are created fairly, objectively, based on sound research, and with due consideration to their impact on job creation.
3. Find new customers. Over 95% of the world’s customers live outside the United States. Resolve to complete the work on our three unfinished trade agreements to make it easier for the world to buy from the U.S.
4. Keep the U.S. workforce competitive. Our future will be determined by the talent of our people. Resolve to continue educational improvements, and to make it easy for the world’s best to bring their talents to the United States.
5. Keep U.S. taxes competitive. Resolve to make the current tax rates permanent, and to lower the corporate tax rate–soon to be the highest in the world.
6. Fix those roads. (And sewers, and air travel system, and waterways.) Our economy runs on our infrastructure. Resolve to keep investing in maintenance and improvements.
7. Protect free speech. Democracy is not strengthened by reducing our ability to say what we think. Resolve to protect free speech rights for everyone.
8. Use your time wisely. You’re not going to be able to do everything you want, so resolve to spend your time on the important things that matter.
Come to think of it, that last one is a good resolution for all of us. Have a great new year’s.