There’s much to do. For starters, Congress should take another crack at bipartisan negotiations to reduce the deficit following last year’s failure by the deficit reduction super-committee. The $1.5 trillion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin on January 1, 2013, does not address the core cause of our nation’s deficit crisis—runaway entitlement spending—and therefore is not a viable long-term solution.
Congress should tackle comprehensive tax reform this year. The need to act is urgent because the Bush-era tax cuts expire on December 31, 2012, resulting in tax hikes for millions of small business owners who pay taxes at individual rates.
Washington must avoid delay in developing domestic energy supplies. In particular, the administration should decide whether to issue a permit for constructing a pipeline carrying Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast long before its projected 2013 time frame for making a decision.
We need long-term transportation funding bills to create millions of new construction jobs and modernize our aging infrastructure. For years, Congress has failed to pass long-term bills, instead stringing together a number of short-term extensions that make it difficult for projects to proceed with any degree of certainty.
If members of Congress and the administration do what they were elected to do—enact policies that spark economic growth and job creation—they will likely discover that voters will respond positively to them in November. After all, good policy is good politics.
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