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Congressman McCarthy Working to Solve our Economic Challenges

Jan 17, 2008

Congress just returned to session and is in the midst of analyzing our current economic challenges. We didn’t need Washington to officially tell us that we are experiencing the fastest rise in gas and grocery bills in almost two decades. We have been paying those increased costs over the past year. In just one year, gas prices have increased on average 65 cents per gallon in Bakersfield and 72 cents per gallon in San Luis Obispo County, according to AAA’s California metro average. This means that some families in the 22nd district could pay about $700 more at the pump this year.






 San Luis-Atascadero-Paso Robles




 One Year Ago



Families’ health care costs also continue to rise by double digit percentage increases, all on top of a record high Federal, State, and local tax burden. In addition, families may see their savings decline as the value of their homes and 401k’s drop in value.

I will work to help bring my Republican and Democrat colleagues together and pass smart fiscal policies that will help create jobs and strengthen the economy. I applaud both parties for already trying to find common ground on tax relief options. I remain optimistic that Congress can:

(1) Help jump-start our economy through targeted tax relief for American families. Examples being touted are making tax relief permanent that is set to expire in two years or tax rebates to our families.

(2) Keep taxes on gasoline at current levels. Congress should not further burden families feeling the pinch of higher gas prices by increasing the gas tax on American families, as some Members of Congress have talked about. A proposed 40 cent tax increase on gas will increase financial burdens by taking even more money out of the pockets of American families.

(3) Work to create jobs by looking at options to better compete in the global economy. Lowering the tax burden on American employers can help spur investment in the economy and help create jobs. Currently, American businesses are burdened with a 35% tax on productivity, the second highest tax rate in world. This means that countries, like China, with a 25% tax on business have an upper hand over American businesses.

(4)  Remove inefficiencies from the Federal Government budget to offset the cost of tax relief.  Last year, non-Defense Government spending increased by $60 billion from $873 billion to $933 billion. Additionally, in the final government spending bill, totaling over almost a trillion dollars, there were over 9,000 earmarked spending projects. Of those earmarks, 300 were included in the bill behind closed doors, and never received the transparency and accountability to ensure they were worthwhile projects. Congress should slow the rate of growth in Washington spending so Congress can help prevent more deficit spending and shine a spotlight on all earmarks to ensure they don’t waste taxpayer money.

I look forward to hearing the President’s State of Union Address and working with him and a bipartisan group in Congress to strengthen our economy.