Posted by Randy | November 19, 2012
The term “fiscal cliff” was coined by Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, in early 2012, when he testified before Congress saying, “Under current law, on January 1st, 2013, there is going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases.” The phrase quickly gained popularity as a useful catch-all to describe a combination of year-end policy events including significant impending tax increases, sharp sequestration budget cuts, and the expiration of several stop-gap provisions ranging from doctor reimbursements to unemployment benefits.
Today, the term “fiscal cliff” dominates the local headlines, national news, and blogosphere. But what exactly is the fiscal cliff and how does it impact you? I have put together this primer to break down the fiscal cliff, to share facts on how these policies might impact you and your job, and to offer my views on how we can avert our nation’s most pressing and significant challenge.
Please share this primer with others that might find it informative. Then, weigh in below, take my instapoll, join the discussion on Facebook or e-mail me via my webform. Your voice is important. I look forward to hearing from you.
Posted by Randy | November 16, 2012
Rolls-Royce announced this week that they are investing $136 million for a second manufacturing plant at their Crosspointe facility in Prince George County, resulting in 140 new, highly skilled jobs. They will manufacture turbine blades for jet engines, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380. Sitework is scheduled to begin in December and construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2013.
Posted by Randy | November 09, 2012
As the end of the year approaches, so does the “fiscal cliff”: expiration of the Bush tax cuts and automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion known as sequestration are scheduled to take place.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report today: Economic Effects of Policies Contributing to Fiscal Tightening in 2013, estimating that significant tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect in January will sharply reduce the federal budget deficit, but also cause “a decline in the nation’s economic output and an increase in unemployment. “ Essentially, the fiscal cliff could drive the U.S. economy back into recession next year and result in a jump in the jobless rate to 9.1% by the end of 2013.
Question of the week: Which “Fiscal Cliff” issues are you most concerned about? (multi-answer)
( ) Rising income tax rates to 15, 28, 31, 36 and 39.6% from 10, 15, 25, 28, 33 and 35%
( ) Capital Gains rate rises from 15 to 20% for most people
( ) Automatic spending cuts to defense budget of $55 billion in 2013
( ) Reduction in the child tax credit from $1,000 per child under 17, to $500 per child under 17
( ) Automatic spending cuts of $55 billion to non-defense discretionary spending in 2013
( ) I am not concerned. These are all appropriate tax increases and spending cuts.
( ) Other (share your thoughts on my blog here.)
Take the poll here.
Posted by Randy | November 02, 2012
Today, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report for the month of October. According to the report, 171,000 were added to the economy; however, the unemployment rate rose from 7.8 percent to 7.9 percent. I thought you would be interested in reading a jobs update for Virginia’s Fourth District.
There is a simple truth when it comes to job creation in America: real solutions create real growth that generates real jobs. In order to make this happen, government needs to get out of the way and provide the freedom for small businesses to work, earn, and achieve.
All across Virginia’s Fourth District, we have industries that are ripe for growth. The memo provides examples of how industries in Virginia have flourished when we’ve applied that simple truth. The case studies also show the potential for even more growth when government acts as an enabler rather than a barrier.
Companies across the 4th District are adding jobs, such as Rolls-Royce at Crosspointe Park in Prince George County, Capital One Financial Corp. in Chesterfield County and Sabra Dipping Company in Colonial Heights.
You can download the memo here or by clicking the report below. You can also view a text version on my website here.
Question of the Week: With the Fed’s growing influence in the private sector, do you support a congressional audit of the Federal Reserve?Posted by Randy | July 25, 2012
Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (H.R. 459). The bill was introduced to address the Federal Reserve’s 2008 and 2009 bailouts, which authorized a total of $1 trillion in outstanding loans and the expansion of government involvement in the private sector, primarily to AIG and Bear Stearns. Although the Federal Reserve has released information about the amounts borrowed by banks and companies that utilized emergency programs, Congress has not been made aware of the factors and considerations weighed by the Federal Reserve in determining how and to which institutions to lend the money. H.R.459 does not seek to curb the Federal Reserve’s independence, but aims to allow Congress to perform its appropriate oversight duty, ensuring that credible standards guide the Federal Reserve’s decision making. Given the significant sums of money involved, we need more transparency into where and why the money was dispersed.
Question of the Week: With the Fed’s growing influence in the private sector, do you support a congressional audit of the Federal Reserve?
( ) Yes
( ) No
( ) I am not sure
( ) Other, share your thoughts below.
Posted by Randy | June 22, 2012
Government spending on regulatory activities has increased so dramatically that it is growing at a rate that has completely overtaken GDP growth.
The above chart makes it clear; federal regulations stifle growth and creativity. The burdensome cost of regulations disincentivizes prospective owners from opening small businesses. Our economy is suffering because of overspending on regulations, and it is clear that the cost far outweighs the benefit.
Question of the Week: To avoid a European-like fiscal crisis, which of these measures do you support to stop our exploding debt?Posted by Randy | June 14, 2012
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warned last week that U.S. debt is scheduled to reach 70% of the Gross Domestic Product by the end of the year and grow to nearly twice the size of the U.S. economy by 2037.
The CBO report says, “Over the past few years, the federal government has been recording budget deficits that are the largest as a share of the economy since 1945. Consequently, the amount of federal debt held by the public has surged. By the end of this year, CBO projects that the federal debt will reach roughly 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the highest percentage since shortly after World War II. Whether that debt will continue to grow in coming decades will be affected by long-term demographic trends (particularly the aging of the population), economic developments, and policymakers’ decisions about taxes and spending.”
To read the full report, click here.
Read the Wall Street Journal’s article here: Dire CBO Report Urges Fiscal Fixes.
Question of the Week: To avoid a European-like fiscal crisis, which of these measures do you support to stop our exploding debt?
( ) Reforming Medicare and Social Security entitlement programs
( ) Allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire
( ) Enact other tax increases?
( ) Government spending cuts (Share your recommended spending cuts below)
( ) Other (share your thoughts below)
Take the poll here.
Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | June 07, 2012
It was a pleasure to meet today with representatives from the Virginia Manufacturers Association to discuss tax reform and changes to energy and regulatory policy critical to rebuilding and strengthening American manufacturing. I recently released a Memo on Jobs in Virginia's Fourth Congressional District that, among other areas, focuses on the need to address regulation that is hurting manufacturers in our communities.
Additionally, I've cosponsored two bills to create national solutions to address manufacturing outsourcing. The Bring Jobs Back to America Act is a simple but powerful solution that seeks to bring outsourced jobs back to the United States in order to encourage job creation. It would comprehensively align existing federal funding, at no new cost, to organize a national strategy to rebuild America’s manufacturing industry, study incentives including tax breaks for companies looking to return jobs to the United States, and streamline the patent process for American research universities and bring innovative technologies to market faster. Specifically, the bill:
I have also cosponsored a bipartisan initiative called the National Manufacturing Strategy Act, which promotes policies related to our manufacturing sector intended to promote growth, sustainability, and competitiveness; create well-paying jobs; enable innovation and investment; and support national security. This bill also requires the President to submit a National Manufacturing Strategy to Congress during each presidential term.
Posted by Randy | May 30, 2012
This morning, the Heritage Foundation highlighted an informative study from the Centre for Policy Studies that articulates the benefits of smaller governments as opposed to larger bloated governments. The study defines small government as advanced nations with less than 40% of their GDP in government spending and taxation, as opposed to big governments with more than 40% of their GDP in government spending. This two-minute video sums up their studies in a great way:
I have always believed a smaller government is a better and more efficient model. The study confirms that small governments have faster economic growth due to lower taxes, encourage enterprise risk taking, and improve productivity. Over the last few years I have fought hard to ensure that we have a smaller government. I have consistently voted against all stimulus and bailouts and supported the Balanced Budget Amendment. Read more about my work on small government here.
Posted by Randy | May 16, 2012
The manufacturing industry in Virginia’s Fourth District is ripe for growth. We just have to create the incentive for businesses to come, including improving transportation and infrastructure.
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