In the last few weeks, I’ve received a number of emails, letters and phone calls from constituents who are worried about the direction in which our economy is headed. I share your concerns, as we have yet to enter a phase of steady, self-sustaining growth.
While President Obama painted a somewhat sunny picture of our economy in a speech on his economic agenda this week, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that “few [economists] are predicting the kind of substantial rebound needed to quickly bring down unemployment, raise wages and insulate the U.S. from economic threats abroad.”
Our national economy is stuck in neutral. The Texas economy, however, is not. Throughout the recession, Texas’ economy has grown 71 percent more rapidly than the nation’s. Even within a booming state economy, our congressional district has stood out as a leader in pro-jobs policies, attracting a number of companies who want to build new facilities or move their headquarters to our hometown. As a result, Fort Worth’s unemployment rate is 6.3%, while the nation’s sits at 7.6% and Texas’ at 6.5%. What we’re doing in Fort Worth is working.
So, where do we begin on the federal level? Like we’ve done in Fort Worth, we need to create an environment where businesses and workers can thrive. One of the first steps must be to reform the U.S. tax code, which was set up over a quarter-century ago and has been littered with ambiguous rules and unfair loopholes. I am hopeful the House will act on comprehensive tax reform legislation later this year that will simplify the tax code and lower the overall tax rate for both businesses and individuals.
Often times when I meet with small businesses in our district, they share their continued concerns about government regulations. Unnecessary and costly regulations must be curtailed. I will continue to support legislation that seeks to undo onerous regulatory burdens on Fort Worth job creators.
Finally, as the Mayor of Fort Worth, I saw what government can do when it works the way it’s supposed to. We need the partisanship in Washington to stop and thoughtful collaboration to take hold. That’s something I’m working very hard to do as a Co-Chair of the Working Group for a Working Congress.
Our economy is very fragile right now. We just can’t afford any more setbacks. I am committed to finding a way forward for our economy and I believe the first step is to start doing things in Washington like we’ve been doing them in Fort Worth.
Member of Congress