After years of bailouts, stimulus spending and government takeovers, taxpayers are stuck with the check for billions of dollars and a national unemployment rate that still hovers over nine percent. In some of the counties in the 6th District, unemployment is well into the double digits, and people everywhere are struggling to make ends meet.
It is clear that the old policies have not worked. It is time to usher in a new plan where free markets, free enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship are the foundation for economic growth and job creation. I came to Congress with a two-pronged approach to the economy: One, get our fiscal house in order, reducing government spending that is crowding out private investment and racking up debt. Two, roll back anti-job policies and regulations that make it harder for employers to grow and hire.
Already my colleagues and I repealed the onerous 1099 reporting requirement in the health care law that would have buried small businesses in paperwork. The House has already voted on multiple bills to expand access to American energy, which would lower gas prices for small businesses and families and create thousands of jobs.
Now with our detailed jobs agenda, we are addressing our economic challenges, getting government out of the way and helping job creators grow our economy. We will do this without raising taxes on working families and small business owners. With the economy in such dire straits, now is not the time to increase tax burdens on families or job creators.
In fact, the U.S. currently has the second-highest corporate tax rate among the developed nations of the world. Our tax rate is nearly 10 percentage points higher than the average of our international competitors. A small business owner I visited in Portland told me he constantly feels pressure to move overseas because of the lower tax rates and the better business environment in places like China.
That is why I support setting the top tax rates at no more than 25% for job-creating businesses. This would level the playing field with our competitors and help businesses like the one in Portland generate investments and create jobs here at home. Another way to help business owners is to get rid of costly government regulations that hold businesses back.
At a roundtable I held in Smithville, attendees from manufacturers to family-owned businesses all told me the same story: they are worried about costly government regulations that could sink their companies-I saw this first hand when I toured a local textile company in February. And it is not just Tennessee job-creators who are facing this -- government regulations are estimated to cost our economy over $1.75 trillion a year.
To solve this issue, I am cosponsoring legislation that would require a congressional review and approval of any proposed federal government regulation that will have a significant impact on the economy. Called the REINS Act, our bill would make the federal system much more like Tennessee, where the legislature writes a bill, agencies implement it, then the language comes back to the elected representatives to be approved. This would put an end to federal agencies and bureaucrats running amok with regulations that hurt American business owners.
From my visits with job-creators throughout the 6th District, these are the kinds of common sense, pro-growth solutions that businesses want out of the federal government. I have heard time and again how if Washington can get out of the way, businesses in Tennessee will grow on their own and create much-needed jobs. Too many Americans have been out of work and hurting for too long; I am committed to getting our economy back on track so Tennesseans can prosper again.
Diane Black represents Marshall County in the U.S. Congress.