Fed policies ruin business opportunities, Scalise says

Sugar future brighter
October 23, 2012
Third-generation butcher ready for hunting season
October 23, 2012
Sugar future brighter
October 23, 2012
Third-generation butcher ready for hunting season
October 23, 2012

Rep. Steve Scalise is making the luncheon circuit as he campaigns for re-election. Representing Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District as it now stretches into Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes, Scalise has been familiarizing himself with business, government and higher education leaders of the region.

Last Tuesday, Scalise told members of the non-partisan South Central Industrial Association that federal policies have ruined small business opportunities and need to be changed.

Scalise faulted the administration of President Obama and philosophical conflicts among Congress as creating difficulties to pass meaningful legislation that benefits constituents. At the same time he noted the Restore Act – which the congressman sponsored in the House of Representatives – as one of the few measures by which Louisianans can look forward to receiving benefits.

“There are big challenges that our country faces right now,” Scalise said. “We need real solutions.”

Scalise told those in attendance that an upcoming lame duck session contains a fiscal cliff and if Congress completes 2012 without taking action, multiple taxes for every American will increase. “[This includes] not only personal income taxes, but corporate taxes, capital gains, death taxes …the mortgage interest deduction would go away. All these things hit if no action is taken.”

Scalise said Obama and presidential challenger Mitt Romney each back different proposals in their campaign jargon that ultimately could influence not only taxes, but energy policies, national debt and the domestic economy in general.

“We keep seeing these problems come up again and again, because no long-term solutions have come through Congress,” Scalise said. “Frankly, I think a lot of this can be answered with common sense. You don’t spend what you don’t have. [Congress] has got to balance the budget.”

The Congressman said 40 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government is borrowed money. He said that the budget had been balanced in the year 2000 while $1.8 trillion was spent by the federal government. Over the next 12 years, he said, the White House and Congress lost their way fiscally.

“Everybody complains about the partisanship,” Scalise said. “It is true. It is very partisan right now, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get things done.”

Scalise said opposing parties can come together to pass legislation – offering the Restore Act as an example – but said it cannot be done without effective leadership.

Scalise said in terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), no changes means Americans will be faced with a list of more than 20 new taxes. “The problem with health care is it costs too much,” he said. “Obamacare costs more [and] doctors do not want to continue to provide health care with the government putting a bureaucrat between the doctor and the patient.”

Touting Romney policy and budgetary ideas of getting federal spending under control with a 20-year plan, and claiming Obama’s budget failed to receive any congressional support, Scalise made a pitch for the man with whom he shares party identification. “[Rep.] Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) didn’t even vote for the president’s budget,” he said. “Not one person in the [House of Representatives or] the Senate voted for Obama’s budget. If you are a Democrat in the Senate you have not voted for a budget in two years. Then there are people that have not even been part of the solution. Is that responsible?”

Scalise said policies and procedures coming out of Washington have made small business fearful for its future. The Congressman faulted Washington with focusing on trivial matters while big problems have been ignored.

The three primary issues he said Congress needs to address, regardless of who is elected president on Nov. 6, include establishing sound tax policies, reducing wasteful spending and becoming business-friendly.

“[The federal government] has made it harder because of regulations,” Scalise said, “regulations that make no sense and are shutting down jobs.”

Scalise admitted it is easy to identify problems, but more difficult to implement solutions. He said answers for the federal government include tax reform, economic enhancement, establishing energy security, asking the tough questions and stop spending so much money.

“I thought it was important to hear the issues with the election coming up,” Jack Gabriel of Moss Oaks Properties said. “I’m not really on the fence, but it might have helped others decide.”

In terms of small business, Gabriel said that Scalise’s comments on tax increases were scary when thinking of the future.

While Scalise’s comments were directed toward small business, Manson Gulf Vice President Robert LeBlanc said many of the concerns apply to large companies as well.

“We are not considered a small business,” LeBlanc said, “but we have been impacted in the same way by the administration. We need a change in the White House.”

“It was everything I expected,” Terrebonne Parish Council Chairwoman and Terrebonne Parish Democratic Party Chair Arlanda Williams said. “It is a political year. We as Democrats and Republicans have to expect that each side is going to state their case. That is what [Scalise] did, and I respect it.”

Scalise and Williams agreed on one point – both Republicans and Democrats got the nation into its present situation and representatives from both parties must work together to improve conditions.

“We just can’t keep kicking the can down the road,” Scalise said. “Bureaucrats are in control. That needs to change. The details can get worked out [and] hopefully we will get there.”

Steve Scalise