Richard Hudson: My week in Washington

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 05:16 PM

This week I had the privilege to attend the 57th Presidential Inauguration, and also the honor to provide tickets and visit with my constituents from North Carolina who attended the inauguration speech and festivities. While we are of different political parties, many of the visitors from our state who traveled up to Washington for this historic event mentioned to me issues that we all care about: the importance of working together, creating jobs and reducing reckless spending.  

Sitting on the inauguration platform for the President’s speech, I wanted to hear about how we could collaborate to revitalize our economy and secure a more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren. While the speech was peppered with phrases that we could agree on like simplifying our tax code, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and empowering citizens, I was extremely disappointed that his ideas for advancing these goals involve a bigger, more intrusive government.  However, what was most disappointing about the speech is what was left unsaid: That is, what the President intends to do about the $16 trillion national debt and the 7.8% unemployment rate.

With over 20 million Americans seeking full-time work and many thousands struggling here in the 8th District, it’s clear the economic recession is still in full force. The failure of the President to mention the need to create jobs and move our country to full employment is just wrong. It demonstrates that he has higher priorities than putting Americans back to work—priorities such as limiting our Constitutional freedoms through strict gun control measures that I will not support.

Did you know that it’s been over a year since the President’s jobs council has met?

I don't even have to ask if you knew that North Carolina’s unemployment rate is significantly higher than the national rate (and increasing) because I know you feel it throughout our communities.

Big government is not the answer to solving our recession. In fact, its crushing regulations, complexity, and bureaucracy slow economic growth and destroy jobs. Because of this, we are facing an uncertain climate that discourages innovation, expansion, and most importantly hiring.

Every day, new businesses struggle to get off the ground as they are forced to comply with rules that go so far as to tell them what type of light bulbs to use or whether their own children can work on the family farm. Small businesses spend roughly $10,500 per employee to comply with federal regulations—an overall regulatory burden of around $1.75 trillion annually. Many people don’t realize it, but small business accounts for 60%-80% of all U.S. jobs, yet Washington continues to damage this vital engine for economic growth by imposing unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape.

A few weeks ago, I traveled around the 8th District, meeting with job creators and employers to discuss how we can create jobs and stimulate economic growth in our community. I heard over and over again about how legislative hurdles have handcuffed our small businesses. I support any effort to limit the massive growth of government that brings with it burdensome regulations and new taxes. For this reason, one of my first initiatives when I returned from the listening tour across our communities was to co-sponsor the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require that any major regulation come before Congress for an up-or-down vote before taking effect. This will prevent bureaucrats in Washington-- most of whom rarely recognize the real world ramifications of costly red tape-- from needlessly saddling our local small business owners with unnecessary regulations.

Will this make everything better? No, but it’s a start— a tangible effort from Congress.

That’s more than I heard in the President’s speech.

Regardless of what was left unsaid, I remain hopeful that we can find ways to work together and create jobs—for the betterment of the 8th District.


— U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson represents the 8th Congressional District. He can be reached at (704) 786-1612.