Richard Hudson's week in Washington

Mar. 19, 2013 @ 03:56 PM

Early on, I learned that a job worth doing is a job worth doing right. My father owned a construction company, and every summer he would put me to work-- framing, roofing, and hanging drywall. He taught me a valuable lesson: don’t let hastiness dictate the quality of the outcome. Hastiness in construction leads to a weak foundation and a crumbling roof. While my job may be different now, the same rule applies. Being a legislator means taking the time to thoughtfully address the nation’s issues and lay a strong foundation for the American people.

My primary focus in Washington is on advancing policies that create jobs, and House Republicans have been putting forth credible and thoughtful efforts to succeed in creating long term jobs and careers for hardworking North Carolinians. Budget Chairman Paul Ryan introduced a budget that balances in 10 years and reduces deficits by $4.6 trillion over the next decade without raising taxes. The Ryan budget also improves our convoluted tax system by closing loopholes and consolidating tax rates down to two brackets: 10% and 25%, in order to create consistency and certainty for people. The House Republicans’ budget approves the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will create 20,000 direct jobs and 118,000 indirect jobs; it gives states flexibility so they can tailor programs like Medicaid and food stamps to fit people’s needs; and it repeals the President’s health care takeover, replacing it with patient-centered reforms.

In addition to introducing a comprehensive budget plan, the House passed two measures to empower the American worker. The Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act prepares capable workers with the training they need to fill “in-demand” job opportunities. There are 12 million unemployed Americans while 3.6 million jobs remain open, a clear sign that our current workforce development system is broken. The SKILLS Act consolidates job training programs at the local level, and eliminates roadblocks that prevent workers from accessing specialized job training immediately. The House also passed a measure to preserve work requirements for welfare programs, overriding the Administration’s decision to waive the important work requirements for welfare participants.  A permanent social welfare state robs a generation of Americans of the dignity of living off what they produce. We should give people the tools they need to lift themselves out of hardship.

Alternately, Senate Democrats have taken a different approach toward job creation. They believe that an immediate increase in spending (and deficits) will drive economic growth and prosperity. The problem is that the money for the increased spending comes from increased taxes, which takes an equal amount of resources out of the private economy, and therefore, stifles growth and job creation. The first budget introduced by the Senate in four years includes $1.5 trillion in tax hikes. They want a hasty fix to create temporary jobs through government spending, not a lasting one.

Job creation is too important to be muddied by poorly thought out legislation that doesn’t examine long-term effects and sustainability. Just like I learned years ago, hastiness is never worth sacrificing the success or quality of the output, or in Washington’s case, the success of the American people.


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