The following is an edited version of a speech Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., gave last week on the Senate floor:
History shows that sustainable economic growth starts with the private sector. So Congress and the Obama administration have a responsibility to create an environment where businesses can flourish and start hiring again, and that starts by pursuing a series of pro-growth policies.
First, in my view, Congress must rein in government regulation and stop passing burdensome mandates that come at the expense of that job creation. As I tour manufacturing plants and other businesses in Kansas, owners often ask: "What is the next thing coming from Washington that will put me out of business?"
Jobs in this country are undercut with each new government regulation, because it drives up the cost of doing business, erodes our global competitiveness and limits the access to credit that businesses need to grow.
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Second, Congress can spur economic growth by replacing our convoluted and burdensome tax code with one that is fair, simple and certain. When businesses know what to expect, they can better plan for future expenses and will invest in their companies and will hire new workers.
Third, Congress must open foreign markets for American manufactured goods and agricultural products. Across the country, thousands of Americans depend upon exports for jobs, including more than one-quarter of all manufacturing workers in Kansas. By increasing our nation's exports, we will create jobs and opportunities for all Americans.
Unfortunately, trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, for example, have been stalled for four years, and each day that passes we risk losing more of our market share to our competitors.
Fourth, for the United States to remain competitive in the global market, Congress must develop a comprehensive energy policy that allows for an ample energy supply that is both affordable and reliable. When employers have access to reliable energy supplies, they can spend their resources on hiring new workers rather than on those escalating energy costs.
To meet our country's energy needs, we must develop traditional sources of oil, natural gas and coal, encourage the development of renewable energy sources such as biofuels, wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower, and expand the use of nuclear energy, as well as encourage conservation.
Finally, Congress must reduce government spending to bring about this economic growth. Our failure to balance the budget will result in increased inflation, higher interest rates, fewer jobs and a lower standard of living for every American.
It is time for us to work together and pass a responsible budget to reduce our deficit this year, next year and far into the future. The plan should include significant spending reductions, a balanced-budget amendment to restrict Washington's future ability to borrow money that would put us right back in the mess we are in today, and one that addresses our long-term unfunded mandates.
If we confront these issues correctly, in a responsible way, businesses will succeed, profits will be made, employees hired, and Americans will again be able to live and pursue the American dream.