Madam Speaker, all jobs are needed now in the United States. We need jobs here and we need jobs now. Unemployment stands at a 26-year high at 9.5 percent.
And what is the response of Washington, D.C.? Government is increasing the costs on job creators. By the end of this week, Madam Speaker, government will have mandated that the price of the minimum wage will increase another $0.70 per hour. This comes when teenage unemployment stands at nearly 25 percent, nearly another record. Employers expect to be cutting more minimum wage jobs as a result of this action, not adding more jobs. Teenagers in my district are going from day to day to day, many of whom have given up now that it's the end of July, looking for work. Unemployment stands at a high for teenagers. They're competing with 40-year-olds for jobs at fast food companies.
So what else does Washington do?
Washington is passing a crushing debt burden on to the 19- and 20-year-olds with our $1.1 trillion stimulus plan. Clearly, the stimulus plan hasn't worked to create more jobs for Americans. Two million jobs have been lost since the stimulus law was passed earlier this year. The public was told that if Congress failed to pass the President's stimulus plan that we would see 8 percent unemployment. A lot of States today would love to see 8 percent unemployment.
Try the State of Michigan. Last week they reported their unemployment stands today at 15.2 percent. We can do better, so much better. We have before and we can again.
Let's ask every business owner in America, Madam Speaker, if it would help them if we would cut their costs of doing business with the Federal Government.
Let's ask the average American if they would like to see government take less of what they make. Let's see if Washington would allow the American people the freedom to reclaim their lives, rather than waiting for a Washington bureaucrat to give them permission to move forward with their lives.
This last weekend, I spoke to a Minnesota businessman who has created four dozen jobs in my district. He would love to provide health care for his employees, but he simply can't afford to. Why? It's because of the government mandates.
Do his employees go without health care? No, they don't. Almost all of them have health insurance either through a spouse or they purchase health care on their own.
What would his employees like to see? They would like to have help with the full deductibility of their health care costs on their tax returns; also if they could purchase health insurance in the same way they purchase their car insurance in a competitive, free-market manner. Many of them would like to see the increased use of health savings plans. They want to own their own health insurance because they want to be able to take it with them in case they want to be able to change jobs.
Madam Speaker, fully 77 percent of all Americans respond that they prefer their present health insurance. They like what they have, and they want to keep it, but they think, Madam Speaker, that they will be shocked if they learn that they could lose their private health insurance, and they would be shocked to learn if their only option would be the government as their only health decision-making.
Page 16 of the House Democrat plan that was revealed last week of the government takeover of insurance is quite a shocker. Page 16 says that no new private health insurance policies will be allowed to be written after the passage of the bill. Government insurance is expected to be subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of 30 to 40 percent.
Approximately 114 million Americans are expected to leave private health insurance. Why? Their employers will drop the insurance because the taxpayer-subsidized plan will be 30 to 40 percent cheaper. This action will collapse the private health insurance market, and then the Federal Government will own the health provider game.
The problem is that every American will have to hope that the government will act benevolently toward their cases. Why? Because government will be the only game in town.
We can do better, Madam Speaker. We have done better. We can take a plan that truly does represent compassion and that does represent the best interests of the American people by offering them freedom and true options.
155 Congr. Rec. H8304. (2009). https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/volume-155/issue-109/house-section/article/H8394-6.