NEW BREMEN — A local Congressman says a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the nation’s capital is preventing the economy from picking up and pulling out of the recession.
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, visited members of the Southwestern Auglaize County Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon to talk about the current climate in Washington. He touched upon a variety of topics including business growth, the debt ceiling debate and how to streamline the federal government.
“I call it the cloud of uncertainty hanging over everything right now, it’s just making it tough,” Jordan said. “You’re not sure what this Obamacare thing may mean ... There’s the tax issue that has to be decided by the end of this year.”
Jordan noted it’s that uncertainty that is preventing the “job creators” from taking risks necessary for the economy to grow. However, Jordan revealed throughout the 4th Congressional District there are jobs that are going unfilled.
“With all the uncertainty, there are still people looking to hire,” Jordan said. “Yesterday, at one manufacturer in Mansfield ... he said there are 300 manufacturing jobs ready for people — he just can’t get people to do them.”
Regulations also are hindering growth. Jordan said in order to promote economic expansion, legislators must get a handle on the copious amount of regulations companies must job through in order to conduct business.
“You have to have the right tax policy, you have to have the right regulatory policy and a common sense energy policy,” Jordan said. “And the last thing is the fiscal thing.”
Jordan also called into questions the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the “super committee” tasked with trimming the deficit. Jordan said he has gone back and forth on the committee but said he believed it may not be effective.
“If we can get some real tax reform that simplifies it and brings the overall burden down that would be positive,” Jordan said, noting the true “super committee” is the U.S. Congress. “One day I think there is going to be a stalemate — six Republicans saying let’s cut spending, six Democrats saying let’s raise taxes — and nothing happens. And the next day I think no, they will reach an agreement.”
Ideally, Jordan said an agreement would slice spending while not raising taxes on Americans. Those cuts, Jordan said, should extend out past the election.
“You’ve got to remember, this is not a promise from your spouse, this is not a promise from your pastor or priest, this is Congress promising (to cut spending),” Jordan said. “That’s the problem.”
Jordan spent the rest of his visit answering questions from the dozen people gathered at the forum. Questions ranged from tax reform to how to attract qualified candidates to full manufacturing jobs that are going unfilled throughout Auglaize County.