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Across America, COVID-19 cases are down, vaccination rates are up, yet jobs remain open and the economy stagnant. With the pandemic all but behind us, business owners should have reason for optimism, but liberal policies pushed by the Biden Administration and its progressive allies in Congress have many proceeding with caution. This moment calls for the pro-growth agenda that cultivated the best economy in a generation before the pandemic, not the pro-government agenda that grows our debt and diminishes American competitiveness.
Before the pandemic, businesses were expanding, jobs opportunities were plentiful, and wages were growing fastest for the lowest earners. This is due, in large part, to an agenda that empowered innovators and entrepreneurs. The U.S. became a net energy exporter, new factories opened, and new businesses opened on Main Street. After a harrowing year, I believe that this economy can be ours again if we make the right decisions to empower growth.
The Biden Agenda, however, threatens to suppress the benefits of growth. Despite assurances that tax hikes only impact the wealthiest individuals and the largest corporations, common sense tells us otherwise. Studies show that 70% of the burden of corporate taxes falls on workers, meaning fewer new jobs, stagnant wages, and higher prices. The only jobs more taxes create are at the IRS. As Pennsylvania’s Revenue Secretary, I focused on creating more taxpayers by creating jobs, not creating more taxes as the Biden Administration and Governor Wolf propose.
Their Spend-and-Tax plans fail to leverage our strengths. In fact, a recent analysis by the Penn Wharton Budget Model projects that the negative impact of the enormous debt from Biden’s plans would outweigh their benefits and would actually decrease GDP.
In Pennsylvania, policies like this are why we have fallen to “Bottom 10” status among U.S. states, and the same economic gravity will erase American competitiveness. The Biden Administration’s climate goals would shutter Pennsylvania energy production, destroying thousands of jobs. Just recently, U.S. Steel cancelled a planned expansion in Mon Valley anticipating new “green” mandates.
This policy ignores that Pennsylvania natural gas has helped the U.S. become the only industrialized nation to reduce emissions and exceed the goals set in President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and the Paris Accords. In spite of this, Governor Wolf insists that our state should surrender a key industry and join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which independent analysis says will not reduce emissions but will export jobs to Ohio and West Virginia.
America is truly the land of opportunity, but the Biden Administration has demonstrated that if you create opportunity, they will tax it. The last year demonstrated the unparalleled resolve of the American People: healthcare workers combated the virus, families supported one another and struggling community businesses, and American innovation delivered safe and effective vaccines in record time. This can be a Great American Decade if we leverage these strengths effectively. To do this we must grow opportunity, not government.
Dan Meuser serves as U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District.