Daniel Garza: U.S. Representative Candidate (TX-15)
South Texas Deserves Better
The 15th Congressional District in Texas holds unlimited promise, unlimited potential and we have shown we can measure up to any other region in America when the right environment is created for our businesses and farms to grow. But recently, as I have traveled from town to town in South Texas in my run for Congress, I have been hearing heart-wrenching stories of personal anguish and frustration. The poverty this area has endured will never end until we have an economic and jobs plan that will diversify our tax base and keep more money in the calloused hands of those who earned it.
The latest unemployment report from the U.S. Department of Labor issued the first week of February showed the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose by 8,000 to 480,000 in the week ended Jan. 30. The government made official what we already know here in South Texas – spending nearly a trillion dollars to bail out banks and wasting a full year in a misguided effort to take over our health care system has not done a thing to create jobs or economic opportunity for Americans who are hurting.
While expanding access to health care is important, but the debate has become a major distraction, somebody has to pay for “reform”. Imposing a health care mandate on every single American when one out of ten is out of work just adds another unaffordable cost to the long list of bills our families face every month, and does nothing to reverse the job losses. When South Texans are struggling to afford the feed for their cattle or new irrigation pipe, the last thing they need is one more bill from the federal government to cover the cost of their “free” healthcare.
As the President correctly noted in his State of the Union speech, creating jobs should be America’s number one priority. Communities across our nation are under significant economic pressure and with more people out of work that means we have less going into the community chest. Offer a handout and the hands keep coming, but offer a job and you help raise the community spirit and maybe just lift places like Hidalgo County from its last in the nation status with regards to median household income. South Texans deserve better than what we have been served.
We can bring about recovery if we focus on giving the employer community the clarity and the certainty they need to invest in themselves and their employees. We should promote multiple income streams so we aren’t reliant on just agriculture or natural resources. We must reduce the federal burden on families and open the door to allowing entrepreneurs and others to flourish. We need a robust energy plan that allows domestic exploration and an all of the above strategy. This may sound like simple ideals to achieve but it isn’t representative of how are leaders in Washington are behaving.
Our focus should be also be on cutting government spending to reduce the burden it places on our economy. We must make government smaller so that the private sector can grow, but this Administration seems convinced that making government bigger will solve our problems. So instead of paying off our debts we are taking on even more; instead of encouraging people to save, the Administration is enticing them to spend. Instead of directing our energies to generate private sector jobs, this Administration is focused on creating government programs and more burdens.
Remember, jobs are number one. Until we get that on track we should not be discussing a new energy tax, a new healthcare tax, or anything that adds burden to so many who are already under water. One of the first steps Congress should take is extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year. If you think things are bad now, wait until those automatic increases take effect.
If Congress is serious about improving the financial outlook of small businesses and working Americans, and those looking for work, they should extend these cuts immediately. There is no need to wait a full year and add to the stress and uncertainty we all feel. This should be a no-brainer, but let’s pray our leaders in Washington can act and not just make promises that can’t be fulfilled.
So if you believe that South Texas should be a beacon of economic prosperity, but has suffered the ravages of poverty for far too long under the current leadership; that America is the land of the free, but that freedom is under assault by the current growth of government; that Congressman Hinojosa promised to represent the 15th District, but has grown so arrogant that he ignores the voice of its people. And if you believe in a strong and healthy free market system, then join me. No one will work harder for the 15th district and to restore America’s greatness.