Everyone agrees that the economy is in the worst shape since the Great Depression. A leading Utah economist says Utah's recession is the worst in 50 years. In October 2007, Utah's economy was producing jobs fast enough to rank the state 9th nationally. Just 14 months later, Utah lost 24,600 jobs. Home values are falling; health care and college tuition costs are rising. Doing nothing is not an option. Business leaders like Steve Appleton, CEO of Micron (whose plant in Lehi employs hundreds of Utahns) and the National Association of Manufacturers are calling on Congress to act. Helping people stay employed and providing more job opportunities are critical to stabilizing and eventually turning around this economic crisis.
I voted for the US House's version of the economic recovery package because I feel strongly that efforts to create jobs and cut taxes for thousands of Utahns are the highest priority. There is no easy or guaranteed way to address the severe stress facing our economy. Inaction will make the situation worse. Options must be on the table to lessen the duration of this slump for Utahns.
A centerpiece of the House bill is tens of billions of dollars for ready-to-go infrastructure projects, from new roads to school repairs. Half of the highway construction money must be obligated within 90 days and the other half within 180 days.
Utah has five National Parks. Studies show that for every $1 added to the parks budget to catch up on the enormous backlog of maintenance projects, it generates $4 for state and local economies.
The second important element is tax relief. Hundreds of thousands of Utahns, including many small business owners, stand to benefit from the tax cuts included in the proposal. Not only would Utahns keep more of their hard-earned money, the tax cuts could provide enough of a boost to businesses to avoid employee lay-offs.
I do not agree with all the proposed spending, some of which has already been eliminated. There is no such thing as a perfect answer to this crisis, but on balance it is important that Congress move the process forward.
Please take a moment to respond to the following brief survey. I am eager to hear your thoughts.
2nd District of Utah