ASHLAND, VA – Today, Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-07) will discuss an economic growth plan during remarks at the Randolph-Macon College Legislative Leaders Series. Below are excerpts of Congressman Cantor's remarks, as prepared for delivery:
Madison and the Founders passed on to us a rich history of standing tall in tough times and going the extra mile to propel us forward. Whether it was the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution or the Internet Revolution, Americans are unique in our ability to apply creativity, intellect and leadership to solve any problem.
Now we face new obstacles as this country finds itself at a crossroads. Before us, is a choice about who we want to be as a country, and believe me, there is a choice. Here are the choices: Weak or strong, lagging or leading, shrinking or growing. Do we want to be a country where the people work for the government or the government works for the people?
Last year the Kaufmann Foundation released a study showing that so-called 'gazelle' companies – those three to five years old – create roughly 10 percent of all new jobs despite being only 1 percent of all companies. That top performing 1 percent contributes an astounding 88 jobs per year compared to an average company that adds just two or three. Gazelles mean more jobs. More start-up businesses mean more jobs.
But, instead of focusing on the goal of growing jobs in America again, Washington has been waging an all out regulatory assault that is blocking job growth and threatening our economic prosperity. DC is killing off the speedy gazelles and instead has produced a wounded lion.
My goal is to ensure Congress starts each day by asking “How can we make America a start up country again? How can we ensure we are a nation of business gazelles so that the students like those here at Randolph Macon can be assured the promise of the America ideal – that their life will be better than the generation before?”
Last summer, it was telling to see young people in France and Greece, and just this weekend in London, protesting against their governments’ decision to rein in benefits – even though those young people are years away from receiving them. Translation: very early in their lives, these vital young people are conditioned to rely and depend on the government for their livelihood and their future.
Meanwhile, last year in America, people from a wide array of political backgrounds took to town halls to demand an end to the explosive growth of government. Their desire: for our government to do less, not more.
Our team in the new Republican Majority is resolved to do something about this, to stop government from getting in the way of our economic freedom and prosperity.
To do this, we have adopted a two-track approach: “Cut and Grow.” The first part – “Cut” is obvious. We know that we have to stop spending money we don’t have and manage the money we do spend more wisely. The American people are tightening their belts and Washington should too. The “Grow” part brings us back to those gazelles – growing businesses that add new employees every month. Keeping regulators from running amuck.
We must make America competitive again by lowering the corporate tax rate to at least 25% - equal to our competitors. And we will do it as part of fundamental tax reform, which will minimize the impact on government revenues.
Forging consensus on this type of fundamental tax reform will take time, so in the meantime I propose that we allow U.S. multinational companies to bring back almost $1.2 trillion in overseas profits at a lower tax so they can invest in our economy here at home.
Over the next few months, this Congress will forge ahead with the passage of Free Trade Agreements that will help American manufacturers access foreign markets. We will, among other things work to establish, a national energy policy, and a patent regime that emphasizes American innovation – the lifeblood of our economy.
In America, whether you’re talking to the line worker in Lynchburg, the retired state employee in Richmond or the working Mom in Mechanicsville, all of them come from different places and different backgrounds. But each of them relies upon a simple and implicit guarantee – that the deck won’t be stacked against them in America. That if they work hard and play by the rules they’ll have a fair shot and the opportunity to succeed.
The truth is Americans will out-work, out-hustle and, yes, out-innovate the rest of the world. Individual initiative in the private sector has been and always will be the wellspring of America’s prosperity. We should nurture it, not stifle it.
Reclaiming the future will only be hard if we lose out to the bureaucrats, technocrats and would be autocrats punishing our progress. Fifty years from now, people will look at 2011 as either the year we began our comeback or the year that we continued our fallback. Let us resolve to work together to make sure that the future belongs to us.