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Press ReleaseWASHINGTON - Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was in no mood to celebrate today's passage of Senate Democrats' $1.2 trillion so-called stimulus bill.
Hatch said the wasteful bill, combined with the national debt ($10.7 trillion) and projected 2009 deficit ($1.2 trillion), could bury generations of Americans under a mountain of debt - more than $100,000 over 10 years for each U.S. household, according to some estimates.
"It is hard to feel good about such a bad bill," Hatch said following the Senate's passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. "Rather than work together to craft a bipartisan bill that would actually stimulate the economy, as our new president promised, Democrats have ramrodded through the Senate an unbalanced spending bill tinged with far too few effective stimulative provisions."
While liberals have dubbed the package by the Obama administration and Democrats another "New Deal," Hatch has his own moniker for it: "The Raw Deal." No matter how one crunches the numbers in this bill, he said, it adds up to a largely unfocused, undisciplined spending spree that will create or save too few jobs at far too high a cost to current taxpayers, as well as to their children and grandchildren."
While not wanting to sound like an alarmist, the senator made it clear that he and other fiscal conservatives are sounding the alarm. And they are not alone. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated the so-called "stimulus package" would save or create only between 600,000 and 1.9 million jobs by the end of 2011.
At a total cost of $1.2 trillion, including interest over 10 years, the cost to the taxpayer for each job created under the plan is between $632,000 and $2 million, Hatch noted.
"That is outrageous," he added. "Surely we can save or create jobs more efficiently than this. It is one thing to save jobs now, and this we need to do, but we should not do so by saddling future generations with so much debt."
Instead of focusing mostly on spending, the legislation should include provisions to help the economy in the longer run. For example, by reducing the corporate income tax rate, we would make this country the desired location for firms everywhere to start businesses and create jobs.
Other remedies Hatch recommended for the ailing economy include:
Making the research tax credit permanent to encourage companies not to shelf projects and keep well-paying research jobs in the U.S.; Providing tax relief to the middle class by lowering the 15 percent tax bracket to 10 percent and the 10 percent to 5 percent; Lowering the capital gains rate and boosting the capital loss deduction to encourage investment and job creation; and Doubling the carryback period for net operating losses to help struggling companies stay open and avoid laying off employees.
(Courtesy of Sen. Hatch's office)