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A Stalled Economy is a Failed Economy

October 3, 2016
Weekly Columns
Every American should have the opportunity to pursue and achieve the American Dream. One of the most basic foundations of opportunity is American enterprise and the ability for citizens to enter the workforce. Our economy has seen its ups and downs throughout our history. But since this Administration took office, the economy has seen more bad than good.
 
Recently, Speaker Ryan released a report on the state of the U.S. economy, and the results and outlook were dismal. In its latest projections, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the U.S. economy will face very slow growth, if any, over the next decade. The current rate of growth at 2% will fall further to an estimated 1.85%, restricting American enterprise and providing little incentive for economic productivity. 
 
I recently read in a Wall Street Journal article that many Americans are becoming “cautious” consumers, meaning that people aren’t buying and spending as often, and becoming more careful with their purchases. Sales are going down, but prices are going up and consumer spending is stalling production. This, combined with unchanged wages and a lower labor participation rate, create the elements of economic stagnation. 
 
In the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for participation in the work force looks bleak as well. Since 2009, the rate has steadily decreased and now accounts for 94 million people who currently do not have a job and are not looking for one. And the Census Bureau reports that fewer people own their own home than in any time in the last 50 years.
 
According to the Labor Department, the growth rate of wages has essentially stayed the same in the past four years. Yet prices for goods and services, especially in the housing market, continue to rise. Higher unemployment, stagnant wages, and higher consumer prices have been a recipe for disaster.  And the President's failure to address entitlement programs, the largest driver of our deficits and resulting debt are evidence that he has been content to kick the can down the road, leaving the task of making difficult choices to his successor.
 
This president continues to try and spin a tale of economic growth and prosperity over the past 8 years. House Republicans have a plan to get our economy moving by reducing excessive government regulations on businesses, reducing taxes and reforming and strengthening entitlement programs. Americans deserve to have real opportunities to participate in a vibrant economy that allows them a shot at the American Dream. Let’s hope it’s not too late.
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