Economic Development

Only a few short years since terrorist attacks and corporate scandals threatened sustained recession, our economy is back on track and enjoying one of the longest stretches of positive growth in recent memory. This remarkable recovery is due in large part to pro-growth policies and lower taxes passed by the Republican-led Congress since 2001. Data continues to indicate strong home sales, increased federal tax revenue, low unemployment and overall job growth even in light of on-going financial obligations to fight terror abroad and restore and revitalize the Gulf Coast.

The U.S. economy has enjoyed 36 consecutive months of job growth, creating more than 5.4 million new jobs since 2003. Employment has increased in 48 states, including Kentucky, allowing college graduates to enter the strongest job market in five years. The national unemployment rate has dropped from 6.1% in August 2003 to 4.7% in April 2006, lower than the average of the last four decades. New home sales are at record high boosting homeownership rates to 69% nationwide and a remarkable 73% in Kentucky.

Relief measures have helped taxpayers keep nearly $900 billion of their hard-earned money throughout the past five years. As a result, consumer spending is on the rise, stimulating business and helping the economy thrive. Increased consumer spending is also bolstering federal tax revenues, paying down the federal debt at a rate more rapid than economists had predicted.

Our revitalized economy has also spurred entrepreneurship and new investment in Kentucky. Our state now ranks fourth in the nation for its ability to attract new employers. This new diversified economy includes significant expansions of manufacturing facilities; healthcare facilities; and new service operations.

In Congress, I will continue to work on the Ways and Means Committee to address solutions to take the tax burden off American families, including lowering capital gains rates, extending the child tax credit and permanently ending the marriage penalty and death tax.

Legislation Supported:

• Voter for the Deficit Reduction Act that provided roughly $40 Billion in savings. Has been a long time supported of the Balance Budget Amendment. (S. 1932)
• Supported Bush tax cuts that stimulated growth, eliminated the marriage penalty, and increased the child tax credit to $1,000. The bill also provided tax relief for military families and households that choose to adopt. (P.L. 107-16)
• Supported Welfare Reform by ending a dependence on government programs and instead encouraged work that has led to a 50% reduction in welfare rolls. (P.L. 104-193)