Last night I joined millions of my fellow Americans in watching President Obama’s State of the Union Address. much of the speech deserves our applause and appreciation. I am proud to join the President in honoring the SEALs who took down Osama Bin Laden and just yesterday saved an American hostage. Their incredible strength and resolve to protect this nation make us all proud to be Americans. Indeed, all of our fighting men and women, along with all military veterans deserve our utmost gratitude. Along with our Commander-in-Chief, I am honored to thank each and every one of them for their service to us all. Moreover, the President twice specifically mentioned the importance of bringing jobs and manufacturing back to Ohio. I could not agree more. We in the Second District, having the state’s highest unemployment rate, must work together to bring jobs back to Southern Ohio. The best way to do this is by strategically encouraging the private sector in ways that are prudent and fiscally responsible. But job growth is only one side of the economic problem. In order to have an economy that works for all Americans, we must have a taxation system that works for all Americans. This means fair taxation for Main Street Ohioans. I strongly support the “Buffet Rule” that would require all millionaires to pay a tax rate of at least 30%, rather than the rate of some wealthy individuals who pay less than 15%. I hope these revenues are used to decrease the tax burden of the middle class, to reduce our national debt, and to fund worthwhile job creation initiatives. However our problems cannot be solved by raising revenues alone. Congress must aggressively cut spending and reduce government intervention in many areas to ensure the fiscal security of our nation. Finally I want to address the critical issue of energy reform. Production of American energy has been a hallmark of Southern Ohio for generations. After an economic downturn and the collapse of Southern Ohio’s energy production infrastructure, we must restore the integrity of this vital industry in our region. My specific energy production plan for this region will soon be released here. We cannot do so by throwing good money after bad but by fundamentally reengineering the way in which we encourage energy production. This must include education, innovation, and stimulation of our power producing entities. Our president was right in saying that these are neither Republican problems nor Democratic problems but American problems. And we must find solutions that are neither Republican nor Democratic but American. I look forward to working with you as your Congressman and throughout this campaign to accomplish these truly critical goals.
Yours in Solidarity,