Latta pushes more jobs, less government
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Monday, 29 October 2012 08:57
In his campaign to keep his job representing the Fifth District in Congress, Republican Bob Latta wants more jobs.
|Bob Latta (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
"What you want to do is this," he said, "you want to get as many people out there as you possibly can working. At the same time, they're paying taxes."
"We want to incentivize people to go out and create jobs," Latta said in a recent interview with the Sentinel-Tribune.
That means cutting taxes and regulations, and working to reduce government spending.
"A government job that's not going to create wealth," he added. "It's going to take wealth away from someone else to create that job."
First elected in 2007 to fill the unexpired term of the late Paul Gillmor, Latta is seeking to return to Congress.
He said he has spent much of the summer and fall on the road talking to constituents and visiting businesses. They tell him that they have "no incentive to go out and create jobs and buy machinery."
"'The harder I work, the more risk I take, the less I'm going to get back,'" is the message Latta hears.
And if returned to Congress, it's the message he'll heed.
That means pushing to have the Bush tax cuts for everyone, including those making over $250,000, extended. The cost in jobs lost - as many as 710,000, he claims - is not worth the money saved, which would only run the federal government for eight days.
"Let's get this thing extended for one more year, and let's go in and start reforming the tax code, reduce the number of brackets. ... Let's go in and say 'we're going to close a lot of loopholes out there' ... simplify it."
He said based on his conversations with constituents, taking away exemptions and loopholes would be acceptable if it makes filing easier. He did not specify which those would be.
Also needing adjustments is the tax on corporations - at 38-percent the highest in the world - and the alternative minimum tax, originally meant to pick up about 100,000 families, could hit more than 31 million people if it is not adjusted next year.
He also favors extending the estate tax at its current rate, rather than letting it rise back to where it was in 2001.
This needs to be paired with reductions in government spending. He opposed President Obama's stimulus programs and believed that the auto industry should have gone through standard bankruptcy procedures, "the law that's on the books," without the government funding the Bush and Obama administrations provided.
Latta also opposes the Affordable Health Care Act, which, he said, is another government program deterring employers from hiring.
Latta said that in cutting programs "everything should be on the table." He did not provide any examples of what should be cut, but indicated the cuts to military spending were not acceptable.
To start, he said, the 2008 budget should be used as a baseline.
Congress should pass a Constitutional Amendment to require the federal government to balance its budget.
Polls show that voters are increasingly negative about Congress, and its ability to get things done.
While that may be true for Congress as a whole, that negativity is not necessarily directed at individual members. "It's what you do in your district and what you do in Washington for your constituents."
Latta blamed the Senate for not passing budgets or acting on legislation initiated by the House. He dismissed the notion that Republicans' insistence on everything passing with 60 votes was the problem.
One bill the Senate did pass in July was a new Farm Bill. That bill, however, remains tied up in the House.
Latta said he'd happily vote on the House version of the bill, just so it could go to a conference committee and have any differences between the House and Senate versions hashed out.
The problem, he said, is when it came time to bring the bill out of committee there were not enough votes to pass it in the Republican-controlled House.
Latta is one of the most partisan members of Congress, siding with his party 99 percent of the time. "I wasn't going to vote with (former House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi to increase government," he said.