POMEROY — “It’s people like you who can get the economy going, not Washington,” said Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Ohio 6th District) when he addressed about two dozen business owners and community leaders gathered in the conference room of the new Farmers Bank building Tuesday afternoon.
Johnson was talking about small businesses and their role in job creation and how the government through inactivity or restrictive legislation creates uncertainty for business owners and hinders development and growth.
“We’re headed in the wrong direction,” he said. “Unemployment is said to be 8.3 percent, but in reality it’s more like 14 or 15 percent, and it’s small businesses that create about 60 percent of the jobs in America. Yet proposed legislation will hinder the development of small businesses.” He mentioned the president’s proposal to raise taxes on those with incomes of $250,000 or more, the people he described as the “job creators.”
“What we need is common sense regulations,” said Johnson, making mention of the steel manufacturing industry and the proposed environmental regulations on the use of certain production materials which if passed will result in the loss of many jobs and contribute to the economic decline, and also create a decrease in the production of materials needed for our national security. “It’s almost like we have forgotten what innovation means to our country. We can solve environmental issues as they arise,” he commented.
Johnson talked about the lack of compromise in Washington. “We’ve (House of Representatives) passed legislation and sent it to the Senate and it just gets filed away.” He said no plan or proposal comes back and without two plans (one from the House, the other from the Senate) there is no basis for negotiation. Johnson blamed the “bureaucratic red tape and the lack of opportunity for negotiation to the lack of action on legislation.
He specifically mentioned the lack of passing a budget and blamed it on the Senate’s lack of cooperation to give any consideration to a compromise. “We’re spending money that we don’t have, and we have to get the spending under control,” said Johnson. “We have to slow down the growth of government. It presents a security risk.”
The Congressman took questions from the audience which ranged from gun control, which he opposes, to the role of regulating agencies and the effect of their decisions on small business.