Congressman Jack Kingston | E-Newsletter
January 28, 2012 Click here to view this email in your browser
Congressman Jack Kingston
The State of Our Union
This week, President Obama delivered his third State of the Union Address during a joint session of Congress.  These are always inspiring events with the House and Senate united in welcoming the President, his cabinet, the justices of the Supreme Court and leaders of our nation’s military.

Tackling the challenges facing our country, however, will take more than words or pomp and circumstance.  The real test is not what was said Tuesday night but what can be accomplished in the days ahead.

I appreciate the President outlining his agenda.  I was encouraged to hear him endorse educational flexibility and his announced intentions to repeal overly burdensome regulations.  Some of the items he laid out have already been passed by the House but have been stalled in the Senate.  I hope the President’s words will encourage the Senate to take them up.

I was also encouraged to hear the President endorse an all-of-the-above energy strategy.  A good place to start would be reversing his misguided decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline that could increase our access to energy resources from Canada as opposed to more hostile nations like Venezuela and those in the Middle East.  He could also encourage the Senate to quit blocking House-passed bills to increase domestic energy production.

In his speech, the President called for us to “turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people back to work.”  I could not agree more which is why I have voted for several reforms to the unemployment insurance system that bring it back in line with its historic role of being a bridge to reemployment. 

That’s also why I introduced the “Ensuring Quality in the Unemployment Insurance Program” (EQUIP) Act which would require drug screening as a condition for unemployment benefits.  For many jobs, drug use is a disqualification for employment and I see no reason we should pay someone who renders themselves ineligible for work.

Of concern to me is the number of tax credits proposed in the speech.  No matter how well-intentioned, tax credits are the genesis of loopholes. Before you know it, only those with armies of lawyers and accountants can benefit from them while the rest of us foot the bill.

Instead of more loopholes and deductions, I believe we should move in the direction of tax simplification.  While I have co-sponsored the Fair Tax, I believe any proposal that makes our tax code fairer, flatter and more conducive to growth merits discussion.  Reforming our tax code is essential to reigniting the American economy – one Harvard economist estimated it could help us grow by as much as $5 trillion!

Where we can find common ground, I look forward to working with the President to advance policies that will put our country back to work and create a brighter future for generations to come.  Where he or others cling to failed policies or to the politics of division, I will continue to advance alternatives that will help restore the American dream.


Defense Cuts Announced
The Department of Defense has announced a dramatic reshaping of the military with significant budget cuts to achieve almost $500 billion in savings over the next decade.

While I have some serious concerns, I want to work with the Secretary of Defense to ensure that any reductions are implemented in a manner that will not erode our national security or further endanger our troops.  I will also continue fighting for new missions for the military installations in our district to promote their continued vitality and long-term strength.

What do you think?  Do you believe we should reduce our military budget?  Do you support the cuts announced by Secretary Panetta?  Weigh in by taking my online poll.

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Do you believe the military's budget should be reduced?  Do you support the proposed cuts announced this week?  Weigh in by taking my online poll!



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LATEST VIDEO


Watch as Jack discusses three ways to jumpstart the economy on the House floor.


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