Rep. Harris: “The President’s Insistence on Taxing and Spending Our Way to Prosperity Doesn’t Work and Won’t Create Jobs”

From the office of Congressman Andy Harris:

Today’s weak jobs report for June, along with a revision to the unemployment report from May which showed even worse figures than previously thought, indicates a stalled economy that has Maryland families, investors and businesses fearful of a possible double dip recession. With the national unemployment rate at 9.2%, and only 18,000 jobs added last month, it’s clear that a new fiscal policy course must be charted.

“It’s clear that job creators are concerned about the tax increases proposed by President Obama and Senator Reid,” said Rep. Andy Harris. “The President’s insistence on taxing and spending our way to prosperity doesn’t work and won’t create jobs.”

Since the passage of President Obama’s cornerstone economic policy, the Stimulus package of 2009, about 1.8 million American jobs have been shed at a cost of $1.1 trillion and the federal debt has risen to $14.3 trillion. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 150,000 new jobs need to be created each month just to keep up with the population growth. The economy is not growing fast enough to employ the nearly 14 million Americans looking for jobs.


  1. fogdog says

    I would like Harris to explain how he creates jobs by having an income over $300,000 as has just been reported.

    He does not want to increase taxes on wealthy people like himself. He wants the working and not working middle class to do without the health and retirement benefits he receives so he can continue to enjoy the benefits of a high income.

    For starter he could try to get everyone health insurance like he receives that we pay for with our taxes. Just remember how he screamed when he found out he was not covered his first month in Congress.

    He wants to cut our Social Security and Medicare because he does not want to pay his fair share of taxes. Just think how well you could live if you were receiving 1/3 of his income and had his health insurance.

    • fogdog says

      The newest member of Maryland’s congressional delegation, it turns out, might also be its most wealthy.
      Rep. Andy Harris, the Baltimore County Republican elected last year to represent the Eastern Shore along with several Baltimore suburbs, holds assets valued between $1.5 million and $4 million, according to annual financial disclosure statements by members of Congress that were made available to the public Wednesday.

      Harris, an anesthesiologist, appears to have surpassed Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, who is worth between $1.4 million and $3.5 million and has frequently turned up as one of the state’s most well-off elected officials. Because lawmakers report the value of assets in broad ranges, it’s impossible to assess actual net worth.

      Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, meanwhile, who also typically reports significant financial holdings, received a one-month extension to file his report.

      Harris’ disclosure statement shows that he earned $123,705 last year from Johns Hopkins, where he practiced medicine. The statement also documents $40,011 in salary he received from his time as a state lawmaker and $27,000 from his private medical practice, Tidewater Anesthesia Associates. A spokesman said Harris has taken a leave of absence from Hopkins but still sees patients at his practice in order to maintain his medical license.

      “It’s the second time that he’s taken a pay cut to serve his country,” said Harris spokesman Ryan Nawrocki, referring to Harris’ decision to join the U.S. Naval Reserve, in which he served as a commander.

      Rank-and-file members of Congress earn $174,000 a year.


      According to the survey, by the Centre for Responsive Politics, almost half of America’s senators and members of the House of Representatives are millionaires. A full 261 one of them, in fact. Meanwhile, a mere 1% of the rest of Americans can claim such exalted status.
      That is a staggering and crucial difference between America’s elected leaders and the people who put them there – and in some cases, “millionaire’ does even get near describing it. A startling 55 of the congressional plutocrats are worth more than $10m (and the database the CRP used does not even include the value of their homes). The richest is Californian congressman Darrell Issa, whose wealth lurks somewhere around $250m.

  2. noble says

    “it’s clear that a new fiscal policy course must be charted.”

    So let’s hear it? Where is it? Where is the masterful grand plan that will fix everything that’s wrong with the economy and deficit? Or is just easier to sit around throwing out statistics and complaining about what others do?

    ““It’s clear that job creators are concerned about the tax increases proposed by President Obama and Senator Reid,” said Rep. Andy Harris.”

    Clear from what? Clear to you? On what basis? It’s really amateur stuff to make statements without any supporting information.

    ““The President’s insistence on taxing and spending our way to prosperity doesn’t work and won’t create jobs.”

    Which is funny, because everything I’m reading now indicates the President is on board with pretty massive spending cuts, but the Republican leadership won’t even give up on the tiniest tax break for ridiculously profitable and wealthy corporations.

    “Since the passage of President Obama’s cornerstone economic policy, the Stimulus package of 2009…”

    Which was passed by CONGRESS (a Democratic one) in February 2009 and he took office on Jan 20th 2009. It was a bill designed to temporarily increase public funding of items designed to maintain or spur the economy. This is a astonishingly similar idea to what Reagan decided to do and raised the deficit at that time. The major difference is that he lowered taxes at all levels.

    In this case, Bush W. lowered taxes while he was in office, and the President has maintained those cuts. You forgot to mention that, huh? It appears what the President wants to do is maintain those cuts for lower and middle income, raise them on higher incomes (those who have done quite well despite the recession) and companies, AND large cuts in spending.

    So, when our families have a “spending problem”, what do we do? We seek to reduce spending. But when we have made all the cuts we can, we go out and get another job. That’s the increasing taxes part.

    There is always political will to lower taxes, and taxes now are at some of the lowest points ever, for anyone, people and businesses. Raising some taxes a little bit is NOT a crazy idea.

    The idea that we can ONLY cut our way to financial security is absolutely idiotic and can only be supported by a lobby heavy everybody-gets-what-they-want mentality that got us to where we are.

    This press release is a pile of garbage. Did one of the staffers get bored over the holiday weekend and feel like churning out a propagandist spew? It’s pretty clear that Mr. Harris seems to brought on some of the long time professional staffers that are permanently in Washington jumping from one elected official to another to make a living.

    Mr. Harris, if you really want to do anything other than become a Senator, enjoy your perks, and smile and shake hands the whole way, how about you get real by hiring some real people rather than hired guns, how about coming up with some kind of plans and making concrete suggestions rather than unsupported vague claims, and how about you grow a spine that gives you the strength to stand up and say we should do the unpopular things, telling people what they need to hear rather than what they want.

    Failure to do so will likely ensure your re-election. So what will it be? A stay in Congress of consequence, or a smooth greasy slide?

  3. says

    Every single independent economist would say that the reasoning provided by Congressman Andy “I Want My Government Health Care Even Though I Don’t Think Anyone else Should Have It And I Voted To Cut Medicare For Future Generations” Harris is bull.

  4. Builder says

    It is time we started calling you proud liberals what you really are…. Thieves. I am amazed at the sense of entitlement some of you have to other peoples money.

  5. MacG says

    Representative Harris supports a marriage between a man and woman only – that creates jobs, everybody knows that!

  6. Another Political Critic says

    I may not always 100% agree with Rep. Harris, but at least he tries to stay in touch. I am in Dutch’s district and he is completely invisible around here.

    • noble says

      I am in Dutch’s district also, and he’s invisible in the places he doesn’t need to be, politically speaking.

      Andy Harris does the same thing, it’s just that his job is easier because his district is more homogenous than Dutch’s.

      Dutch is not quite despicable, but he’s on a down slope. He does some good things that fly under the radar, particularly on foreign relations. Unfortunately, he’s got a agenda of party politics as well.

  7. noble says

    Here are some of the latest articles on the deficit reduction talks, from a variety of sources, that all basically say the same thing; the President offered a $4 Trillion cut plan with increases on taxes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations that Republicans rejected in favor of a $2 Trillion cut plan with no increases for the most well off:

    And here’s showing that those making over $250k a year make up about 2% or 3% of Americans:

    And I don’t like this source, but it looks okay and the graph is easy to read, but this shows clearly that tax rates now are at the lowest in about 70 years:

    So what have you got Mr. Harris? More BS PR?

  8. Joseph Smith says

    Apparently Congressman Harris didn’t bother to check with the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on his claim that the economy has shed 1.8 million jobs since 2009.

    According to the CBO, the economy “increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 1.6 million to 4.6 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise. “

    This estimate is backed up by several prominent economists, including Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody Analytics.

    The Congressman also fails to mention the millions that lost their jobs before President Obama even took office. The President’s first challenge was to stop the bleeding – this is what the stimulus did. The economy has been adding jobs since 2009 in the private sector but recent draconian cuts by Republican governors in several states has reduced state payrolls resulting in higher overall unemployment rates. Add to this the potential reduction of federal workforce payrolls and the jobs scenario going into 2012 doesn’t look pretty. Gee, who would benefit from that?

    The Republicans are deliberately trying to tank the economy just to defeat President Obama. Senator McConnell has said it’s his number one priority. Their only answer is to cut taxes but they fail to explain how, exactly, that creates jobs. Plenty of studies show that people in the upper tax brackets probably have spent most of what they want or need to spend, the rest is just piling up somewhere, probably overseas. Profits are at record levels now, what’s their excuse for not investing some of that back into the economy to ensure future profits?

  9. Porter says

    @Joseph Smith

    Obama’s stimulus created jobs at a cost of $278,000 per job and many of these jobs were temporary with others being government positions which are not accretive to economic output or the gross domestic product.

    You can say Obama has done a wonderful job and stopped a depression, however it absolutely untrue. Keynesian economic theory and practice do mot work and create greater economic problems like increased unemployment and inflation.

    The Obama presidency is a disaster.

  10. noble says

    I certainly wouldn’t want to step out onto the ledge of trying to defend the stimulus plan. But virtually everything our government attempts to do is full of waste and inefficiency, which is why is needs to be smaller.

    However, I don’t think *right now* is the time to undertake that endeavor. We need to maintain the economy, tighten the belt, work on the big untouchables like health care, SS, tax reform (because we can’t avoid it anymore), and when we finally have a handle on all that, shrink government to a more manageable size.

    One problem is that I don’t see very many Republicans running around Monday Morning Quarterbacking on Reagan for his Keynesian economic policies– in fact, many of them still tout them. I don’t even care if it’s right or wrong, just be consistent and don’t be partisan about it.

    The problem with thinking that lower taxes results in a better economy is that all the examples cited in the recent past don’t take into account that we have always traditional lowered taxes after a war (because they were raised which we haven’t done in these “wars”) and because after a war the economy was always in overdrive. The situation we are in now is nothing like that, and lowering taxes isn’t going to drive squat.

    We need to make the $4 Trillion in cuts and increase the tax rate on people trying decide between $500 pillows to sleep on at night.

    Obama is right in that now is the time for everyone to step up and do the hard things, because they need to be done. Stop trying to win the next election with every step you make.

    • Phil Dirt says

      Yes, we need to remove another incentive to work hard and become successful. After all, what jobs were ever created by rich people? (uh, besides all of them)

  11. Anonymous says

    Glad to see that Andy Harris can crib from an AP press wire without actually asserting any intelligence or innovation. Obama’s plan didn’t pass – his included increased tax hikes for the top 1% to fund further stimulus. Instead we’re stuck with the misery that the Republican Obstructionists have decided to impose on this great nation.

    Andy Harris and the rest of the Republicans LOVE the fact you don’t have a job. They are doing everything they can, including defaulting on US debt, to ensure it continues.

  12. Joseph Smith says

    Mr. Dirt,

    How exactly do you define “rich people”? I’m sure the hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs out there who have started their businesses with a few thousand dollars of savings or a home equity loan don’t think of themselves as “rich”.

    There’s a good chance that one reason why we aren’t adding jobs is because the most convenient form of capital to small businesses – home equity loans – has dried up due to the collapse of the housing markets. The banks are sitting on a pile of cash but refuse to lend – even to the most credit worthy. So, where are these “rich” people going to get the money to expand?

    This is where government intervention/investment can help in the short term. There is no shortage of need when it comes to repairing our aging infrastructure. Skimming a few pennies more from those at the top benefits all and would probably benefit the “rich” even more due to gained efficiencies brought on due to less “friction” in the traffic of commerce. Investment in infrastructure has a strong ripple effect – more engineers, skilled tradesmen, laborers, material demand – lead to growth in “feeder” businesses.

    Government is not THE answer but it is part of it and needs to be a part of the solution and not made out to be some “evil empire”. We are, after all, a government “of, by, and for the people”. Who’s fault is it if the “people” aren’t engaged in a real conversation about the facts and focused on solutions rather than trying to score political points?