Note: This is the opinion of the writer and not necessarily of the Kentucky New Era. Let the community know your opinion about this topic and others by submitting a "Letter to the editor."

The president and the liberals who control Congress earn record low approval ratings, and it’s no wonder. For nearly two years, the American people have said they want their government to focus on jobs and the economy. And at every turn, the president and Washington Democrats have ignored the people, and pursued their own left-wing agenda.

First they passed a trillion-dollar stimulus bill that failed to hold unemployment down to the level they promised us it would. Instead, we got more spending, bigger deficits and double-digit unemployment in Kentucky.

Then they vastly expanded the role of the federal government through takeovers of the banking industry and the auto industry, and more red tape and regulations.

And over the protestations of the American people, they rammed through a health spending bill that will reduce choice and is already leading to higher costs for individuals and families. Six months after that bill’s passage, it’s clear a growing number of Americans want it repealed and replaced with common-sense solutions to lower costs.

Now the Democrats who control Washington are failing their constituents one more time by planning to impose steep tax hikes on small businesses — the very businesses that generate most new job growth and that we are dependent on to recover from this recession.

The consequences for Kentucky, were this tax hike to pass, are very real. According to a study conducted by the Heritage Foundation, over the next 10 years, Kentucky would lose, on average, 9,175 jobs annually.

The average Kentucky household over those 10 years would lose over $3,000 of disposable personal income. And Kentuckians would see their total individual income taxes increase by nearly $4.4 billion — that’s money that we could use to hire people and invest in local businesses, going to Washington instead.

For two years, the president and Democrats who control Washington have had it in their power to stop these tax increases from happening. Instead they have doggedly pursued their own far-left wish list, squandering valuable time while Kentuckians have suffered.

It’s not too late for them to stand up firmly against tax hikes on the small businesses that are critical to expanding our economy and creating jobs. If the president wants to have an immediate impact on hiring, he could begin by announcing today his opposition to these job-killing tax hikes.

America’s job creators have already been hit with higher health care costs, more federal bureaucracy and a financial regulation bill. Government should listen to the people and start focusing on more jobs instead of more debt and more taxes.

Senator McConnell is Kentucky’s Senior Senator and the Senate Republican Leader. You can learn more on this issue on his website: www.mcconnell.senate.gov or by joining his official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mitchmcconnell


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