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President Biden’s State of the Union laid out his economic vision for America. Regretfully, his proposals for the country are more of the same: more regulation, reckless spending, and less economic freedom. 

These policies have not worked in the past, are not working in the present, and will not work in the future. 

Americans prosper when they are free to find better ways to serve each other and struggle when the government puts unnecessary regulations upon them. 

Here are some ideas that would break barriers keeping the American people behind: 

End reckless spending and send inflation to oblivion 

Over the last few years, rampant government spending has ballooned the national debt to a jaw-dropping $34.6 trillion, which is around $100,000 per person. Excessive spending also caused historic inflation rates, forcing a typical four-person family to pay $11,400 more per year to maintain the same lifestyle they had in early 2021. 

The only way to put the inflation and national debt genie back in the bottle is to stop Washington’s spending spree. We must fix Congress’ dysfunctional and archaic budget process to do that. 

Here are some ways for Congress to control spending, debt, and inflation:

  • Create a comprehensive budget: Instead of debating 12 different appropriation bills that only cover 26% of federal spending, Congress should have an actual budget, one that puts all spending and revenue sources into a single, transparent bill. Taking this simple step would make great progress in fostering responsible fiscal management.  
  • Implement sensible budget targets: Balancing the budget over the medium term would support fiscal discipline and curb excessive spending while providing stable and predictable policymaking.  
  • Prevent government shutdowns: The Prevent Government Shutdown Act would streamline the budget process and make it more bottom up, averting recurring funding crises. 

Re-energize the economy 

There is no path toward reigniting the American Dream if we don’t have reliable, cheap, and abundant energy to fuel it. 

Americans cannot afford to pay more at the pump. If we want cheap and reliable energy, we need all the help we can get, including making full use of both renewable and fossil fuel energy.   

However, the president is picking winners and losers in the energy sector, doling out billions of dollars to green energy companies while viciously fighting the oil, gas, and coal industries.  

This false choice between renewable energy and fossil fuels is not helping America. It’s time for us to stop it. 

Here are some ideas for bringing cheap, abundant, and reliable energy to all Americans. 

  • Reform the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to streamline regulatory processes.  
  • Pass the RESTART Act to expedite energy project approvals and reduce production costs. 
  • Reform the Natural Gas Act to make clear that a continued flow of LNG to Europe supports private investment in domestic energy production and is in the public interest. 

Give Americans the freedom and flexibility to work how they like.  

Millions of American workers are not happy with their work situation. It is no surprise why: Nominal wages might have gone up, but real wages have not kept up with ever-growing inflation. Hourly real wages have fallen 2.5% since 2021, and weekly wages have fallen 4.5%.  

To make matters worse, millions of Americans cannot pursue their professional dreams because an intricate labyrinth of government regulations effectively tells them what, how, and when to work, preventing them from finding their unique skills and fulfilling their potential.   

People always do better when allowed to pursue their dreams and goals freely. People, not bureaucrats, should be the ones making their own career decisions.   

Here are some of the policies Congress can get passed to help millions of American workers have the career freedom and flexibility they deserve:   

  • Pass the Employee Rights Act, which would streamline employment testing and better ensure the right to pursue self-employment, protect small and local businesses using the vendor and franchise models, and ensure labor union laws have more transparent and democratic rules.   
  • Enact the Working Families Flexibility Act, which would allow private sector workers to choose to accumulate paid leave instead of overtime pay, a benefit that all federal employees already enjoy, but that is barred for private workers.   
  • Allow independent workers to choose their status without cumbersome government-mandated employment tests and allow them to acquire benefits like health savings accounts on their own or through businesses.  

Build up a new housing supply from the bottom up  

Owning a home is a key life milestone for millions of Americans. Yet, many young adults are having trouble finding a home they can afford.  

Throwing money at the problem will not solve it but will make it worse. If we want to make housing more affordable, we must make it cheaper for companies to build more homes. 

Housing, however, is not an issue that Congress can solve via a one-size-fits-all bill drafted on Capitol Hill. The solutions for affordable housing will come from the people closest to the problem. State and local governments (not Washington) have the best knowledge of the local barriers, needs, and regulations that must be reformed to promote more housing. 

Congress, however, can take some positive small steps to make housing more affordable: 

  • Enact the HOUSES Act to allow state and local governments to purchase federal land and utilize it for housing development.  
  • Pass the YIMBY Act to incentivize zoning and land use reforms that promote housing supply.  
  • Expand the Attainable Homeownership Through Manufactured Housing Act of 2023 to reduce regulatory barriers stifling housing construction. 

Building a strong and prosperous economy is possible. We need the government to respect people’s freedom to choose their path and fulfill their potential.