CLARK PATCH: Lance Addresses Unemployment, Job Concerns at Clark Town Meeting
Congressman pinpoints three areas that need improvement to solve growing unemployment rate
• By Stephanie Musat
Posted November 10, 2011
Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ) focused on the job crisis during his town hall meeting, citing how a solution to unemployment can solve other issues plaguing America today.
In front of a crowd of 30 people, Lance leaned over the pews in the Clark Municipal Courtroom, and laid out how tax code clarification and health care and administrative rules and regulations could "provide a greater degree of certainty, particularly to help small businesses," he said.
Lance said seven of 10 jobs that will be created will be in small businesses, but half of small businesses abide by individual tax codes, while others follow corporate tax codes.
By establishing a standard tax code for small businesses through legislation, it will set a standard to aid the businesses with deductions and hiring, he said.
Lance also said administrative rules and regulations need to be clarified so the role of the government is clear about what it can and cannot decide on without citizens’ vote, and loopholes are closed.
In the last point of his trifecta, Lance said health care needs to be clarified, citing his opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care plan. Lance questioned its constitutionality and has sponsored a motion for the plan to be reviewed by The United States Supreme Court.
The three points together will tackle what Lance considers the most significant problem – the economy. His plan would provide the opportunity for individuals in the private sector better themselves to make a “stronger middle class that we desperately need,” Lance said.
Before taking questions from the audience, Lance explained that a super committee – made up of six democrats and six republicans equally split from the Senate and House of Representatives – is meeting to come up with a recommendation for at least $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction steps to be undertaken over a ten?year period.
The recommendation is due on Nov. 23.
“We will either have an agreement to vote on, or a turkey,” Lance said.
Lance said he hopes to vote in favor of the agreement, assuming he agrees with the stipulations, in order to kick-start America’s waning economy through tax codes and regulations and analyzing national programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Lance said he is not in favor of raising taxes in any way.
The meeting is the 15th town hall meeting he has hosted, which he hosts when he returns to New Jersey after serving in Washington D.C. Congress is in recess this week.
The congressman, who previously represented the 23rd district in the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly, fielded questions from local residents, ranging from No Child Left Behind to bonuses to executives in banks and corporations to the United States Postal Service financial problems.
For each question, he listened to the question, responded to the best of his ability, and in the cases that he could not, he answered with a political “if legislation gets to Congress, I will read it.”
Some members brought up concerns about direct deposit with Medicare, that would add a 1 percent tax to the check. Lance used the example to explain his personal political philosphopy which is that citizens should have choices, and said he opposes the mandatory direct deposit and taxation.
One audience member questioned Lance about the growing child poverty rate, which reaches 21 percent in America. The percentage – which covers nearly 15 million children – is higher than most other developed countries.
But Lance’s solution to the poverty rate stems back to his original three points that he introduced in the beginning of the meeting which will help create jobs and reduce unemployment.
“I would be pleased if unemployment was at 6 percent at the end of the year,” he said. “I would do a somersault if it did, but I don’t think it will be.”