Today, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate rose to 8.2% in May, the economy added only 69,000 jobs, and the long-term unemployed rate rose dramatically from 5.1 to 5.4 million. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the economy grew at a 1.9% annual rate for the first quarter of 2012, a rate much lower than the 3% reported in the previous quarter.
Results of the most recent Long Island Economic Survey & Opinion Poll indicate that over 50% of Long Island businesses forecast no revenue growth and/or a decline in revenue for 2012. Additionally, 61% think we are headed for a double dip recession.
These numbers paint a bleak picture of the U.S. economy, and I am sure leave many of you concerned about what this means for you and your family. The sub-par GDP number, and the resulting increase in unemployment prove the ineffectiveness of the current strategy of using government as the economic engine in this country. Three and a half years after the start of the economic downturn, it seems the current administration, and our Congressman, do not understand the severity of our economic situation, or the solutions necessary to fix it.
In order to get people back to work we need strong economic output from the private sector. Small and large business surveys consistently identify taxation, regulation and legislation from Washington as the major factors, which make it harder for their business to grow and hire new employees. Real economic growth is driven by businesses working to compete and grow in the free market, not by government.
Pro-growth economic policies, in which government removes impediments to private investment, are the only way to put the United States back on the road to prosperity. As your Congressman, I will propose and support policies that reduce corporate income tax rates, employer mandates and unnecessary regulation, so Long Island businesses can grow and thrive and our residents can get back to work.