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Enzi sets outline for a truly stimulating economic package

Short and long-term fix, tax relief, health care and education key areas

January 29, 2008

Washington, D.C. – As both houses of Congress discuss the merits of an economic stimulus package, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., laid out his priorities to stimulate the economy in the short-term to put money back in the pockets of Americans today. Enzi also proposed working on a long-term package that includes education, training and permanent tax relief.

A stimulus package should stick to a set of core principles that include: long-term solutions in conjunction with separate short-term fixes, health care aspects, permanent tax relief for individuals and lifetime education programs, according to Enzi.

"A stimulus package should not be a fiscal fun bag for legislators and lobbyists, but a tool to make helpful adjustments today and progressive changes in the future. It is important for my colleagues to keep in mind that if you have to increase taxes to pay for it, then it’s not a stimulus," said Enzi. "I applaud President Bush, Treasury Secretary Paulson and Congressional leaders for looking into ways to bolster our economy. Despite a few areas of concern, the American economy remains strong, competitive and resilient. I look forward to passing a stimulus package that will put a few specific programs and incentives into place instead of taking drastic steps that may have unintended consequences in the future."

Long-term Reforms in Addition to Immediate Fixes

"A short-term, targeted economic fix is what we need now but we cannot ignore the greater long-term needs of our economy. Ensuring a stable economy requires long-term plans, not just flash-in-the-pan fixes. Boosting affordable private sector health insurance, providing permanent tax relief and backing education are three areas where a long-term emphasis can provide benefits for many years to come."

Health Care

"Congress needs to be taking steps to do something about the health care crisis and we can do it by utilizing the private sector. By utilizing the private sector we can get health care for every American. The private sector will be what spurs the economy, not more government bureaucracy. Allowing patients and doctors to make the decisions themselves without federal intrusion will help jump start the economy."

Tax Relief for Individuals

"One of the main ways to help people in their everyday lives is to give them more money in their pockets. One of the easiest ways to do that is to stop weighing them down with taxes. One way to decrease taxes is to put the clamp down on earmarks dropped in at the last minute. These air dropped earmarks skirt the appropriations process without being subject to votes. Americans should be trusted to use their money to invest in their communities, create jobs and make the economy grow without the government taking their money and doing it for them."

Lifelong Education and Training

"I believe it’s a simple formula - the better our education system - the better the jobs Americans will get. The better their jobs - the better their benefits. The better their jobs and benefits - the better our economy will be."

"Not only do we need to be concerned about the skills workers bring to the job but we must provide workers of all ages with opportunities to improve and increase their skills over time. We must encourage economic development because if workers with the necessary skills are not available here, those jobs and companies will go elsewhere."