U.S. Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-3):
"We're talking today about jobs and the economy, specifically the American economy and the Pennsylvania economy. In my career as a small business owner, I've had the opportunity and experience to look at a lot of different things over the years. Our business was established in 1953 and we are in our third generation. I don't know if I have ever seen another president that has more hostility towards American job creators in both his rhetoric and his policies. You look at what the president is doing, you can't be so hostile to businesses and you have to be friendly to job creation.
"The president started off by borrowing a trillion dollars for a stimulus package that just didn't work. You can't borrow and spend your way back to economic growth and you sure can't borrow your way out of debt. Twenty-three million Americans are unemployed, underemployed or have simply stopped looking for work. Long term unemployment is the worst in recorded history and the so called recovery is probably the most anemic since the Great Depression ended. The president has just piled layer after layer of new regulations on top of guys like me, job creators. Sadly, that's with a lot of new costs and responsibilities that make it absolutely impossible to hire new workers.
"This administration has been on steroids when it comes to new regulations, at four times the rate of the Bush administration. And in the president's view, he thinks that we'd be better off if we just had political appointees or government bureaucrats and not private job creators making the critical decisions when it comes to our economy. The president has used all of the tools at his disposal including the EPA to prevent the development of American energy and infrastructure. I have to tell you, that when you look at our country, we have been given gifts from God that no other country in the world has, when you talk about coal, oil and gas. And two things we don't talk about are tillable soil and potable water. This is a country that does not need to rely on anybody from outside our borders for our own success. But you can't do things like blocking the Keystone Pipeline that would have created 20,000 jobs and got those refineries back and got things going again...
"If it's really about fairness then fair means fair to everybody. We have pitted the business owners against the workers. Not the workers and the owners themselves, but a government that picks and chooses winners and losers and tries to divide us. You can't have that...
"The president has never managed anything, other than his own personal narrative, in his entire life. This is a person who has never actually worked in the private sector the way we have...He's never created a job, he's never run a business...He really doesn't have any plans to change course. He's going to double-down on these failed policies, if given a second term and for the sake of our economy this has got to be stopped. We have a guy named Mitt Romney who is going to stop hostility to job creators and get American's back to work..."
Pennsylvania Small Business Owner Bruce Hottle:
"I want to reiterate that we can't tolerate anymore of President Obama's hostility towards job creators. Small businesses, as everyone knows, are the engine of job growth in Pennsylvania and in our country. The free market is a fundamental part of our society and has worked for hundreds of years but President Obama just doesn't seem to understand that.
"I run a small business called Eagle Concrete Products here in Somerset County in Pennsylvania. I can tell you that our bottom line has been negatively affected by this recession. What's even more frustrating is President Obama's desire to add even more road blocks to job creation. We work with a lot of small developers, housing developments, strip malls, waterline products, sewer line products and so on. We've priced out, estimated the costs for numerous projects in Southwestern Pennsylvania and the owners of those projects put them back on the shelf every time the president comes out with one of his new programs or makes a speech where he attacks job creators and people who are willing to risk their capital to create jobs and improve our economy. It just becomes more difficult every day. One needs to look at the cash that American business have in reserve right now, I think its approaching $3 trillion. They're afraid to spend that cash because every time the president makes a speech, he's got...some new program or some new way of getting rid of our debt that puts it all on the backs of America's small businesses and job creators.
"The president has been absolutely hostile to job creators like me. We've piled on layers and layers of new regulations and it almost makes it impossible to hire new workers. The cost of adding someone to the payroll far exceeds the cost of overtime for existing employees. When we look at projects that we bid and how many people we're going to have to hire, what's it going to take to do the job, we price it out both ways: new employees with no overtime and one with our existing employees with overtime. Our workforce currently is the smallest it's been in the 35 years that I've been in business. Again the healthcare that the Congressman talked about, ObamaCare, that remains a big mystery, a big cost to us. I just met with my insurance providers and they can't give me an absolute cost or a direction of where it's going to go, is it going to go up or is it going to go down, what's going to happen to it. There is so much uncertainty in the market today, nobody really knows the affects it's going to be and how it's going to affect us in the coming years.
"Business like mine rely on infrastructure and energy to sell our products. I've got five trucks that deliver my products throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Obama administration's use of the EPA has created roadblocks upon roadblocks. The administration has blocked new oil exploration, natural gas and coal and other reliable forms of energy that reduce our costs and improve our productivity. We now have gas at nearly $4 a gallon, diesel fuel exceeding $4 a gallon. My fuel bill in the last four years on a month basis has gone from about 6500 a month to...$16,000 a month. For small businesses to survive, the key to it is controlling your costs and your bottom line. We don't know what those costs are going to be a month from now and that's what makes it difficult for us to plan and to expand our business and create more jobs and hire additional people. That's why we're so frustrated under President Obama, his lack of leadership and lack of the ability of his Democratic leaders in the Senate to pass a budget. The Congressman and the leaders in the House have done a good job providing seven budgets over to the Senate and not one budget has been passed in three and a half years. I can tell you this, a small business cannot operate without knowing what their costs are and putting together a budget. There's no way I can make it three and a half years of my business doing what we're doing in the country today.
"We've got to look to new leadership. We need someone like Mitt Romney who's been in the private sector, who understands the risks involved and knows how to move things forward. There's always risk and we understand that but sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but you have to be willing to take the risk. The government has to be able to get out of the way and let us take those risks...but every time you turn around all we're hearing about is how we're not paying our fair share, we've got to pay more..."
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