6:15am

Mon May 14, 2012
Business and the Economy

Kentucky Congressmen on Economic Recovery

President Obama is chiding Congress for not acting on his slimmed down plan to spur economic growth.  Election year politicking is expected to derail this latest effort to get the economy moving in states like Kentucky.  The president laid out a “to do” list for Congress. He once again asked lawmakers to help lower interest rates on mortgages for millions of homeowners. Kentucky Republicans, like Senator Rand Paul, aren’t buying it.

“It kind of seems like a recurring theme that he tends to blame other people for the problems. He’s in charge of the country and things have not necessarily gotten any better since he’s been in charge. The deficit is going through the roof; we still have 12 million people unemployed. So I think he needs to explain what he intends to do to help the country, and I think more of the same isn’t going to work.”

A central plank in the administration’s new legislative push is to revive tax breaks for the renewable energy industry, which critics say unfairly gives renewables a leg up on fossil fuels like coal. Kentucky Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield supports ending a lot of the subsidies currently enjoyed by the clean energy sector.

“You know this country was built upon the private enterprise system where people invested their capital and the idea worked or it didn’t work.”

Besides energy, the president’s plan would provide tax credits to small businesses that hire new employees and the House has already acted to ease the tax burden on small firms. But Republicans still don’t seem to be on board with the president. That has Democrats, such as Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, accusing the G-O-P of playing politics with the economy.

“They’re not going to give him credit for anything that he’s proposed. Anything that he’s for – even if they were once for it or even if they’re still for it – they’re going to be against it. It’s a very discouraging attitude but that’s what we’ve seen again for the last 18 months.”

The partisan tit for tat is nothing new, and analysts expect the gridlock to persist through November s elections. That means the president and House Republicans will continue to see their agenda’s blunted. Voters will then be left to decipher which party is to blame for the sluggish economy