by Susan Combs
As one year draws to a close, and we look ahead to the next one, most of us reflect back on what we did or did not accomplish. And then of course, we wonder about “what’s next.”
From the Lone Star Success perspective, things went very well for 2014 and we are off to a rousing start for 2015. And the momentum in Texas could be even stronger if we weren’t constantly fighting against the job killing headwinds coming from Washington and the federal government – regulatory change, tax modifications, and so on. So my hope for the New Year is that the folks in D.C. set ambitious goals that truly lead to job creation and expansion. When I read the stats about the percentage of the population that has a full time job, it is pretty dismal. Although in Texas we recovered all of our jobs in November of 2011, and have since added over one million more jobs, the overall US recovery from the Great Recession isn’t so great.
But there is hope that Washington rings in 2015 by starting a much needed conversation about tax reform with the goal of cleaning up loopholes, ensuring fairness, and giving employers a reason to expand hiring. Without jobs, families don’t move ahead, economic recovery slows and young people are stuck in their parents’ home for extended periods of time. I believe that if Washington follows the economic leadership of Texas, thousands of young people will have the opportunity to ring in 2016 in their own homes or apartments instead of their parents’ basements.
You see I, for one, am always an optimist. Being a rancher’s daughter makes me that way. My father’s income was subject to uncontrollable weather spikes and price fluctuations, yet he would always say “well, we’re one day closer to rain.” That is real optimism for you!
So let’s all urge and encourage the people in Congress to do what they can to rev up the economic engine and get us up and running. We are the United States, after all…and we do know how to do it better, most of the time.
I wish everyone a very Happy New Year and safe travels as we spend time with our loved ones.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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