Chattanooga-born Bob Corker, R-TN, is a senator who disproves the theory propounded by some on the left that all Republicans automatically “have it in” for Barack Obama. The fact of the matter, and Senator Corker embodies it, is if Obama acts in ways that truly make sense for America, Republicans will give him the credit he deserves.
Take August’s announcement that the EPA, through a White House directive, would withdraw implementation of their newest round of costly air quality regulations until 2013.
Corker was part of a bipartisan Senate group that appealed to the EPA to reconsider their new regulations – because of concerns over the negative impact they’d have on business and on state and local government.
The senators sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, asking her to take a second look at their statutory review. And reminding her that compliance regarding those new regulations would cost anywhere from 20 to 90 billion dollars yearly.
Obama and the EPA did indeed withdraw their regulations as a result, and Corker was happy to acknowledge as much. “I’m pleased the White House has agreed to withdraw these premature and burdensome rules,” he said. Then he explained just why that EPA withdrawal is most welcome right now. “Hyperactive regulations from Washington are adding to economic uncertainty facing consumers and business, and harming efforts to establish an environment for economic growth and new job creation.”
Throughout the often inexplicable and sometimes contradictory reign of Barack Obama (he says he wants to create jobs and then he tries to pass policies that impede sustained job growth), Senator Corker has long been an advocate for getting down to business – literally and figuratively – in America.
Corker’s primary point through it all is to stop the pain and the bleeding that our economic malaise is causing for so many unemployed or under-employed Americans. He was supportive of the White House move on the EPA issue because, as he says, “State and local governments, families and industries critical to the economy simply cannot afford the tens of billions of dollars in compliance costs.”
Such proactive involvement in government has always been a Corker trademark. A senator since 2006 (he’s up for re-election in November, 2012), he serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He’s also a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, Urban Affairs and Energy & Natural Resources Committees. For extra measure, he’s also a ranking member of the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging.
As you might expect, given Senator Corker’s attitude toward growing the economy for real, he was critical of Mr. Obama’s “jobs speech” on September 8th. Obama basically offered a mini-rehash of his failed Stimulus of 2009 – spending half a trillion borrowed dollars on futile, temporary measures and growing government to even more bloated proportions in the process. Corker’s take is different – and right on the money: “The government’s role,” he says, “should be creating an environment for private sector job creation.”
Senator Corker proved his perspective is rock solid with this statement: “The best way to deal with issues our country faces in the short-term is to focus on the long-term.” If only the president and his cadre could understand as much.
Corker offered a number of suggestions which he sees as essentials when it comes to establishment of a viable plan to create jobs and get our moribund economy moving again.
First and foremost (and consistent with his EPA stance) is to peel back unnecessary federal regulations – the ones that get in the way of job creation. He also calls for elimination of tax loopholes, and for lower (for an extended period) individual and corporate tax rates.
Also of major importance is to reduce the deficit in meaningful fashion. Corker would have the upcoming “super committee” work to cut at least $3 trillion in overall spending. In a related vein, he calls for a serious adjustment of America’s entitlement programs. Then there’s a need to get America less dependent on foreign energy – by producing more energy right here at home. And finally, he seeks free – but fair – trade agreements, ones that actually expand markets for American products.
Bob Corker has been a passionate, eloquent, reasonable voice in the Senate. His programs and ideas are sound, sturdy and sensible pillars for America to once again get moving in the right direction. He’s not simply for “change.” He’s for positive change to make American better. And he truly deserves a second term as Senator from Tennessee.