By THORNEY LIEBERMAN

CHARLESTON -- Our nation and our state are a long way from full economic recovery.

It is essential that our leaders in Washington enact sound legislative policies that prioritize economic growth and job creation right here in the United States.

Seemingly, Washington has spent too much time creating burdensome regulation after burdensome regulation all to the dismay of businesses of all shapes and sizes and the countless Americans looking for work.

Even today, there are those in the nation's capital who want to levy higher tax burdens on one of the few reliable and critically important industries in our country capable of employing hundreds of thousands of men and women.

There are politicians who want to repeal domestic and international tax credits for U.S.-based energy companies. In effect, this tax increase would create incredible economic uncertainty and stifle the industry's ability to create good paying jobs.

Many experts predict these increased taxes will lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic output here in our country. This seems counterintuitive during the harsh economic reality of today.

Moreover, these higher tax burdens would give foreign countries a competitive advantage in the energy industry because of these higher costs politicians would have US companies pay. Repeal of these tax credits for U.S. energy companies would mean fewer jobs created in the United States and possibly more dependency on foreign sources of energy.

Any business owner, small or large, will tell us higher taxes creates uncertainty for their operations and limit their ability to retain and create more jobs.

Our economy has suffered enough at the hands of politicians and Washington insiders who seem oblivious to the economic hardship permeating throughout the United States.

Repealing these tax credits is irresponsible and indefensible in immeasurable ways.

I believe the United States is still the world's best hope. I believe our industries, businesses and work force can climb from economic despair and once again provide incredible opportunities for our citizens. I believe it is time for Washington politicians to pursue policies that will not stand in the way of economic recovery and growth. They must represent the best interests of the United States and avoid irresponsible and illogical regulations.

Lieberman is an entrepreneur from Charleston.

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