Two years ago, President Barack Obama was bold in his optimism for job growth in America, promising that his stimulus spending plans would create 3 million jobs by the end of 2010. It didn’t work, the Obama jobs deficit now stands at 6.7 million jobs, and tonight the President will present a jobs plan chock full of new promises. Unfortunately, that plan appears to be a retread of the same policies that have blocked job growth in America.
The good news is that there is another way, and there are things the President can do to pave the way for businesses to create new jobs.
1) Do Less, Not More: For the last two-and-a-half years, we have seen the federal government spend more and regulate more. Instead, the government should step back and free America’s businesses to grow, thereby creating jobs. Heritage’s J.D. Foster writes:
At this stage the primary focus should be on government doing less to the economy in its attempt to do anything to spur recovery. The basic strengths of the American economy remain undiminished and undamaged by recent events. What is lacking is not smarter nostrums from Washington, but a chance to breathe, more clarity, and a respite from the flurry of “do somethings” that have spewed from the nation’s capital.
2) Restore Confidence, Eliminate Uncertainty: One of President Obama’s favorite talking points is that wealthier Americans should “pay their fair share” of taxes, threatening to raise rates on small businesses and investors. That rhetoric might play well in populist circles, but his calls for the redistribution of wealth at the expense of the most productive elements of the economy has a real cost–provoking uncertainty.
The President should stop proposing tax hikes and instead focus on instilling confidence in the economy. He can do that by pressing Congress to make current tax policy permanent or, at the very least, extend current policy until the economy returns to near full employment.
3) Get Spending Under Control: President Obama has tried massive government spending to stimulate the economy, and today we’re seeing the results. Deficits, 9.1 percent unemployment, 14 million unemployed, no new jobs created in August, and a reduced credit rating.
Instead of more spending, the President should focus on getting spending under control, reforming entitlements, and setting the United States on a fiscal path with greater economic certainty.
4) Eliminate Unnecessary Regulations: In the first six months of the 2011 fiscal year, 15 major regulations were issued with annual costs exceeding $5.8 billion. Since Inauguration Day, the Obama Administration imposed 75 new major regulations with annual costs of $38 billion. The regulations that are on the books–and the ones that are yet to come–drive up the cost of doing business, discourage investment, and leave businesses waiting on the sidelines until they have more certainty about their future. Instead of regulating more, Washington should end the regulatory assault, eliminate unnecessary regulations, and free our businesses to grow and create jobs.
5) Repeal Obamacare: The President’s signature health care law brings with it more spending, costly mandates and regulations, and higher taxes, all of which weigh heavily on individuals and businesses. Repealing Obamacare would go a long way toward getting America back on the job creation path. Heritage’s Nina Owcharenko explains:
Obamacare is perhaps the most damaging of the Administration’s policies that are impeding the country’s recovery. At a time when there should be a focus on cutting spending, reducing regulation, and lowering taxes, Obamacare does the complete opposite. It spends more, imposes costly new mandates and regulations, and raises taxes on individuals and businesses. This is no way to get the economy up and running again.
Today, there are 1.7 million fewer Americans working than when the President’s stimulus bill was enacted. Bigger government did not deliver on the promise of creating more jobs for Americans. And though many on the left see an even bigger government and more spending as the cure for America’s stagnant job growth, that simply has not worked. Instead, it’s time for the President and Congress to look away from government–not toward it–have Washington get out of the way, and allow job growth to return to the fruited plain.
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