Today marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing the “stimulus” package. Even to its most ardent supporters, the so-called “stimulus” bill has been a disappointment.
Even Democratic Senator Bayh, who recently announced his retirement, said in an interview yesterday, “If I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months.”
Unfortunately, I believe that statement is true. After the Majority Democrats spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the stimulus bill, all we have to show for it is a higher unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent. While the stimulus bill failed to create net job growth, it did create more debt, placing a tremendous burden on our children and our grandchildren.
At a recent House Education and Labor committee hearing, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Congressional Democrats continued to defend the Obama Administration's job-killing agenda despite double-digit unemployment and widespread economic uncertainty. Secretary Solis’ testimony, delivered during her first ever appearance before the House Education and Labor Committee, came on the heels of President Obama’s announcement that the White House would make jobs its number one focus in 2010 after a year in which Democrats’ “stimulus” package has failed to achieve its promised job creation.
As a Member of the House Education and Labor Committee, I had the opportunity to present the real-life struggles many are facing in East Tennessee to Secretary Solis. I've heard from many small businesses in Tennessee that do not have access to capital and haven't seen any positive effects from the stimulus bill.
I explained to Secretary Solis why I opposed legislation presented by the Administration that are currently creating uncertainty, and if passed, could result in massive job loss. Of those include: the Affordable Health Care for America Act (health care reform), the American Clean Energy and Security Act (cap-and-trade proposal) and the Employee Free Choice Act (card check). I truly believe these specific bills will only result in more devastating job loss.
During questioning, I told Secretary Solis the following:
“Small business aren't hiring, and why aren't they hiring?
“Number one, they don't know what the going-forward costs are going to be. They don't know what Card Check is going to cost them. They don't know what their health care costs are going to be and the carbon tax, they don't know what their costs are going to be. If they had that knowledge, they might be able to hire someone. Number two, the access to capital just isn't there. I don't care what people are saying on Wall Street, but down on Main Street, it isn't happening.
“Without knowing those things, they're not going to hire people. I talk to business people every day that are struggling to keep the people working that they have right now.”
Unfortunately, Solis’ response did not answer my question. To view the full commentary, please click here. We've got to get folks back to work and support small businesses in the right way because they are the job generators in our country.