For too long, the American people have been asking “Where are the jobs?” Unfortunately, the 13.9 million unemployed Americans have been ignored by the President and Democrats in Washington. Higher taxes, record spending, and bigger government has failed to create jobs or boost economic growth. Put simply, this economy is growing too slowly to replace the millions of jobs that have been lost. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2011 fell to 1.8 percent, down from 3.1 percent in the last quarter of 2010—this is the slowest economic growth since the second quarter of 2010. The failure of the President’s runaway spending, deficits, and debt is being felt by every family struggling to put food on the table and pay their mortgage. Instead of expanding the size of government, Republicans in Washington are committed to a pro-growth economic agenda that will put America back to work.
The American People Are Suffering
The economic policies of the President have failed and Americans are paying the price. High unemployment, soaring energy costs, rising food prices and slow growth have been the products of the Obama administration for more than two years. As a result of the administration’s failed policy, unemployment has remained over 8 percent for 28 months, the economy is not growing fast enough, and the American people are forced to suffer the consequences.
All these statistics ultimately say the same thing—everyday Americans are struggling and will keep struggling until our economy turns around.
What is the Obama Administration Doing? Killing More Jobs
While Americans, scrimp, save, and make do with less, President Obama and Democrats in Washington have continually ignored the cries for jobs and pushed for legislation that will destroy jobs and hurt our economy. On average, three years after the four deepest previous recessions started, real GDP was 7.6 percent higher than the pre-recession level. During the Obama recovery, real GDP is up only 0.1 percent. Forty months after the start of the 1953, 1957, 1973 and 1981 recessions, total employment was on average 4.7 percent higher than the pre-recession peaks, while total employment today is still down 4.7 percent—that's a total employment gap of 13.9 million jobs.
The Job-Destroying Stimulus: In 2009, the White House claimed that if the $1.16 trillion (CBO estimates the cost of the bill will reach $814 billion and interest on the debt for the bill will be at least $347 billion) stimulus was approved, unemployment would not rise above 8 percent. In reality, unemployment is currently 9 percent and has been above 8 percent for 28 months. In the same report, the Obama administration claimed the stimulus would “save or create at least 3 million jobs by the end of 2010.” In fact, a new report by economists Timothy Conley from the University of Western Ontario and Bill Dupor from Ohio State University, found that the President’s failed stimulus “destroyed or forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs.” Instead of creating jobs, the largest stimulus bill in history crowded out private sector growth and cost Americans jobs.
The Job-Destroying Health Care Takeover: According to CBO, “the legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount—roughly half a percent—primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.” That “small amount” is equal to 711,000 jobs today. In January 2011, two hundred economists released a letter to Congress calling for the health care law to be repealed and replaced. These economists—including former CBO Directors, Federal Reserve economists, White House officials, and a Nobel laureate—all agreed that the law would damage the economy by implementing more than $500 billion in tax increases at a time of record-high unemployment. As a testament to the job-destroying nature of the legislation, the administration has granted businesses 1,372 health care takeover waivers for over 3 million Americans. Half went to union members—even though they account for only 11.9 percent of the workforce.
Job-Destroying Energy Policies and Gas Prices: The Obama administration has actively blocked and delayed American energy production including instituting a ban on all new offshore oil development—destroying jobs, raising energy prices and making the U.S. more reliant on unstable foreign countries for energy. As a consequence of the Administration’s policies, drilling equipment has been idled and moved overseas. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that this expected permit delay will cause 125,000 jobs to be lost by 2015. The long-term impact of the President’s moratorium, if sustained for 18 months, could cause over 36,000 jobs to be lost nationally, over 24,000 jobs lost in the gulf region, and over 14,000 jobs lost in the state of Louisiana, according to a study by Louisiana State University economist Dr. Joseph Mason. By delaying the process to issue drilling permits, the President has continued a de facto moratorium with the adverse economic consequences therein. While blocking American energy jobs, the president is offering to help Brazil drill for oil—an effort he says would make the U.S. “one of [their] best customers.”
Job-Destroying Regulations: According to a September 2010 report from the Small Business Administration, total regulatory costs amount to $1.75 trillion annually—enough money for businesses to provide 17.5 million private sector jobs with an average salary of $100,000. As of 2008, small businesses—which have created 64 percent of all new jobs in the past 15 years—face an annual regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee, which is 36 percent higher than the regulatory cost facing large firms. Some of these regulations include requiring microwave manufacturers to measure the amounts of energy their products use in the “off” position, stricter regulations on the amount of dust on American farms or imposing a fee on tree sales to promote tree sales. Unfortunately, President Obama continues to make the burden worse. According to Republican staff estimates, the government’s health care takeover has already added 6,578 pages of regulations and Federal Register notices and the laws major provision don’t take effect until 2014. A recent study by the Heritage Foundation found that an unprecedented 43 major regulations were imposed in fiscal year 2010 with a total economic cost of $26.5 billion, the highest total since at least 1981.
According to the Joseph Mason study, the Department of Interior’s de facto moratorium of exploration in the Gulf of Mexico could cost 36,137 jobs. In addition, “more than 80,000 jobs could be lost due to EPA regulations targeting the cement industry.” Finally, EPA greenhouse gas regulations could cost 1.4 million jobs.
Job-Destroying Taxes: The President’s budget for 2012 calls for $1.5 trillion in job-destroying taxes. The President says that the bulk of these tax increases would only impact the rich. But the fact remains that these tax increases will kill American jobs. More than 75 percent of America’s small businesses file their taxes as individuals. Half of them would suffer from a higher tax burden under the President’s proposed tax increases, hurting their ability to hire more workers and pay their current workers more. An increase in the top two rates would impact small businesses that employ approximately 22.5 million workers. As the National Federal of Independent Businesses said just months ago, “Raising the top marginal tax rate would have hit small businesses the hardest just when the country needs them to invest, expand and hire new workers.” Our outdated and complicated tax code, which boasts the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, has destroyed America’s global competitiveness. According to Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers, "We are dealing with a tax system that is a dinosaur. Every other government in the world has realized that the U.S. has it wrong. They’re saying, ‘I'm going to have lower taxes, period.’ That's what you see all across Western Europe, that's what you see in Asia in the developed countries.”
Job-Destroying Spending: Record spending, deficits, and debt by the Obama administration has created vast uncertainty for job creators and is keeping investors on the sidelines. In 2007, the last year under a Republican budget resolution, the deficit was $160.7 billion or 1.2 percent of GDP and it had decreased every year since 2004. According to President Obama’s FY 2012 budget, the deficit for 2011 will be $1.64 trillion or 10.9 percent of GDP. According to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, this runaway spending will destroy jobs and halt economic growth. Bernanke stated, “Expectations of large and increasing deficits in the future could inhibit current household and business spending—for example, by reducing confidence in the longer-term prospects for the economy or by increasing uncertainty about future tax burdens and government spending—and thus restrain the recovery.” Sadly, the President wants to double-down on our unsustainable path by borrowing $13 trillion over the next decade and spending $5.7 trillion over the next ten years just to pay the interest on borrowed money.
Where Have the President’s Jobs Policies Taken Us?
After more than two years of destructive jobs policies and the constant threat of higher taxes and record deficits, a simple look at our current unemployment data shows that the President’s policies are failing.
We Can Reverse Course, Create Jobs, and Grow the Economy Now
While the news is gloomy, there is still an opportunity for the nation to change directions. Republicans in Congress are taking action to create a better environment for job growth immediately and ensure economic growth in the future. Already the economy is making small gains since Republicans took control of the House. The modest improvement can be attributed to two factors—the free-market economy is slowly moving toward a recovery from this deep recession, and with Republicans controlling one lever of the lawmaking powers, job creators know the upper limits of the Democrats’ legislative pain is behind them. While the White House and Senate may refuse to enact our policies, House Republicans’ actions will increase confidence in the private sector by guaranteeing a check on the Democrats’ reckless spending and job-crushing regulations.
The House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators
Empower Small Business Owners and Reduce Regulatory Burdens:
Fix the Tax Code to Help Job Creators:
Increase Competitiveness for American Manufacturers:
Maximize Domestic Energy Production to Ensure an Energy Policy for the 21st Century:
Pay Down America’s Unsustainable Debt Burden and Start Living Within our Means:
 “The Impact of EPA Regulation of GHGs under the Clean Air Act on U.S. Investment and Job Growth.” Dr. Margo Thorning, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, American Council for Capital Formation. Testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy and Power. February 9, 2011.
According to House Budget Committee analysis, 50 percent of all pass-throughs would be impacted by an increase in the top two tax tiers. SBA says that there are 60 million small businesses. If 75 percent are pass-throughs and 50 percent of those are subject to top-tier tax rates, than an increase the top-two rates would impact small businesses that employ approximately 22.5 million workers.
 Office of Management and Budget, Fiscal Year 2012 Budget of the U.S. Government.