Policy Feature Issue: State of the Union – The Country Cannot Afford Another “Year of Action,” The President’s Failed Economy

The President promises us a “Year of Action.”  But, the nation has had four plus years of government action, including an $800 billion stimulus package, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, an EPA regulatory agenda that is putting industries out of business, and record trillion-plus dollar deficits.

But, what has that meant for Americans?  The nation is in the midst of one the weakest recoveries in decades. In fact, we have a private sector jobs gap of more than 4.5 million compared to the average number of jobs created in previous recoveries. [1]

We have the lowest labor force participation rate since the Carter administration with more discouraged people leaving the job market than who enter.[2]   This includes those individuals who are in their prime earning years, those ages 40-55 who are leaving the workforce.[3]

Moreover, there are almost four million Americans who have been unemployed for six months or longer[4].  There are also more Americans — 7.8 million — working part time because they have do not have prospects for full time work.  This, combined with the millions of Americans who have lost their health insurance, and thousands who can no longer see the doctor of their choice, paint a bleak economic picture.  Young people are fairing no better. Millions of college students are saddled with enormous debt with limited to no job prospects. Tens of thousands of college graduates are not considered “job ready” by employer standards.

No wonder a recent Gallup poll found that more than 42 percent of those Americans surveyed believe they are worse off financially than they were a year ago.[5] Moreover, 89 percent of Americans believe that focusing on the economy is the most important issue for Congress and the president to address in 2014.[6]

Yet, the solution to the economy is not another year of government action.  Individuals – not the federal government hold the keys to success. Unleash the private sector. Eliminate needless regulations and bureaucracy; eliminate wasteful spending; invest in industry sectors that will grow the economy and create jobs such as domestic energy production.

[1] See Joint Economic Committee December Jobs Report.

[3] See Joint Economic Committee and BLS labor force participation rates.