On Friday, the Department of Labor issued the latest jobs report, and the news was not good. The economy added only 54,000 jobs in May. It is clear that the president’s economic policies are not working.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average unemployed American has been looking for a job for 38 weeks, the longest average time in history. Consider what these abstract statistics mean in real life. For many of us, summer is time for baseball. If someone started looking for a job before opening day, they would still be job searching two months after the final game of the World Series.
I believe combating unemployment is one of the most important issues facing Congress. But more spending, regulation, and taxes are not the right prescription for our ailing economy. Instead, Washington can help repair our economy with policies that will help spur job creation from the private sector.
First, we must get our fiscal situation in order. The president’s “stimulus” spending spree has only served to spend money we don’t have and pass the burden on to the next generation. How we address government spending and debt today will impact the nation’s economic growth in the future.
To emphasize this point, more than 150 of our nation’s economists publicly declared that an unconditional debt limit increase — without significant spending cuts and budget reforms — will harm private sector job growth. The House last week voted overwhelmingly to reject an increase to the debt limit, demonstrating that we cannot and will not continue to spend without any meaningful limits in place.
Second, Washington can help create an environment that encourages job creators to hire, not burden them with the threat of additional taxes and regulations.
Unfortunately, this administration has created an environment of economic uncertainty that is keeping our job creators on the sidelines. During each year of his presidency, President Obama has proposed tax increases which, if enacted, would have been the largest in history. This tax increase would cripple many small businesses — the engine of job creation, creating nearly two-thirds of the new jobs in this country.
Our economy needs tax relief — not a tax increase. The best way to help companies, investors and entrepreneurs to create good, private-sector jobs is to reduce taxes across the board.
Government regulations can also be a serious impediment for economic progress. But currently, unaccountable bureaucrats can impose these burdensome regulations. I support legislation in Congress that would require congressional approval of administrative rules with an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.
The May jobs report should be a wakeup call to President Obama that we cannot spend, borrow and tax our way to economic recovery. By sidelining the job creator with higher taxes, we will just punish those searching for employment.
The prescription for reviving our economy is straightforward: stop spending money we don’t have and allow the private sector to create jobs.