Our nation remains in the grip of near double-digit unemployment and millions of Americans who have lost jobs, including many here in Utah, continue to look for work so they can provide for their families.
Given our current economic condition, it would seem that ending near- record unemployment would be job one in Washington. Unfortunately, the President is offering a misnamed jobs bill that amounts to a half-trillion-dollar tax hike – a recycled pro posal that already has been given the boot by Democrats and Republicans alike.
But all hope is not lost. Members of both parties agree a jobs package is needed – one that not only stimulates the economy in the short term, but changes the economic environment to allow for long-term job creation. And Utahns and others across the nation are demanding it and expect their Congress to deliver. While it is no easy task, I believe it is doable because there are things we should have been doing all along to create more jobs.
Many of those fundamentals are outlined in the comprehensive 10-part job-creation plan I just unveiled on Capitol Hill. To briefly summarize, my plan would:
- Restore fiscal sanity in Washington by working with the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to find real savings and spending cuts to reduce our $14 trillion national debt and by passing the Balanced Budget Amendment to ensure long-term fiscal discipline;
- Approve pending trade agreements with Columbia, Panama and South Korea and renew the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which would expand American exports by $12 billion, create up to 250,000 jobs in the U.S., and help facilitate new free trade agreements;
- Overhaul our broken tax code to enable U.S. businesses to better compete with foreign competitors on a level playing field;
- Repeal Obamacare to free the economy from heavy-handed Washington mandates that will hike the cost of health care premiums, cost thousands of jobs and result in nearly $1.1 trillion in new taxes over a decade once the law is fully implemented;
- Repeal the Dodd-Frank Act that strangles U.S. companies and small-business owners with excessive regulations and job-killing mandates and chokes off credit to American firms and families;
- Make our regulatory system more jobs-friendly by requiring federal agencies to perform a cost-benefit analysis when drafting new regulations and to get congressional approval for any proposed regulation that could impact the economy by $100 million or more;
- End the White House’s stall tactics on domestic energy projects by passing the 3-D Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy and Deficit Reduction and American Energy and Western Jobs acts, thus creating 1.4 million nationally and 40,000 in Utah, generating billions in new revenue for state and federal coffers and getting the U.S. back in the business of creating its own energy;
- Make America more competitive by making permanent the research and development tax credit and ensuring our trade partners enforce intellectual property rights;
- Empower small businesses, the nation’s top job creators, to create even more by providing them with a 20 percent tax reduction and repealing the 3 percent withholding requirement for federal contractors; and
- Reform U.S. labor laws to require more oversight of the National Labor Relations Board to counter its pro-union extremism, pass the Employee Rights Act to protect American workers from forced unionization, and repeal the prevailing-wage requirements in the Davis-Bacon Act to save taxpayer money and create more jobs.
Again, passing this type of jobs plan won’t be easy. But we cannot stand idly by and do nothing. Everywhere I go, in every corner of our state, you tell me that we need more jobs. This plan would do that—but not with more tried and tired federal solutions like the Obama administration is proposing.
Former President Ronald Reagan best described that failed federal approach: “Government’s view of the economy,” he said, “could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And it if stops moving, subsidize it.”
No, this plan will succeed because it takes the proven Utah approach: Get government out of the way.
-- Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah