President Obama is traveling the country pretending he’s not campaigning and that he only wants Republicans to cooperate with him in his Quixotic campaign to create jobs for America.
And yet, what is he really doing? Promoting a jobs bill that has no chance of passing Congress but an excellent chance of making some people think Republicans hate teachers, firefighters and similar salts of the earth, and don’t want to get them jobs.
But in an article today for the Wall Street Journal, Jim McNerney, the chairman of the Business Roundtable – a group of corporate CEOs that has been traditionally quite bipartisan, as business groups go – says that Obama himself has the keys to creating more jobs. Except he can’t get them out of his pocket.
According to the man most in touch with the country’s top corporate leaders, Obama could create millions of jobs by putting regulations on a diet.
A tsunami of new rules and regulations from an alphabet soup of federal agencies is paralyzing investment and increasing by tens of billions of dollars the compliance costs for small and large businesses.
No one wants to discard truly meaningful public-safety or environmental regulations. But what we face is a jobs crisis, and regulators charged with protecting the interests of the people are making worse the problem that’s hurting them most. Regulatory relief in the energy sector alone could create up to two million new jobs, and we won’t have to borrow a penny to pay for it.
Obama has disingenuously framed the choice as one between the thicket of new regulations in which he’s enmeshing the economy and the end of civilized conduct in America – letting factories belch asbestos into the air for the sheer joy of it or allowing banks charge $10 for the lollipops they give kids for coming with you to deposit your check. Something like that.
Just about every regulation that’s out there (Republicans) want to get rid of — clean air, clean water — you name it.
We are not going to win the race in this competitive 21st century economy by having the cheapest labor or the most polluted air. That’s a race to the bottom that we can’t win. There’s always going to be a country out there that can exploit its workers more, or pollute its air more, or pollute its water more, have lower worker safety standards. There’s always going to be somebody out there to win that competition.
Actually, according to McNerney, the president’s agenda may create a certain number of new jobs. In Asia.
Absent a clear change in course, no one should be surprised if some companies ultimately invest abroad, creating jobs beyond our borders that could have been based here. This doesn’t have to happen, but an increasingly skeptical business community needs proof Washington can put America on a sustainable fiscal footing and promote economic growth.