The week of January 17 I will begin a series of interviews with people who actually create private sector jobs, a series that will continue throughout 2011 and hopefully 2012.
The MSM is straining to start the presidential campaign and get the GOP cotnenders on to stages and into intramural battles, but each of the candidates ought to refuse to comment on horse-race polling or to join such self-destructive scrums and instead concentrate on supporting Speaker Boehner and the House GOP and Leader McConnell the Senate GOP caucus in laying out and pushing a private sector job creation agenda.
Spending is and must remain a focus of the new Congress if a national fiscal stroke is to be avoided, but the Congress also has to move to clear away numerous obstacles to private sector job growth if we are going to experience an American renewal such as we saw during the ’80s and ’90s. The GOP challenge to President Obama in 2012 will be premised on the ability to do such a thing, but this Congress has to lay the groundwork. Every would-be nominee will be talking about job creation, and hopefully they will all be able to point to a House GOP agenda being pushed by Speaker Boehner as evidence of what the Republicans will do with any mandate given them two years down the road.
The job creation agenda begins with low taxes, of course, and a shrinking public sector, but it includes much much more, and it must especially focus on the clearing away of government obstacles to manufacturing.
If the country’s businesses aren’t making things –houses, cars, devices and consumer good s as well as ig capital equipment– then the country cannot be growing that part of the economy that will secure the future.
Clamping down on the job-destroying activities of the EPA’s administrative cap-and-trade is a start, as is oversight of the various agencies that cripple home and commercial construction in the U.S., such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The House also has to stop the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s reckless enforcement of the poorly drafted Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and much older statutes like FIFRA. (Here’s one example of how CPSIA is continuing to suffocate a job-creating industry.)
My views on this are formed by 20 years of representing clients tangling with the federal and state governments over various regulatory mandates and prohibitions, and the cartoonish rhetoric of the left never matches the reality of what their plans produce in the real world. Most job creators simply want to be left alone to produce good products and treat employees well, but the government’s decrees are both many and impenetrable, and the willingness of the legions of regulators to try and fix problems or expedite rulings is minimal.
Four years of rule in the Congress by the party that believes in big government and doesn’t understand job growth has seen an explosion in the “enforcement” agenda of the bureaucracies, and the result isn’t a safer, cleaner America but a country that has bled jobs as manufacturing flees offshore. The GOP jobs agenda was mentioned frequently in the week of interviews with new House committee chairmen which I just completed, and that reflects great message discipline. But message discipline is just a first step.
Now the oversight and the lehislative action must follow and quickly. Speaker Boehner has got to get his committee chairmen to push out reforms of the agencies and especially of job killing statutes from Obamacare to the CPSIA and the Endangered Species Act.
The key will be to speak bluntly, repeatedly and in great detail about the problems and the proposed solutions. Too often legislators fear losing the voters in the “tall weeds” but this is the season for detail, the time for specifics and not just pronouncements about goals. Paul Ryan gets this, and is willing to dive into the minutia of the budget in order to persuade. That approach has made Ryan a national figure and that example ought to be guiding every young GOP congressman with ambition. The GOP’s best and brightest communicators ought to be out and available every day to unpack the jobs agenda and to name names and cite statutes and regulations that are destroying jobs.
The gavels bring the microphones and the microphones provide the opportunities to push public opinion and the laws back to balance and the economy back to healthy, robust growth.