Anyone who has owned or managed a business knows how many questions need to be answered before creating a new job. Do you really need another person, or can present employees become more productive? Will there be qualified applicants? How much time will it take to sort through all the resumes? Can the business afford to hire right now?
Before looking to hire new employees, a business owner has to be confident that the search will be worth the time and effort. The more uncertainties in the process, the more risky it will be to hire.
Unfortunately, now is a very risky time to hire. The May jobs report showed a net gain of only 54,000 jobs. Because of more Americans starting to look for a job, unemployment climbed to 9.1 percent.
Most recessions since the Great Depression have been followed by a rapid period of job growth. This time though we haven't seen that type of recovery. Last year's "Recovery Summer" never materialized, and this summer isn't shaping up to be much better.
Government stimulus has failed to hold down unemployment or create the conditions for a recovery. In fact, the increase in government debt contributes to economic uncertainty. Accounting for interest, the stimulus bill cost the government more than $1 trillion. Almost every dime of that money has been spent, but unemployment has barely budged.
Last November, the American people called for a change of direction. Right from the start of this year, House Republicans have been working on legislative relief for job creators.
One of our first steps was to stand up against job-destroying regulations coming from the Washington bureaucracy. The House passed legislation to halt the EPA's effort to regulate greenhouse gases without consent from Congress. Now is no time to tax energy and raise the cost of doing business in the U.S.
In fact, House Republicans have worked to reduce the price on energy. We've passed three bills to increase the domestic supply of oil and natural gas.
We also voted to stop the FCC's attempt to takeover the Internet via regulations. Congress has not granted the FCC the power to micromanage the Internet. The blooming of e-commerce and the creation of the information economy was not the result of government direction. Intrusion into the market now would only hold back innovation and development of a dynamic marketplace.
In the Health Subcommittee, we've focused on how FDA regulations are holding back prescription drug and medical device innovation. We need an approval process that is more transparent so that companies can invest with confidence. Right now, venture capital firms are moving investments to Europe where the approval process is more predictable and also has comparable safety outcomes.
We're also working to make our corporate tax code more competitive. We have the second highest corporate taxes in the developed world. At the same time, there are too many special tax credits and loopholes for companies with the right connections. The Republican budget passed by the House calls for tax reform that reduces corporate taxes to a level comparable with our European and Asian competitors. At the same time, we will eliminate special provisions to make the tax code fair for all.
There's much more we're working on than can be written in a short column. Visit jobs.GOP.gov to read our full plan for America's job creators.
While I'm pleased with the progress made in the House, lack of leadership in the Senate has slowed the pace of legislating to a crawl. Since the beginning of the year, only 14 bills have been signed into law. Most of these bills were just extensions of current law or non-controversial matters like naming a courthouse or appointing a Smithsonian board member. Now is not the time to be idle.
We've done a lot in the House, but we need Senate leaders to move forward with their own plans. We can reach agreement on many of these issues if the Senate passes companion legislation. Bipartisanship is possible. Americans looking for jobs don't want to wait until after the next election to make progress.