On Thursday, September 8th, President Obama has asked congressional leaders to convene a joint session of Congress in order to lay out a series of proposals that the he believes should immediately be adopted in order to rebuild the American economy and create jobs.
While I'm pleased to see that this President has finally chosen to join House Republicans in focusing on job creation, I hope that his proposals will address the real issues confronting job-creators and not just recycle a litany of old ideas. I'll reserve my final judgment until after President Obama has had a chance to unveil his plan, but so far I have witnessed a high-level of disparity between the president's rhetoric regarding creating jobs and his actions, which have actually made it harder for businesses to do just that.
Since March, I have visited with over 30 businesses as part of my "Tennessee Job Creators" tour and have had the opportunity to talk with business owners and entrepreneurs about the impediments to job creation that they face. One of the questions that I'm frequently asked is, "Why does Washington want to make it so hard to be successful?" What they are referencing is the staggering amount of burdensome federal rules and regulations that they are forced to comply with.
In fact, Tennessee small businesses are already forced to comply with more than 150,000 pages of federal regulations. Additionally, there are currently 4,257 new regulations that are under development, 219 each of which will cost more than $100 million annually -- an increase of 15% from last year. While there is certainly a need for appropriate and responsible rule-making, the Obama administration has continued to embrace a strategy of overregulation, which ultimately hurts American businesses and their ability to create jobs.
What many people are unaware of is that complying with these rules carry with them real costs. Not only will taxpayersspend more than $54 billion supporting government regulators in 2011, but the American Action Forum has estimated that since the beginning of this year, the Obama administration has imposed more than 47.2 million annual paperwork burden hours and $65 billion in compliance costs on businesses across the country. Further, according to a letter released from the White House, this administration is considering seven new regulatory actions that alone could add more than $100 billion in costs to business. This is money that could be invested back into a company in the form of hiring additional workers or purchasing additional equipment.
On Thursday, I hope that the President outlines a plan that focuses on removing the many unnecessary government barriers to private-sector job creation. I'm also hopeful that the president has learned that the answer to long-term economic growth is less, not more, government spending. The last thing that our country needs is any additional "stimulus" spending.
The small businesses in Tennessee that I meet with understand that in order to get our economy back to creating jobs, we need to balance our budget, solve our debt crisis and reduce the regulatory burdens that are creating uncertainty and discouraging private-sector job creators from making new investments and creating new American jobs. I look forward to an opportunity to present the President with solutions to job creation that I've gathered from my constituents in Tennessee's Fourth Congressional District.