Last night the president gave yet another impassioned speech calling for Congress to pass his latest jobs initiative. Surely with unemployment over 9 percent and our economy sputtering, increased economic growth is a laudable goal. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that the president's biggest obstacle to job creation is the president himself. Here are a few examples I picked up last night:
He says he wants to bring down the deficits. Yet he stood before Congress last night asking for another $450 billion stimulus bill. You don't need an economics degree to know that more stimulus spending will work against efforts to rein in our deficits. To his credit, he says it will be "paid for" through additional measures. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama and his allies have been pitching the "pay for" approach for years and (like with Obamacare) the taxpayers always end up "paying for" more government spending. This approach is more of the same and it reeks of inadequacy given this year's $1.3 trillion budget deficit and the more than $14 trillion of debt that has piled up. Just last month, this president oversaw our nation's first downgrade by a credit rating agency. Hundreds of billions in new stimulus spending cloaked in false "pay fors" is a huge step in the wrong direction.
He says he wants to reduce the number of regulations. Yet his Administration has issued a total of 219 new regulations for the upcoming year, each of which would have an estimated cost to our economy of $100 million or more. That would be on top of the existing regulations which cost our economy $1.75 trillion every year. Tinkering with a few minor regulations might make for a good sound bite, but it means little to the businesses that are saddled with the mounds of red tape.
He says he wants to help small businesses. Yet those same small businesses are inundated with mandates, taxes and regulations coming from this Administration. Obamacare, alone, accounts for two dozen new or higher taxes. Even the community banks throughout the country are getting hit. Many small institutions are reporting that for every employee they have assisting customers they have 1.5 employees working on compliance. This didn't just happen. It is the result of Dodd-Frank financial reforms on top of every other regulation coming from this Administration.
He says he wants to take on entitlement reform. Okay, well he really said he wanted to trim Medicare and Medicaid around the edges. Yet he brought us the newest entitlement program called Obamacare. Not only did this create an unfunded liability for generations to come, it pulled $500 billion from the same Medicare program he now apparently wants to fix.
You don't "fix" entitlements by creating new ones and you don't rein in the deficits by calling for more spending. The damage caused by this Administration's first two and a half years has been profound and it has further imperiled our economy. Not that we need any, but the latest evidence came this week when the World Economic Forum dropped the U.S. on the list of most competitive economies to 5th place; we were 1st when the president came into office. Until the president realizes that real economic growth will not occur until this bloated government is scaled back, the unsustainable deficits are reined in and his job-killing agenda is repealed, our economy will continue to sputter.
Rep. Royce, a Republican, represents California's 40th Congressional District, located in northern Orange County.