This past Friday morning brought a new jobs report -- and more disappointment. The Administration, to numerous claims of cooked data, reported that the unemployment rate for September 2012 was 7.8 percent, a far cry from the 5.5 percent it was supposed to be with the President's $1 trillion stimulus passed in 2009. In fact, as the chart below shows, the actual unemployment rate has never fallen below the Obama Administration's projections with OR without the stimulus! On top of the continued high unemployment rate, the share of the population in the labor force -- either employed or unemployed -- remains at the lowest point in a generation: 63.6 percent.
The President's economy is a problem of his own making. He ignored the economic crisis in order to push a one-party health care law that ultimately drove his party from control of Congress and that remains unpopular to this day. He ignored the dozens of jobs bills passed in the House. And, he ignored the opportunity to enact a budget that would get spending and borrowing in line with the priorities of the American people. Rather than act on the solutions that have been put forward by Congress, his only answers are to blame others and then tax, regulate, spend, and borrow more. Taking more money out of the pockets of American families and businesses only to have it 'redistributed' according to some politician's preferences is not a path toward prosperity or upward mobility; it is a path toward peril.
This past week I visited three manufacturers in the district who echoed the same concerns I have heard from job creators across the state: Uncertainty in the form of overregulation, tax hikes, and ObamaCare are threats to jobs and prosperity. Washington has to avoid throwing America off the fiscal cliff, and that begins with getting spending under control, stopping the single-largest tax increase at the beginning of the next year, and wiping ObamaCare off the books and replacing it with a more patient-centered, market-driven solution. Even before ObamaCare is fully implemented, many Kansas businesses are already starting to see their premiums go through the roof. In fact, one business reported a 37% increase in health care premiums this month -- imagine what will happen once ObamaCare goes into full effect. Reminds me of the old saying: if you think something is expensive, wait until it is free.
While Kansas is weathering this multi-year economic downturn better than other places, our businesses -- large and small alike -- will not be forever immune from Washington's misdeeds. Ultimately, the costs of Washington's runaway spending and trillion-dollar-plus annual deficits are going to be laid upon the job creators and workers in Kansas. We cannot afford to ignore the immediate opportunity to fix these problems now.