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Public Statements

Jobs and the Economy

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. QUAYLE. Madam Speaker, last Friday's jobs report was incredibly disappointing. We only added 18,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. Our unemployment rate went up to 9.2 percent. Not to mention the fact that we had a downgrade, a revision, of last month's, of May's job report to only 25,000 jobs. The deeper you go into that jobs report, the worse it gets, because for those who are underemployed, that's about 16 percent to 17 percent of the United States population, and that is not even including the 250,000 people who went off the rolls of the unemployed because they just stopped looking for work.

We've been talking about jobs for a long time. You hear it all the time in
the halls of Congress. But what have we done? The House has passed a number of bills that would immediately open up a marketplace for job creation and job growth, but unfortunately our friends on the other side of the Capitol in the Senate have done nothing to advance these pieces of legislation. And it's not like they've had anything to do. I mean, they haven't even passed a budget in over 800 days. So I would ask our friends in the Senate to start to push these pro-growth economic policies so we can get Americans back to work.

But it's not just our friends on the other side of the Capitol who are holding us back. It's the administration who has pursued policies that have hurt job creation and economic growth. To be a good manager, to be a good executive, you have to be able to do two things well: One is to be able to analyze and pinpoint a problem, and the second part is to find a solution for that problem. Unfortunately, we have an administration that doesn't even do the first part well. They actually pinpoint problems that don't exist, or problems that aren't problems at all, so you can't even get to a solution that will get Americans back to work.

Let me give you a couple of examples of this. Recently, the President said that one of the problems we have with job creation is with ATMs and kiosks at our airports. I didn't know about the scourge of ATMs and kiosks, but apparently those are what are holding back our job creators. This is called innovation. This is called efficiency.

It reminds me of a story of when the famed economist Milton Friedman went to China. He was witnessing some excavation for a canal, and there were thousands of people who were digging with shovels. Milton Friedman asked: Why aren't you guys using bulldozers or excavators, those things that will make this more efficient?

The Chinese officials said: Then we couldn't put these people to work.

To that, Milton Friedman responded: Why don't you give them spoons?

Innovation and efficiency make our economy stronger, they're net job creators, so we should be going after what is really holding our country and is really holding back economic growth, and that is the NLRB who is attacking American companies who want to create American jobs. That is the EPA, who is going after numerous pieces of regulation that will in the near term kill jobs, in the medium term kill jobs, and in the long term kill jobs. We should be going after the FTC who is now going after Captain Crunch and Tony the Tiger. Those sorts of things are the ones that are holding our country back and holding back economic growth. We should be looking at those burdensome regulations and removing that and letting our entrepreneurs and our job creators unleash the ingenuity that they have within them.

There is one area of agreement that I do have with the President, and that is with the free trade agreements. The free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama need to be passed through the House. But we've got to agree on something. They have been sitting on the President's desk since he has been in office. I urge the President to send those free trade agreements without any additional spending attached to them, because those are job creators. For every billion dollars worth of exports, it is 10,000 jobs here at home.

So I really hope the administration starts to pinpoint and look at the real problems that our country is facing so we can get America back to work and we can lead to more economic growth and prosperity, because it starts with the American worker.

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