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Jobs Vs Regulations: America's Choice


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This past week the nation was reminded that our economic recovery has stalled, as the Labor Department announced that ZERO new jobs had been created in the month of August. Only 85,000 jobs were added, and with a minimum 125,000 needed just to keep up with population growth, that left us with zero job growth.

Meanwhile, we sit with a minimum 200,000 -- 340,000 new private sector jobs that can be saved or created at the stroke of a pen by President Barack Obama. So far in his Presidency he has chosen joblessness.

19,000 oil workers stand idle in the Gulf region following the President's refusal to lift a moratorium on oil drilling leases, in spite of being found in contempt of federal court by that continued refusal. 10 oil drilling platforms have now left the Gulf for other countries such as Brazil, whose offshore drilling program has been endorsed and financed by the Obama Administration.

60,000 - 200,000 jobs stand to be lost to the EPA's new Boiler MACT rules, which will place massive new restrictions on industrial and power plant boilers.

100,000 jobs in the construction and manufacturing sectors are set to be cut as a result of new EPA rules on coal ash, a key industrial product. Congress has offered to work with the Administration to increase regulation of coal ash, but the Administration has thus far refused to compromise with common-sense standards that protect the environment without unnecessarily destroying jobs.

20,000 cement and construction industry workers stand to lose their jobs in coming months over draconian regulations on the cement industry, while allowing China and India to continue production with no environmental safeguards whatsoever. Ironically, the EPA regulation could result in increased global mercury pollution, by shifting production from cleaner U.S. plants to the dirtiest plants in the world.

2,000 Boeing jobs are at risk due to the NLRB suing Boeing to stop construction of a new plant with high-paying jobs simply because South Carolina is a right-to-work state. It seems the Administration would prefer joblessness to workers getting a good check without a cut going to a union.

An unknown number of farm workers face unemployment over ludicrous EPA regulations on dust. There is no good estimate yet of how many jobs could be lost, due to the yet-unanswered question of how farmers are to mitigate dust under the proposed EPA rule. The only known solution at present is to spray roads and fields with water, but that could run afoul of other EPA, Corps of Engineers, and state water use regulations. If water can't be used, then large areas of U.S. farmland could be closed to farming. Perhaps the larger question in this case is how are we supposed to eat?

These current and pending jobs losses are just the tip of the iceberg, but the economic evidence is clear. There is a bare minimum of three months of solid job growth currently blocked by Washington bureaucracy.

What is difficult to quantify is the chilling effect of this regulatory blitzkrieg on businesses. Many businesses will not hire in a threatening regulatory environment, in which they face uncertain major regulatory costs which may be added by this Administration in the future.

This September, the House will begin a mass effort to take the brakes off our economy by voting to stop this job-killing agenda by the Administration. Members of both parties will offer individual bills to roll back many of these regulatory overreaches.

Meanwhile, the Take off the Brakes on the American Economy Act, HR 1235, offers a blanket two-year moratorium on all new major regulations, giving our businesses the ability to grow, expand, and hire without fear of facing still unknown regulatory hurdles.

One thing is certain. We have a choice between adding jobs and growing our economy, or remaining stagnant with over 9% unemployment for the foreseeable future due to the regulatory onslaught of an extremist Administration.

The House has made its choice to fight for jobs, and September will be just the start.

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