By Newton Gingrich
As we marked Labor Day this week, more than 14 million Americans were without jobs and another 11 million were underemployed or had given up looking for work. This jobs crisis requires leadership now. We cannot wait until after the 2012 election.
There are 12 simple steps that should be undertaken now to free American entrepreneurs and small businesses to spur job creation.
These 12 steps fall into three categories: deregulation, tax reform and more American energy.
Job creation strategy no. 1: Deregulation: Eliminate the bureaucratic socialism that is paralyzing job creation.
1. Repeal Obamacare. Government-run health care is increasing health care costs, interfering in the doctor-patient relationship, and depressing innovation of life-saving therapies. Companies are not hiring because of the new and unpredictable costs created by Obamacare. We already know that nearly two dozen new Obamacare taxes on job creators and investors will kick in beginning in 2013.
2. Defund the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) until it stops harassing job creators: When large American businesses are targeted unfairly by government for creating jobs in less costly states, such businesses won't create jobs in any states. They'll send those jobs abroad.
3. Repeal Dodd-Frank. This 2,300-page law with 400 regulations is paralyzing lending to small business and driving down home values.
4. Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. This excessive regulatory disclosure law is eroding New York's position as the financial capital of the world and driving innovators and entrepreneurs overseas.
Job creation strategy no. 2: Tax reform: Create incentives for business investment, expansion, and a jobs boom.
5. Make the 2001 and 2003 tax rates permanent: President Obama wants these tax rates to lapse in 2013, raising taxes dramatically. Yet, the prospect of higher taxes in tough economic times is already stifling job creation today. Let's give entrepreneurs predictability so they can do the predictable thing that will follow making these tax rates permanent: create jobs.
6. Reduce the corporate tax to 12.5 percent: Reducing the corporate income tax, currently the second-highest in the developed world, will make America the No. 1 destination in the world for foreign investment, creating millions of new jobs.
7. Abolish the capital gains tax: We should be rewarding capital investments in America and the jobs they bring.
8. Abolish the Death Tax: It is time for the government to stop destroying family wealth. Abolishing the death tax ensures family-owned businesses can survive and thrive.
9. One-hundred percent expensing of new equipment: To compete with their overseas competitors, we need to make it easier for American companies to purchase the most modern and most productive equipment.
Job creation strategy no. 3: More American Energy: Allow America to unleash its enormous energy resources to lower energy prices for all Americans and fuel economic growth.
10. Expand onshore and offshore oil and gas development: Expanding drilling offshore, in Alaska, and in the Rockies could create up to 530,000 jobs and deliver $150 billion in government revenues by 2025. Permanently opening up new areas for oil and gas development will put downward pressure on fuel costs.
11. Pass the Warner-Webb bill to open up the Virginia coast for energy exploration: This legislation, authored by the two Democratic Senators from Virginia, would create 2,000 new jobs in Virginia and generate an average of $63.75 million per year in new revenues for federal, state and local governments per year between 2010 and 2030.
12. Put America's Gulf Coast back to work: Just getting Obama's Department of the Interior to issue permits efficiently for Gulf offshore oil and gas projects could create nearly 230,000 new jobs in 2012 and boost the economy by $44 billion.
Timid steps now with promises of more substantial action after the next election will not solve the jobs crisis.
There are many other reforms which must be passed in the coming years to create an environment for sustained, long-term economic growth. These include Social Security and Medicare reform, enforcement of the 10th amendment to move certain responsibilities back to the local level, and a top-to-bottom reform of all federal government activities using successful private sector waste reduction techniques like Lean Six Sigma. I released a Jobs and Prosperity Plan in May on the first day of my campaign which outlines these changes in more detail. It can be viewed at my campaign website, Newt.org.
The 12 legislative steps outlined above, however, will have an immediate impact now, and should be passed this fall.