Creating Jobs Creates More Helping Hands


By:  Elton Gallegly
Date: Dec. 23, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

During the Christmas season, more than at any other time of year, our thoughts naturally turn to those less fortunate than ourselves.

With a job market so dismal that 315,000 Americans stopped looking for work in November, this year there are many more in need. I know many of their stories firsthand. Almost every day I converse with a mother or father who is struggling to pay the mortgage or rent and put food on the table, or who has a troubled child in need of care.

I've spoken with directors of organizations that service our neighbors who are facing hard times, to do what I can to brighten other families' holidays.

It's important that Americans who can afford to help those who need help, do so. Not because the government directed us to. Not because a law requires us to. But because that's what it means to be an American.

America's early settlers would not have survived if neighbor did not help neighbor. America's first British settlement, in fact, failed, because it was every man for himself. Later settlers learned from that mistake and our nation was built on the premise that those who prosper have a moral obligation to help those who have fallen on hard times.

Our nation was founded, too, on the concept of limited government. Our founders knew that a limited government was necessary to give Americans the freedom and the opportunity to thrive. Today, too many believe the federal government can replace the American people's moral obligations to care for our neighbors. It cannot. And, as we have seen for the past three years, when the federal government tries to usurp the American people's moral obligation, it instead worsens the lives of many of our neighbors.

Congress and the president must take the steps necessary to allow the private sector to create jobs so fewer are in dire straits next Christmas season.

That means a smaller government that pays its bills, not one that teeters on the brink of bankruptcy and takes much-needed currency out of the private sector.

It means passing laws and issuing regulations that are necessary to protect the American people in their homes and workplaces, but that do not impose unnecessary burdens on people and businesses to meet the demands of every special interest group. It also means repealing unnecessary regulations now in place.

It means keeping taxes low so that the American people and American businesses can spend their hard-earned dollars, pumping up the economy and creating jobs.

While it is true that President Obama didn't create all of the U.S. debt, the national debt has increased by $4.4 trillion since he took office. It took the United States from 1776 until 1992 to accumulate the same amount of debt that President Obama has accumulated during his three-year presidency. We must reverse that trend.

The answer is not to raise taxes. In December 2010, the president and Congress recognized that taxes should not be raised in a down economy and acted together to keep taxes low. The economy is still down and we still should not be raising job-killing taxes. Instead, we must cut federal spending.

President Obama also did not unilaterally create the massive bureaucracy that sustains itself by issuing more and more complex regulations daily. The president has promised to rein in regulations, but his administration has 4,225 regulations now in the pipeline, 224 of which are major rules with at least $100 million in economic impact.

Considering those pending major regulations cost at least $100 million (many cost much more), that means at least an additional $22 billion in annual economic impact.

In the coming year, the president and Congress must have a laser focus on jobs.

Next year is an election year and, in such a climate, it will be even more difficult to find areas of agreement, such as the 2010 decision to keep taxes low. But while we are rightly contrasting our positions for voters on the campaign trail, the president and members of Congress have an obligation to keep our sights, too, on the future of the American people.

Our focus inside the halls of the Capitol must be to create a climate where the private sector can create jobs, so that next year more Americans are in a position to help fewer neighbors.

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