Next week the Department of Labor will release its report on unemployment in the United States. This report is a candid look at whether the policies of the Obama administration have worked to help Americans find employment or whether they have done just the opposite. Unfortunately, the president's record is nothing to be proud of. Since he took office 44 months ago unemployment has consistently remained between eight and ten percent, millions of Americans are out of work, and many have given up hope and quit looking for jobs. People have increasingly struggled to make ends meet and the growth of the economy has slowed significantly. This dismal reality did not come by accident but is the product of failed fiscal policies.
Almost immediately after assuming office President Obama pushed for a massive expansion of government spending in the form of a stimulus. The stimulus, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was designed to pump more than $800 billion into the economy in the hope that jobs would be created and the rising unemployment rate would reverse itself. Despite promises that unemployment would fall below eight percent by the end of 2010, unemployment instead rose above nine percent. After four years of trying to spend our way out of a recession, we have higher unemployment, a down-graded credit score, and $5 trillion in new debt.
Overspending in Washington is costing Americans their jobs and their stable futures. Having a job means having security. It alleviates worries about paying the mortgage and being able to put food on the table. The prevailing attitude in Washington about overspending was best captured by Ronald Reagan in his first inaugural address:
"You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?"
In order to create jobs we must have a robust economy. To have a robust economy, businesses must feel confident about investing. They must be released from the burdensome regulations and looming tax hikes that accompany Obamacare. The uncertainty created by the president's irresponsible fiscal policies has caused businesses across the country to sit on roughly $1.8 trillion of their money rather than invest it in new jobs and the economy. One of their primary concerns is the climate surrounding taxes. The country is headed for a tax hike on January 1, 2013 of nearly $500 billion which will hinder these companies' ability to do business and create jobs.
The negative effect that raising taxes and introducing new regulations will have on the unemployed cannot be stressed enough. Recent estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predict that if the government fails to act on the looming tax hikes set to take effect next year the country will be headed into another recession. This is the last thing Americans need when they are desperately searching for work.
Living within our means as a country is key to our prosperity. The ability of our friends and neighbors to find work and build futures for themselves and their families depends on it. With responsible and realistic fiscal policies, we can halt the rising unemployment rate and get America working again. Government doesn't create jobs, and it's time for government to step aside and let the business and individuals who drive our economy take the wheel once more.