The August jobs numbers came out today, and they were less than exciting. The private sector only added 67,000 new jobs, demonstrating that the economy remains weak and President Obama’s policies are not working. In fact, as SBE Council has consistently argued, the President’s policies are hurting small business and prolonging the effects of the recession.
As a contributor to Politico.com’s “Arena” section, the question was asked of Arena contributors: Does the jobs situation and the slumping economy doom Democrat prospects in the upcoming election? We were also asked to comment on new ideas being floated by the Administration such as a payroll tax holiday, and a permanent extension of the R&D tax credit. Here are excerpts of my response with a link to the full Politico.com entry:
President Obama needs an "era of big government is over" moment - but it must be authentic. He needs a team of people at the White House and in his administration who understand business and the competitive dynamics that loom in the global marketplace. Our competitors are moving quickly away from the stifling big-government policies that the President is rapidly attempting to implement.
There's nothing President Obama can do to save the jobs of vulnerable Democrats this November. However, his options remain wide open for stoking an environment where businesses will start creating jobs for his fellow Americans in the coming year.
The president and congressional leaders will need to make a radical turn from their current insistence on raising taxes - this includes all proposed tax hikes on energy, investment and family partnerships, and a host of other ideas they have in their pockets to "pay for" increased spending or tax relief extenders. A payroll tax holiday and making permanent the R&D tax credit are good ideas, but they need to be part of a bolder package that extends all the Bush tax cuts. As much as Administration officials continue to portray the tax increases as ones that only hit the wealthy, job-creating small businesses will get nailed by this tax hike. By now, the president and his advisors should have come to realize that their class warfare strategy is as popular as the stimulus package. Dividing the nation during this challenging economic period is just bad leadership.
On the regulatory side of the ledger, the president needs to blow the time-out whistle. Whether it be the energy bill (with its cap-and-tax and renewable mandates) that the Senate may or may not take up during the lame duck; the uncertainty that the FCC has created through its intrusive Internet and broadband regulations; the dramatic shift in the federal agencies from voluntary compliance and assistance to investigations and enforcement; or the implementation of the new health care law that is fixed to work against flexibility/employer-based insurance and in favor of greater government control (which, by the way, we warned was the case) - the federal government is treating business like an enemy of the state.
Business will not invest or create jobs - or they will go elsewhere - given this overt hostility.
Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO