December 13 2011
The Christmas bump in consumer spending has created thousands of temporary jobs as retailers added seasonal holiday workers. As we saw in November, retail was responsible for about one third of the jobs created in the private sector.
These thousands of jobs are helpful to the many families and individuals who need the extra income. But they are temporary. And to be honest, a few thousand jobs here and there is nothing compared to the jobs boom we could see if our country were to take a significant turn in the right direction.
When the November jobs report came out, I made some suggestions to jumpstart job creation. Some of my suggestions included scaling back the regulatory state through more Congressional oversight, and reforming the tax code through simplification, eliminating the estate tax, and lowering the corporate rate. These changes in public policy would make it easier for business owners and entrepreneurs to have the certainty they need to grow their businesses and add jobs.
Last week I had the opportunity to hear from a panel of female CEOs who all agreed that regulatory reform and tax reform were necessary to boost job creation. These women came from companies that ranged in size from very small to very large, but they all agreed that a lack of certainty was keeping them from expanding their business. Also, interestingly, the panel spent a lot of time talking about the competitive advantage that benefits American companies when they have an affordable, reliable source of energy.
One proposed piece of legislation that addresses all of these issues is the Jobs Through Growth Act, introduced by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ).
This bill would call for a timeout on the creation of any new regulations. It would also give small businesses much needed relief by exempting them from any new regulations adopted since the recession, and it would raise the benchmark for exemption to 200 employees. It would also implement the REINS Act, and call for Congressional review of major regulations.
When it comes to taxes, the Jobs Through Growth Act cuts the corporate rate to 25 percent, targets loopholes for elimination, kills the estate tax (the "death tax"), the AMT, and the investment tax on inflation. It also would give individuals and families the opportunity to choose between the current income tax system and a simpler, lower system with just two rates, generous deductions for families, and no marriage penalty.
The icing on the cake? This bill would green light the Keystone XL Project, a project about which IWF has commented to the State Department:
The Keystone Pipeline will represent real private sector job creation, that is not dependent on taxpayer largess. The $7 billion private-sector investment in the pipeline will create an estimated 20,000 construction jobs, and support hundreds of thousands of other jobs throughout our economy.
The Keystone Pipeline will also increase the amount of oil that comes from Canada and can be refined into usable fuel here in the United States. As such, this project will become an important, reliable source of energy for our country. Ultimately, this will help relieve pressure on our rising gas and energy prices, which is a burden on already cash-strapped American families, as well as a drag on economic growth and job creation.
The economic benefits of the Keystone Pipeline are clear. Those who oppose the project do so on the ground that it has the potential to cause environmental harm. However, those concerns are overblown. They ignore the care with which we know that the Administration, and all relevant government agencies, will take to ensure that the Pipeline's development is conducted in accordance with existing environmental protection laws.
Now, if only the bill included a repeal of ObamaCare...
Hey, a girl can dream.