Can Washington Find the Jobs?
Looking forward.


The Republicans in Congress get this, and so do enough of the Democrats to make a majority in both houses. The problem is our president. Congressional Democrats fearful for their own reelections may yet force reason on the president. They are the reason the debt deal did not include a tax increase.

But barring that, the American people will have to change leadership in 2012. If not, reality will punish the American economy more and more until America is liberated.

— Peter Ferrara is senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at the Heartland Institute, and a senior fellow for the Carleson Center for Public Policy. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as associate deputy attorney general of the United States under the first President Bush. He is the author of America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb.


Michael G. Franc
The Obama administration should take the Hippocratic Oath, but for government regulations. First, do no more harm. Then, undo the harm already done.

My colleagues James Gattuso and Diane Katz published a study on the Obama administration’s flood of economically suffocating rules and regulations. Their report paints a dire picture of the regulatory burdens we have placed, and continue to place, on virtually every sector of our economy:

— In the first six months of the 2011 fiscal year, 15 major regulations were issued, with annual costs exceeding $5.8 billion and one-time implementation costs approaching $6.5 billion.

● No major rulemaking actions were taken to reduce regulatory burdens during this period.

● Overall, the Obama Administration imposed 75 new major regulations from January 2009 to mid-FY 2011, with annual costs of $38 billion.

● There were only six major deregulatory actions during that time, with reported savings of just $1.5 billion.

● This flood of red tape will undoubtedly persist, as hundreds of new regulations stemming from the vast Dodd–Frank financial regulation law, Obamacare, and the EPA’s global warming crusade advance through the regulatory pipeline — all of which further weakens an anemic economy and job creation, while undermining Americans’ fundamental freedoms.

Sadly, this latest round of job-killing regulations is but the tip of the iceberg. According to a recent Small Business Administration study, in 2008, regulatory-compliance costs totaled $1.75 trillion, which is more than total federal income-tax collections for that year ($1.449 trillion).

If President Obama and his merry band of regulators refuse to take the oath, Congress should take it upon itself to stem this regulatory surge. It can do so by attaching riders to appropriations bills to quash the most pernicious regulatory activities and move the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny Act, known as the REINS Act. This proposal would require Congress to vote up or down, and for the president to sign off, on all regulations that would impose $100 million or more in costs on the American economy.

— Michael G. Franc is vice president of government studies at the Heritage Foundation.

Burton Folsom. Jr.
Where are the jobs? Recessions are not new in American history. What is new is how we handle downturns in the economy.

We had a recession and 12 percent unemployment after World War I. But Harding and Coolidge did not opt for government spending; instead, they slashed federal spending and cut the top tax rates from 73 to 25 percent. In two years, the jobs were back — unemployment had dropped to 2.4 percent and remained at roughly that level for the rest of the decade. We also cut tax rates and federal spending after WWII and unemployment remained low (3.9 percent in 1946 and 1947). In the 1980s, President Reagan cut tax rates (but not federal spending) and the economy again recovered. In eight years, the Reagan administration added 14 million jobs in the U.S.