Speaker of the House John Boehner gave an important address to the Economic Club of Washington today. The speech has a lot of potential newsmakers. The press will probably most immediately focus on the criticism of the president: “The president’s proposals are a poor substitute for the pro-growth policies that are needed to remove barriers to job creation in America”.
Others will focus on the specific policies that the speaker highlights. First, the need for more sensible and efficient regulation and the REINS Act’s promise in reaching this goal. Second, the need for tax reform. And finally, the pro-growth benefits of getting debt and spending under control. All are absolutely on the mark, while a continuation of the status quo — government-centric policies, broken entitlement programs, anti-growth redistributionist philosophies, and anti-competitive tax and regulatory schemes — is dangerous to America.
But there is another contrast as well. Instead of the president’s highfalutin, multiplier-driven economic abstractions, a real person was present at the Economic Club talking in a commonsense tone and from a small business perspective. As former Council of Economic Advisers chairman Michael Boskin put it:
Speaker Boehner’s remarks are a refreshing dose of common sense, based on sound economic principles, from someone who obviously knows from personal experience how to create jobs and run a business. That’s in very short supply in Washington. Americans will be a lot better off when his views on regulation, taxes, spending and debt are fully implemented in all areas of government policy.
But my favorite is the Atlas Shrugged moment: “Job creators in America are essentially on strike.” And for good reason. America was founded on the promise of freedom, and Americans reflexively point to their freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and political freedoms. But a central feature of American greatness is economic freedom. It is dangerous to trade away economic freedoms through mandates, regulations, and the deadweight of excessive spending and taxes. There is a siren song in the liberal elite that argues that America will be better off even if Americans are less free.
Wrong. Freedom is the route to prosperity. Speaker Boehner’s call to liberate job creators and restore economic freedoms should be music to American’s ears.