Politics & Policy

‘Recovery Summer,’ One Year Later

A Republican blueprint for job growth

One year ago today, the Obama administration launched its “Recovery Summer” publicity tour to bolster flagging support for the “stimulus.” Vice President Biden said, “The fact is, the recovery act is working.” But the fact is, it didn’t. “Recovery Summer” fizzled, much like the “stimulus” itself.

Republicans have a real blueprint for job creation — the “Plan for America’s Job Creators.” What makes our plan different is that it focuses on one thing: removing government barriers to private-sector job growth.

The “stimulus” was all about big spending and big government — not jobs. That was obvious on the day the “Recovery Summer” began in my home state of Ohio. Local construction workers on a nearby site in Columbus were forced to take the day off, without pay, so the White House entourage could roll through and tout all the taxpayer dollars they were spending. But all that spending got us was more debt and fewer jobs.

#ad#Approximately 1.5 million jobs have been lost since the “stimulus” was signed in 2009 — roughly 300,000 of them as administration officials hopped from town to town promoting the “summer of recovery.” The national unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in May — far above the 8 percent promised by the White House — and has averaged 9.5 percent throughout the Obama presidency.

The president can call this a “bump in the road,” or blame ATMs, or joke that those “shovel ready” jobs that were promised “weren’t as shovel ready as we expected.” But there’s nothing funny about policies that keep workers on the unemployment line and drive us deeper into debt. Those aren’t the kinds of results — and this isn’t the recovery — the American people deserve.

To be fair, there are some positive economic signs in Ohio today, in part because the Buckeye State now has a governor, John Kasich, who is working to remove the barriers that have held back our state economy. But we need that same kind of leadership in Washington.

That’s why, from the moment the American people entrusted us with the majority in the House of Representatives, Republicans have been focused on one thing: jobs.

Our new plan builds on our Pledge to America and the efforts we’ve undertaken all year to liberate our economy from the shackles of debt and big government.

First, our plan would rein in excessive regulatory burdens and red tape that make it harder for small businesses to hire new workers. According to the Small Business Administration, smaller firms spend as much as $10,585 per employee complying with federal regulations. Massive laws such as Obamacare have made things worse by driving up health-care costs and threatening jobs.

We’ve already repealed the devastating small-business paperwork mandates included in the health-care law, and we’re working to repeal and defund the whole thing. Another bill — the REINS Act — would require congressional approval for any federal regulation with a major economic impact.

Our plan would expand American energy production to help create jobs and lower gas prices. The House has already passed the Energy Tax Prevention Act to stop the EPA from imposing a “cap and trade” national energy tax that would destroy jobs and drive up prices. And we’ve approved several bills to expand production and end the administration’s de facto moratorium on offshore energy.

Our plan would pay down America’s debt over time by stopping Washington from spending money it doesn’t have and preventing tax hikes on families and small businesses. The House has passed a budget that would cut more than $6 trillion in government spending, spur private-sector job growth, and save Medicare for current and future retirees. Senate Democrats still haven’t passed a budget, and the president’s plan for Medicare is to let it go bankrupt.

Our plan would reform the tax code to make America more competitive, closing loopholes and lowering rates. And our plan would open new markets for American-made goods by passing the three job-creating trade agreements that are now before Congress — those with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. Every day these agreements are delayed, Ohio farmers and manufacturers lose out to competitors in other countries. We need to act now.

The anniversary of President Obama’s “Recovery Summer” publicity stunt is a good reminder that families and small businesses in Ohio and across the country can’t afford more spending and more debt — they need more jobs. And Republicans are listening.

The Republican plan — reining in excessive regulations, expanding energy production, paying down our debt, fixing our tax code, and opening new markets for American-made goods — is a serious blueprint for private-sector job creation and long-term economic growth.

— Rep. John Boehner (R., Ohio) is Speaker of the House.

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