Commentary: Jobs bill fails to address unemployment

Responding to writer Samantha O'Dell (Re. Congress should pass jobs act, Oct. 7): House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's actual quotation was: "The president continues to say, 'Pass my bill in its entirety,' and as I've said from the outset, the all-or-nothing approach is just unacceptable."

O'Dell should speak to the facts. The House will move forward on legislation in which there is some agreement between the two parties: making permanent the 3% withholding provision for government contractors in Obama's jobs bill; passing three trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea that have languished on Obama's desk since the beginning of his term in office; repealing regulations restricting business; and introducing a bill to increase small-business owners' access to capital.

But more to the point, the initial $800-billion stimulus left Americans with zero job growth and continued economic stagnation; the $450-billion "jobs bill" is simply more of the same. O'Dell's ad hominem attacks on the Republican Party only reinforce the notion that the Obama administration does not understand how jobs are created.

Certainly, unemployment benefits help the unemployed; they do not create jobs. A tax credit of a few thousand dollars is a fraction of the cost of hiring an employee — at best a short-term solution — and taxing those who create jobs discourages investment, slows economic growth and deters job creation. The Republicans are smart to distance themselves from a bill and approach that has been tried and failed.

We live in a global and competitive economic environment, yet the United States has the highest corporate tax rate and one of the most burdensome regulatory environments in the world. To ignite the engine of economic growth we must reject the principles of crony capitalism where the government chooses the winners and losers, and instead again embrace those of free markets that encourage the entrepreneurial spirit.

Such a program would include rolling back burdensome regulations that unwittingly force businesses overseas, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, FDA red tape and innumerable EPA pronouncements — to list just a few. It would include giving a level playing field to corporations when dealing with unions in recognition that the pendulum has swung too far on the side of unions solely for political reasons.

Further, through relaxed taxation policy, we would encourage individuals to make capital investments as they pursue their dreams and innovations.

Finally, all of this must be enacted in a permanent way so that there is stability and certainty in the system.

The "jobs bill" is not really a jobs bill; it does not address the root causes of unemployment in our country. Until there is an honest and truthful dialogue void of demagoguery, our economic engine will sputter and fail.

ANITA MEISTER-BOYD lives in Newport Coast.

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