Do the Democrats Want to Create Jobs -- or Red Tape?
A new video produced by the Republican Study Committee (RSC) for the Internet this week opens with Rep.Cynthia Lummis standing beside a Caterpillar tractor and pointing to a stack of new federal regulations that is taller than she is. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that an economy is less able to create new jobs when it costs more than $1 trillion a year to comply with federal regulations. In an effort to spark job creation, the House has passed -- with bipartisan majorities -- 15 bills in 2011 designed to loosen this regulatory straitjacket, as well as simplify the tax code and enable the energy industry to expand domestic production and employment.
Unfortunately, Lummis and other House Republicans face a seemingly insurmountable obstacle: Senate Democrats have mystifyingly refused to bring a single one of their bills to a vote in the upper chamber. Maybe we shouldn't be so mystified. After all, as we noted in this space Friday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ridiculously claims that "millions of jobs" would have been created in recent months but for Republican opposition to President Obama's $449 billion second economic stimulus proposal. And earlier in the week, Obama said Americans are "better off now" than they were when he took office. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi even claimed that unemployment would be 15 percent had Obama's first stimulus program not been approved by the previous Congress.
To appreciate how out of touch the Democrats are, one need only look a little deeper into the 9 percent unemployment rate announced Friday by the Department of Labor. David Stewart, economic advisor to House Speaker John Boehner, did just that and came up with the following data comparing the situation today with the economy in October 2007: Four years ago, 7.2 million Americans were out of work, compared to nearly 14 million now. That's an increase of almost 100 percent. The 9 percent unemployment rate for October 2011 is 92 percent higher than the 4.9 percent rate seen in October 2007. The average duration of unemployment then was four months; today it's nine months, an increase of 125 percent.
Unemployment among blacks has spiraled from 8.5 percent to 15.1 percent, a 75 percent increase, while unemployment among Hispanics has gone from 5.6 percent to 11.4 percent, a 104 percent increase. For people with high school diplomas, the rate has gone from 7.3 percent to 13.8 percent, an 89 percent increase. Among college grads, the rate has more than doubled, from 2.1 percent to 4.4 percent. Clearly, America is not "better off" today than it was four years ago.
But if Senate Democrats refuse to consider the 15 bills previously approved by the House in 2011, perhaps they should spend some time studying the RSC's just-introduced "Jobs Through Growth Act." According to the RSC, the proposal "cuts through red tape. It makes the tax code simpler, flatter, and fairer. It tears down barriers to energy production and helps lower the price of gas. In short, it creates jobs by growing the economy -- not the government." What's not to love about that? Or are Democrats only interested in creating more government and more red tape?Online: Washington Examiner