It’s Jobs, Stupid
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High unemployment and the lack of job creation is foremost on Americans’ minds, according to a Gallup poll. “Creating good jobs” topped the list of issues that should be the next president’s priority. Second was “Reducing corruption in the federal government,” and third was “Reducing the federal budget deficit.” Another fiscal issue, “Ensuring the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare,” made the top five. At the bottom of the list was “Increasing taxes on wealthy Americans.”
So what has Congress been doing to address Americans’ greatest concern - jobs? Last week, the Senate voted to raise taxes on small business owners, under the rubric of taxing the wealthy. I’m not sure how that would create a single job. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’ll cost jobs.
It’s also worth noting what Congress has not been doing. It has done nothing to avoid the looming fiscal cliff, automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to take place in 2013, resulting in a significant number of job losses and possibly a recession. Some leaders are emitting partisan bluster instead of finding a way to steer clear of the cliff. There’s also little movement on tax and entitlement reform. The first is needed to make America more globally competitive (we have the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world), and the second is needed to ensure that the economy isn’t weighed down with crushing debt.
According to the most recent U.S. Chamber Small Business Outlook Survey, inaction on the part of Congress has created economic uncertainty that is preventing small businesses from hiring more workers.