(Congressman Joe Heck) – We heard the American Jobs Act’s $447 billion price tag during President Obama’s recent speeches, but we never heard how many jobs it would create and how far down it would bring the unemployment rate. We never heard support for spending controls or a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States’ Constitution. We never heard a compelling diagnosis for what’s ailing growth and job creation. So how can we decide if this policy prescription would cure the economy?
America’s job creators at all levels have made it clear that they need certainty and stability about the future, and America’s workers need certainty about their job security. Job creators and workers say that the only way to create this certainty is through real, structural changes to our tax, regulatory and spending systems – not more one-year ‘stimulus’ spending.
Based on the President’s speeches, the American Jobs Act will mostly be $447 billion worth of one-year ‘stimulus’ spending. Washington shouldn’t spend more tax dollars on something that already failed simply to appear that it is doing ‘something.’
There were, however, some items mentioned in his Joint Address that job creators, workers, Republicans and Democrats all agree will help the economy. We should start by making those items law, and do so by voting on them free from other amendments or pet projects. Examples include expediting the permitting process for construction projects to get more projects underway faster; ensuring that those who have been, or are at risk of being, unemployed for an extended period of time are learning skills that meet local employers’ needs; advancing the three pending trade agreements to expand markets for U.S. small businesses and manufacturers; and eliminating the required 10 percent set-aside on state transportation dollars to give states more control over the projects that are right for them.
We can turn these items, which both sides already support, into law without increasing taxes or burdening future generations with more debt. We must act on these items now.