By Bradbury H. Anderson
Job creators across the United States believe President Obama when he says he wants to create jobs. The effort his administration put into his recent campaign-style trip to promote his new “grand bargain” is a testament to his focus on jobs. But that bargain is fatally flawed because it establishes government as the engine for job growth.
The engine of job growth in this country is business, not government.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, small firms accounted for 64 percent of new jobs created between 1993 and 2011.
Since the president took office, small firms have accounted for 67 percent of new jobs. Why then would we focus on temporary government stimulus jobs to end interminable months of stagnant job growth?
Those of us doing business in Western New York know the environment is not business-friendly. Much of this is the fault of Albany’s tax-and-spend mentality, but the federal government makes it far worse. Regulations are strangling family farms; taxes are discouraging business expansion, investment and hiring. But above all, the Affordable Care Act has stopped job growth cold.
The new health care law’s employer mandate requires companies with 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance or pay a hefty fine. The mandate defines a full-time employee down to anyone working a 30-hour week. Today, companies are struggling with the costs of the new law; many are planning for the worst. Every week a company quietly downsizes to beat the minimum, another announces plans to hire more part-time workers. This is certainly a key reason 65 percent of the July jobs and 77 percent of all jobs added in 2013 were part time – and why we have had seven months of dismal employment reports.
Instead of easing the unintended job-killing effects of the Affordable Care Act, the administration is making it worse. And instead of stepping out of the way of business, America’s proven job growth engine, the new grand bargain invests billions into another stimulus to create temporary government jobs.
Among job creators, it is fast becoming evident that Obama does not trust us to do what we do best. Instead, he invests his faith and taxpayers’ billions in government. And we don’t expect things to get better anytime soon: the Democrats need a new argument on jobs for the 2014 midterm election, when Republicans will make jobs a central campaign issue.
Unfortunately, the politics that gave birth to the new grand bargain will most likely assure we are in for many more months of Carter-era unemployment statistics.
Bradbury H. Anderson served as chief executive officer of Best Buy and is a member of Job Creators Alliance.