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Freedom for Our Job Creators

By Congressman Paul Broun

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Athens, GA, Sep 18, 2011 | comments
A legendary Georgia businessman recently characterized the federal government as the single biggest impediment to job growth today.  That same man, Mr. Bernie Marcus, also claims that the business he founded could never have succeeded if he had tried to start it in today’s regulatory climate.

His Georgia-based business, Home Depot, grew from a single small business in 1978 to the nationwide chain it is today. Currently, it employs more than 300,000 Americans and generated $68 billion in revenue just last year. And, it provides approximately 140 jobs in Athens alone.

Home Depot’s growth is what real job growth looks like – American entrepreneurs using hard work and determination to succeed in an environment that supports them. This is growth that expands naturally, putting food on the table and helping more people provide for their families for decades.

As Mr. Marcus points out, since President Barack Obama took office, the American business environment has radically changed. Examples of government overreach can be seen across the Obama Administration. Obamacare came with thousands of pages of job-crushing regulations. It also has been estimated that new regulations from the Obama EPA will kill more than 7 million jobs. In manufacturing alone it already costs over $10,000 per employee just to comply with the confusing and onerous rules.

While his administration has been stifling the private sector with regulation, President Obama’s efforts for growth are equally misguided. As conservatives warned, the first so-called stimulus was such a bust that the Obama jobs deficit is now 6.7 million jobs from their projections.

Despite the tax credits, state aid, and unemployment assistance in Stimulus I, America still sits above 9 percent unemployment. That means 14 million people – who were promised that President Obama’s 1 trillion dollar stimulus would provide them with jobs – remain out of work. The promise of government-fueled job creation has proven an abject failure. A perfect example of this is Solyndra, a company that received a stimulus-backed $535 million dollar loan, despite auditor warnings, and recently went bankrupt.

Last week, the President presented his American Jobs Act – which analysis reveals to be a $447 billion Stimulus II. While it includes some tax relief that I support, for job creators and for the middle class, it is unfortunately composed largely of the same temporary gimmicks and more fundamentally flawed federal spending programs from Stimulus I.

His plan is a mixed bag of failed worn-out ideas. And it gets worse. This time he is including tax increases that members of both parties agree are a bad idea. The President paints them not as the economic poison they are, but as class warfare against “millionaires and billionaires.” The unfortunate reality is that his tax provisions would hit small businesses and their creators – the backbone of our economy – the hardest. Even Senate Democrats have conceded his tax increases are unacceptable.

The free market is the engine that drives economic growth. Why then does the President insist on the failed notion of government solutions instead of policies that support American free enterprise?

Bernie Marcus may have explained it best: when asked what he would tell President Obama about job creation, he replied, “I'm not sure Obama would understand anything that I'd say, because he's never really worked a day outside the political or legal area. He doesn't know how to make a payroll, he doesn't understand the problems businesses face.”

We must not fall for the foolish idea that central planning and government control can create lasting jobs and growth in the private sector.  What government has created are an ever-growing mountain of debt and an avalanche of regulations that kills jobs and destroys the economy.

As an alternative to these government-centric solutions, I authored the JOBS Act, HR 660. It will create jobs by unshackling American entrepreneurship and the free market.

My bill would remove the tax burden from our job creators – whether they are small businessmen, corporations, individual investors, or entrepreneurs – and allow them to do what they do best: create jobs in the private sector.

If we want a true recovery, we absolutely must cast aside the chains of big government in favor of true growth and prosperity. As Mr. Marcus said, “It's time to stand up and fight. These people in Washington are out there making your life difficult, and many of you won't survive. Why aren't you doing something about it?”

I urge all of you who are tired of this endless recession and tired of a government that takes and demands too much to make sure your voice rings in the White House and through the halls of Congress.

Printed in the Athens Banner Herald - Click here for original article.

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