In the past week alone, new reports have shown that household incomes are dropping, health care costs are rising, labor force participation is at a 30-year low and the economy is so weak that the unemployment rate has been stuck above eight percent for 43 consecutive months. What is President Obama doing to address the dismal economy that will only get worse if his tax hikes and defense ‘sequester’ take place as scheduled on January 1st? Not much. Here’s a look at how President Obama has failed to lead on jobs and what Republicans are doing to pick up the slack:
- Refusing to Offer a Plan to Avert the Looming Fiscal Cliff that Could Usher In a “Deep Recession”: A new book out this week by Bob Woodward confirms that the idea for the ‘sequester’ – the volatile mix of small business tax hikes and arbitrary defense cuts scheduled to take effect in January - “originated in the White House” because President Obama did not want to have a debt ceiling debate in an election year. Now, amid warnings that a failure to address the president’s ‘sequester’ will lead to another credit rating downgrade and bring about a “deep recession,” President Obama is trying to pass the buck instead of offering a plan to resolve the issue. The House has already done its job and passed a plan to replace the president’s sequester with common-sense spending cuts and reforms, prompting Speaker Boehner to ask, “Where is the leadership” from President Obama?
- Demanding a Small Business Tax Hike that Threatens 700,000 American Jobs: President Obama is standing in the way of a solution to the looming fiscal cliff he is responsible for by demanding a small business tax hike that puts more than 700,000 American jobs at risk. The House has voted to stop the tax hike on small businesses, and to begin crafting pro-growth tax reform that will help bring home some of the jobs that have gone overseas.
- Failing to Call on Senate Democrats to Act on More than 30 House-Passed Jobs Bills: The House has passed more than 30 jobs bills aimed at rolling back barriers to private-sector job creation that remain stalled in the Democratic-led Senate. While more than 23 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for work, President Obama has refused to call on Senate Democrats to pass these bills so they can be enacted immediately.
- Blocking American Energy Production that Would Help Address High Gas Prices & Create Jobs: Gas prices have doubled on President Obama’s watch, hitting record highs recently while his administration has repeatedly blocked more American energy exploration and development that would help address high costs and create jobs. With the American Energy Initiative, the House has passed numerous bills that would unlock American energy, most of which are part of the more than 30 jobs bills being blocked by Senate Democrats.
- Breaking His Promise to Rein in Skyrocketing Debt & Deficits that Threaten Jobs & Hamper Economic Growth: When President Obama took office, he pledged to “cut the deficit in half” in his first term. Since that time, he has added more than $5 trillion to the debt, which now stands at more than $16 trillion, and run four trillion-dollar deficits. His widely-panned budgets would make matters worse by spending too much, taxing too much and borrowing too much, and have been unanimously rejected. With the president’s tacit approval, Senate Democrats have not even passed a budget in more than three years. Economists warn that failing to rein in the out-of-control spending hurts economic growth and makes it harder to create jobs, which is why Republicans have repeatedly voted to cut spending and offered budgets (here and here) that address major drivers of debt while strengthening and preserving Americans’ health and retirement security.
- Ignoring the Recommendations of and Failing to Meet with His Own Jobs Council: President Obama has, according to the White House, had too much “on his plate” to meet with his own jobs council in more than seven months. His absence isn’t surprising, since he has ignored most of the council’s recommendations, several of which echo the Republican jobs plan.
- Handing Down an Onslaught of Excessive Regulations: Despite promising “a government-wide review…to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive,” the National Federation of Independent Business reports that the Obama administration currently has more than 4,000 federal regulations “in the pipeline which, if implemented, will impose costs of more than $515 billion on the U.S. economy.” According to the Heritage Foundation, “a total of 106 new major regulations” have already been imposed by the Obama administration “at a cost of more than $46 billion annually, and nearly $11 billion in one-time implementation costs” – a five-fold increase over the previous administration. Consistent with their Pledge to America, House Republicans have been working to “rein in the red tape factory in Washington,” while Senate Democrats continue blocking those efforts.
- Pouring Millions of Taxpayer Dollars Into Risky Pet Projects that Fail to Create Jobs: According to an extensive investigation by the House Energy & Commerce Committee, the Obama administration not only ignored warnings about its precarious, taxpayer-funded investment in Solyndra, but also put the interests of the company’s financial backers – who still stand to walk away with millions in tax breaks - ahead of American taxpayers. Today, Solyndra’s 1,100 employees have joined the ranks of America’s 12.5 million unemployed and the $535 million taxpayer-funded loan guarantee has amounted to nothing more than a very costly art project. This week, the House will vote on the No More Solyndras Act (H.R. 6213) to wind down the failed loan program, ensure taxpayers’ interests are not subordinated to financial backers, and increase transparency and accountability from the Obama administration.
- Rejecting and Personally Lobbying Against the Keystone XL Pipeline and 20,000 American Jobs It Would Create: President Obama rejected and personally lobbied against the Keystone XL pipeline and the 20,000 “new, real U.S. jobs” that come with it – sending those jobs overseas to China instead. As Speaker Boehner has made clear, Republicans are listening to Americans and “will continue to fight for this common-sense proposal.”