After Congressman Andy Harris heard President Obama’s new proposal for that “one thing – jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs,” as Teamster head James Hoffa would say, his reaction was short, sweet, and direct:
Over Labor Day weekend I met with many small business owners on the Ocean City Boardwalk – a common theme I heard from those potential job creators was their desire to get government out of the way so that they could do what they do best: grow their businesses and create American jobs. President Obama’s newest spending plan is nothing more than a second Stimulus bill. Just like the first Stimulus passed by the previous Congress, it will not create jobs, but instead delay recovery, increase the debt and grow the size of government. I believe that common sense ideas like a balanced budget amendment, elimination of job-destroying regulations and making America energy independent will create American jobs and get us out of this recession.
Well, he’s right, isn’t he? More after the jump.
Let’s take Andy’s three ideas point by point. While a balanced budget amendment would be nice, the effort still has to made to reduce the size and scope of government once that goal of deficit reduction begins to be achieved. What good is balancing the budget if the tax rate has to go up to 70, 80, or 90 percent on the job creators (also known to the Democrats as “the wealthy”) to make it happen? With the future state of our entitlement programs if nothing is changed, that may be the direction we head in.
He’s more correct on the need to eliminate job-destroying regulations, but unfortunately we have bureaucrats who create them faster than Congress can swat them down. And there’s a second aspect to this where the government picks winners and losers in the economy which also needs to be addressed. How many of these supposedly business-friendly regulations are a result of the crony capitalism running rampant in Washington?
And while making America energy independent is an admirable goal, I think it’s a more realistic aspiration to at least restrict our energy needs to those which can be found on our continent. The Keystone XL pipeline is a good example of this since it originates in Canada but will serve America’s energy needs. We will need some infrastructure help from our Canadian friends to bring Alaskan oil here as well, unless we want to regularly traverse the Pacific Ocean and risk another Exxon Valdez disaster. There’s no question some oil and liquefied natural gas needs to be transported by ship, but reducing the environmental risk by utilizing pipeline transport seems to make sense from a logistics standpoint.
So Harris is right in broad terms, but I hope he’s devoting some deeper thought to what he says as he may have to gird for Harris-Kratovil part 3. We won’t know for sure until redistricting is done, but my money’s placed on that probability.
Update: Now this level of depth is a little more my style, and it has some salient points. The Competitive Enterprise Institute tends to get it right, and for the most part they hit a home run here.