America needs jobs. And private investors are failing to create those jobs in needed numbers.
Politicians of all stripes claim to understand this, and to be seeking ways to fix it.
But the Obama administration is massively handicapped in this effort by the fact that neither the president nor the vast majority of his advisers have ever created or even held jobs of any significance in the private sector. Coming from backgrounds in government and academia, they tend to stress government subsidies for hand-picked projects -- always more government as the remedy, never less.
For three years, this approach has failed miserably. This provides a perfect opportunity for an opposition party.
So, House Republicans say they're planning votes almost every week this fall in an effort to repeal environmental and labor-law requirements on business that they say have hampered job growth.
In a memo sent to GOP lawmakers Monday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced that during the week of Sept. 12, House Republicans will try to overrule a National Labor Relations Board ruling that seeks to restrict Boeing's effort to open an assembly line in South Carolina, creating thousands of new jobs. Business leaders accuse the Obama administration of interfering to try to help their labor allies, because South Carolina is a right-to-work state with fewer unions than Washington state -- where Boeing is also increasing its work force, oddly enough.
In the following month, Mr. Cantor says, House Republicans will focus on job-destroying EPA regulations. House Republicans would block an effort to regulate coal ash in mining-heavy states they say would hinder concrete production and cost more than 100,000 jobs. Through the fall and winter, Mr. Cantor said, the caucus will vote to repeal at least 10 regulations that committee chairmen have identified as "costly bureaucratic handcuffs that Washington has imposed upon business."
Republicans also plan to urge passage of some tax proposals, including their long-standing support for a plan that would allow businesses with fewer than 500 employees to deduct 20 percent of their annual income off their taxes -- part of their 2010 "Pledge to America."
Will these efforts succeed?
As with this year's attempts to repeal ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank "consumer protection" bill, no, most will fail. It's hard to govern from a single house when the Democratic Senate is set to reject anything opposed by the labor unions, Big Pharma and the trial lawyers, and the business-bashing Democratic president has a veto pen as a backstop.
Already, Public Citizen, a liberal lobbying group, is ululating that any attempt to curb crushing new EPA regulations is tantamount to endorsing "more asthma and lung disease," while other GOP regulatory rollbacks are characterized as likely to cause more child deaths from "choking on small toy parts," etc.
But this is no reason for Republicans to shirk their duty to slash away at costly taxes and regulations that currently cripple American enterprise. Lots of Democratic senators are up for re-election next year. As the elections near and Americans continue to slog through a deepening economic morass, who knows? Maybe enough Democratic senators will figure that if they can help save the economy and their own skins, at the cost of breaking ranks with the Reid-Schumer Democratic leadership, two out of three ain't bad.