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What is the Jobs through Growth Act?
Before beginning it is important to recognize this act and others like it are proposals which must be agreed upon between both houses of Congress and may have changes in the content before or if it becomes law. The details being presented include addressing major or significant issues affecting the growth of our economy. The major or significant need to be changed is the environment affecting the willingness of companies to expand and hire individuals to provide their products and/or services to their customers. The current unemployment rate though it has come down from its high at the beginning of the economic downturn is still too high and must be addressed through logical actions. Individuals today who have either lost their jobs or have had their hours reduced to less than 30 per week are hurting and Congress must properly address the causes to fix the issues.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph the need for jobs in our economy is undeniable and actions by the federal government can help to resolve the issues plaguing businesses in the area of jobs. Lack of confidence by business to either expand or hire additional individuals to help provide the services or products to their customers is the big stumbling block. The need to provide this confidence is recognized by both political parties and the positive and negatives of each budget proposal need to be examined against each other. No political party has all the answers in their proposals but good elements or philosophy are identified in both budget proposals. The positives of both budget proposals need to come together to have a budget which not only recognizes the need for increasing jobs but making the right decisions.
The strategy of increasing the number of individuals working between the political parties is quite different. While there are proposed budgets by the Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives there is only one budget in the Senate. The information being presented is the approach of the budgets in the House of Representatives.
Increasing the number of jobs for individuals in the country is recognized by both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. It is commendable that both organizations recognize the need to put individuals back to work. One of the positives of having more individuals working is that it provides additional revenue for the government and helps to reduce the amount required to borrow. While having the same objective it does not guarantee the same approach is being taken to make this objective come to pass.
It is true that much has happened and is still happening to American jobs in society and the causes need to be addressed and actions taken to provide resolution to the problem. Many things affect the job market and addressing them in a sound and logical way will not be easy especially since there appear to be major differences between the political parties. The Democratic approach is titled Job Creation and Economic Growth and the Republican approach is titled Jobs through Growth.
The unemployment rate by all statistics is at a level that is unacceptable and the rate is impacted by a number of factors not the least of which is the uncertainty in actions or inactions of the federal government. Some of the factors include but not limited to tax laws, regulations, environmental regulations/rules and uncertainty in government actions from one year to another. These appear at least on the surface to be the main drivers related to job growth or the lack of it. Granted there have been new jobs created each month as reported by the government but the numbers are not high enough to make a real difference or point to a recovery from the economic downturn.
Making decisions about job growth is the aim of both political parties but their approach to the issue is where there appears to be major differences. In the job growth portion of the House Democratic budget it proposes to spend 200 billion dollars to create jobs. Some government spending related to jobs may be needed but it is not the only solution. Creating jobs through government funds is not a permanent solution as these jobs are temporary. The actions being proposed to increase the number of jobs need to come from the private sector of the economy. The private sector is the place where jobs need to be created. These types of jobs are more permanent in nature. The economy needs permanent or at least long term jobs not jobs that will go away after government funding runs out. The current environment coming out of Washington is not friendly in many cases to business. One aspect of the Democratic budget proposal in the House of Representatives is to get rid of the automatic reductions imposed by the sequester agreement. The agreement which was agreed to by both parties and the White House requires automatic reductions in the budget each year for the period of the agreement which is a real reduction in spending.
One statistic being projected in the Democratic budget plan is to create around a million jobs with little details on what actions or decisions will be necessary to reach this objective. Granted the Democratic solution is only a proposal and the statistics and other content may eventually change as with the Republican proposals. There will undoubtedly be stressful times to arrive at a budget deal for which the deadline is fast approaching. do agree there needs to be actions by the government to create jobs but job creation should be by the private sector not government. While other areas of the Democratic budget talk about details the approach by the Democrats is to spend more money which may or may not be the right approach. If this approach is finalized whether this achieves the objectives we will have to wait and see.
Specifics of the Jobs through growth act included in the House Republican Budget plan for 2014 attacks some of the well-known critical issues which have been discussed but no action taken. Each of these issues does affect our economic prosperity and the number of working individuals. One is a fairer tax system. Our tax system and the regulations which go with it are cumbersome and needs to be simplified to make it fair for each individual and business. The current tax system is not fair and one example cited is the marriage penalty. Another aspect of the Republican proposal is to reduce tax rates. The proposal is modeled after the Taxpayer Choice Act of 2007. Part of the proposal includes providing generous deductions for families and switching to just two tax rates. These changes will not be easy but revamping our tax system has long been needed but our elected officials in the past have only talked about changing the tax code not taking action to accomplish it.
Another aspect of the Republican proposal is getting rid of government red tape. Numerous regulations are issued in conjunction with laws generated by Congress. These regulations for the most part have not been reviewed by Congress to ensure they are in agreement with the laws generated. It is the responsibility of Congress to review such actions by the Executive Department. Whether this requires a law or if Congress can just require regulations which impose major changes to regulations to be reviewed by Congress before they are issued is the question. A bill titled the REINS act is just such requirement which has been written but not yet passed into law.
The final changes involve our energy resources. The Keystone pipeline project which has been delayed if not rejected outright is being proposed to be implemented by reducing red tape. Unlocking areas for exploration both on and offshore needs to take place and this aspect of the Jobs through growth act is proposing such action. In addition it requires reductions in mandates and prohibitions which artificially increase the price of gasoline we pay at the pump. There is much resistance by environmentalist to restrict oil production on government land but this is the only area where increased production has been restricted. Private lands in several locations have taken the initiative to develop the oil resources they have and the areas have seen a boom in their economy including a high increase of jobs. These areas are examples where the number of available jobs could dramatically increase if only the restrictions reluctance to authorize production on government land. I agree with protecting the environment and environmentalist need to work for some agreement so that production can be initiated not constantly focusing on the potential negatives. Increasing oil production could impact the prices we pay for gas at the pump.
To be fair some additional details of the House Democrat budget proposal associated with jobs include such things as funding for transportation priorities but it does not define what these priorities include. It is an important aspect as there is much need for funding road repairs and bridge replacement. There have been disasters regarding bridge collapses but there is not enough funding to address the needs. Many states are strapped for cash and need some funding support to fix the critical problems facing their infrastructure. In addition the Democrat budget identifies the creation of education jobs and funds for first responders including police officers and fire fighters. This is a good thing.
The contrast of information between the Democrat and Republican House budget proposals regarding job creation or at least focusing on improving the environment for increasing jobs in the public sector is a good thing. The objectives of both budget proposals are the same to create an environment where businesses have the confidence and initiative to hire additional workers. Let us hope this aspect of the budgets will come together to address the causes limiting the incentives for businesses to hire additional workers.