U.S. Chamber Highlights Continued Barriers to Job Creation at Annual Labor Day Briefing
Uncertainty Over Taxes, Labor Regulations Stifle Job Creation in America
WASHINGTON, D.C.—As businesses struggle with an increasingly uncertain economic climate and millions of Americans struggle to find work, experts at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual Labor Day briefing today explored the impact that pending tax increases and burdensome regulations could have on job creation.
“The most important thing Washington can do for the economy is to take action immediately to prevent massive tax increases on America’s consumers and businesses,” said Dr. Martin Regalia, chief economist for the U.S. Chamber. “Providing certainty for employers will go a long way toward restoring our economy and creating jobs for the American people.”
The U.S. Chamber has called for an extension of all existing tax rates, which would, in one bold stroke, boost investor, business, and consumer confidence by bringing certainty to tax policy. An extension would allow businesses to plan for and invest in the future which will lead to renewed economic growth and job creation.
“America’s business community is facing a possible avalanche of new laws, rules, and regulations,” said Randy Johnson, senior vice president for Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits for the U.S. Chamber. “Unfortunately for millions of Americans, the agenda currently being pursued by Washington has made it much tougher for employers to hire new workers. It’s hard to create jobs and drive the economy forward when you’re worried about a blizzard of new rules and regulations built upon an already complex regime of employment laws.”
This multitude of new labor and employment regulations and other initiatives is summarized in Bearing Down on Employers: The New Labor and Immigration Landscape, a publication released today by the Chamber. Examples of the new laws or regulations completed or supported by the administration include:
- Rewriting labor laws to effectively abandon secret ballot elections in favor of card check and creating a mechanism for government appointed arbitrators to write terms and conditions of labor contracts;
- Amending safety and health laws to expand criminal penalties, reduce the burden of proof for a conviction, and make officers and directors of companies personally accountable for criminal penalties;
- A regulation to make union organizing easier for railway and airport employees, overturning 75 years of precedent; and
- Expansion of vague recordkeeping requirements that will likely lead to issuance of a new ergonomics standard.
In addition, the business community is facing a number of rulemakings under the recently enacted health care legislation which will further exacerbate the uncertainties that the employer community is facing across the board. Areas being defined in regulations include grandfathering plan status, the administration of the employer mandate, and new benefit coverage requirements that may force plans and employers to choose between complying with the new law and remaining fiscally solvent.
The Chamber has been a leader in the discussion about job creation for the last year. In July, the Chamber issued an open letter to the president, Congress, and the American people titled Jobs for America, outlining impediments to U.S. job growth. The letter warned that pending legislative and regulatory proposals would impact the business community, resulting in uncertainty and inhibited economic growth.
Today’s economic, tax, and labor briefing is one of a series of activities the Chamber is pursuing to highlight the negative impacts of the tsunami of new rules and regulations being imposed on America’s job creators.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
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