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U.S. Chamber's Open Letter to President and Congress Offers Plan to Put America Back to Work
At Jobs Summit, Donohue Calls for Halt to Increased Government Bureaucracy
WASHINGTON, D.C.—At its Jobs for America: Summit 2010 today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent an open letter to President Barack Obama, Congress, and the American people highlighting the uncertainty businesses are feeling due to growing government regulations, and offering solutions to what remains our nation’s number one challenge: creating jobs and reviving economic growth. The Jobs for America Summit is part of the Chamber’s comprehensive, multiyear American Free Enterprise: Dream Big. campaign to promote the creation of 20 million American jobs in the next 10 years.
“Taken collectively, the regulatory activity now underway is so overwhelming and beyond anything we have ever seen, that we risk moving this country away from a government of the people to a government of regulators,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue in his speech today in front of 500 business, trade association, nonprofit, government, and youth leaders at the Jobs Summit. “It is vitally important that the administration, the Congress, the regulators, and the private sector examine what has been created. We must address the cumulative job-killing impact of over-regulation.”
“Uncertainty is the enemy of growth, investment, and job creation,” states the open letter. “Through their legislative and regulatory proposals—some passed, some pending, and others simply talked about—the congressional majority and the administration have injected tremendous uncertainty into economic decision making and business planning. In the process, we are also eroding our competitive position globally, as other nations take steps to cut taxes, reduce regulations, and restrain the appetites of government.”
Donohue called on the Congress and administration to immediately put a stop to the cascade of new regulations that are a principal reason why businesses are so reluctant to make investments and create jobs. “Each time a new regulatory proposal is even floated in Washington, investors in the potentially impacted industries close their wallets,” reads the letter. Examples include the 533 new rulemakings, 60 studies, and 93 reports as part of the pending financial reform legislation; 41 rulemakings, 25 mandatory regulations, 38 studies and dozens of additional potential new rules and regulations that are part of the new health care law; and an EPA endangerment finding that would subject an additional six million small facilities to an onerous and costly permitting process.
The Chamber urged immediate action by the Congress and administration to help America turn the corner and revive job creation, including:
- Moving toward a competitive tax structure that creates certainty for businesses by temporarily extending all of the tax relief passed in the prior decade and reducing the U.S. corporate tax rate. In one bold, swift move, this would substantially boost investor, business, and consumer confidence and would infuse our economy with fresh momentum.
- Controlling the rising deficits and debt by generating additional federal revenues and restraining spending. The letter suggests that as much as $1.7 trillion in revenue could be generated over 10 years through numerous oil, gas, and shale leases on our lands and off our shores. Similarly, opening the more than 80% of national forest lands that are currently closed to timber harvesting would add billions of dollars to the tax base as well as thousands of jobs.
- Expanding trade by passing the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and Korea will protect at least 380,000 U.S. jobs that are at risk if Washington fails to act.
- Modernizing all forms of American infrastructure, including surface and air transport, ports, inland waterways, water and power generation facilities, and broadband communications will generate millions of jobs. The letter points out that if America’s transportation and water infrastructure was fully opened to private investment, the $180 billion available today in private capital could generate more than 1.5 million jobs over 10 years.
In advance of today’s summit, the Chamber released two independent polls showing that small business owners and American voters are deeply concerned about the impact government expansion and debt is having on job creation. The polls, conducted July 6-8 by Lombardo Consulting Group, showed that nearly six in ten (57%) small business owners and more than six in ten (62%) of American voters feel that this administration does not have a clear plan for creating jobs. Nearly seven in ten (68%) small business owners and 60% of voters believe that this administration’s new rules and regulations are expanding the size of government “far too much, resulting in a weaker U.S. economy and fewer jobs.”
“The business community shares the view of most Americans that the current approaches are not working,” Donohue said. “We are offering an achievable road map to greater economic growth and more jobs, and we don’t care who gets the credit. We invite leaders in government and citizens across the nation to support it.”
Today’s Jobs Summit is one of over one hundred events hosted by the U.S. Chamber’s American Free Enterprise. Dream Big. campaign in an effort to focus the nation on the goal of creating 20 million new American jobs in the next 10 years. This comprehensive, multiyear effort is designed to support free enterprise through national advertising; grassroots advocacy; citizen, community, and youth engagement; and research and ideas leadership.
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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