As we race toward the November election, you can be sure that President Barack Obama and his disciples will be ticking off his perceived accomplishments in his bid to win re-election. He will attempt to position himself as the tax-cutting, regulation-busting friend of small business.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
If you listen closely, he will side-step the priorities he failed to accomplish in his three years in office, and won’t accomplish in 2012. They all have one thing in common: They are needed like blood to resuscitate a hemorrhaging economy where flat lining job creation is beyond the hope of recovery anytime soon.
Here are the five issues he must address to create jobs but will fail to act on.
1. Using tax reform as a competitive advantage
When a company spends its energy wading through and complying with an onerous and confusing tax code, it creates uncertainty. Uncertainty kills jobs. To suggest as Obama often does, that American businesses believe they are not paying enough taxes, is absurd.
Our tax code forces our manufacturers to move operations overseas where it favors foreign producers, even as it discriminates against American producers hiring American workers. It is time that the U.S. tax code stop infringing on American business prosperity, and instead institute a tax code that gives us a competitive advantage to bring our factories home and to grow jobs in the United States.
During the Reagan years, from 1981 to 1989, tax reform helped make this period the most prosperous in American history, creating some 17 million new jobs.
President Ronald Reagan understood that by simplifying the tax code and reducing corporate taxes, it incentivizes our job creators.
There are some promising ideas circulating such as the Flat Tax and the Fair Tax. But these are being ignored by an administration that isn’t willing to fix our current broken tax code other than piling on new taxes. We need tax reform that works with us, not against us.
2. Passing healthcare reform that establishes an efficiently run healthcare system
We all agree that the current healthcare system is a convoluted mess. It is too costly and too fragmented to be effective. It rattles the mind to realize the cost of healthcare is increasing each year at six times the cost of inflation. If left unchecked this alone is enough to turn an economic superpower into one resembling a third-world country.
The Supreme Court by mid-year will rule that imposing personal mandates to purchase insurance is unconstitutional, thereby tossing Obamacare into the trash bin.
The question is what comes next?
It will take a new administration not encumbered by the embarrassment and folly of Obamacare to keep America competitive by finally presenting healthcare reform that focuses on affordability, accessibility and predictability.
3. Immigration reform that builds our economy by attracting the world’s best talent
Obama promised immigration reform, but when highly skilled immigrants who have received degrees at our universities are punished instead of being recruited to boost U.S. technology and innovation, America loses. Foreign students come to the U.S. to take advantage of our exceptional higher education system. We need to retain that knowledge here through a visa program that allows them to contribute in a significant way to our economy.
Truth be told, some of the world’s best minds and most talented entrepreneurs are lining up each morning at our embassies hoping to come to America to invest their talent, education and resources. Sadly they are being turned away in record numbers. Just seven percent of our permanent visas are given to people whose skills could reinvigorate our global leadership. Unfortunately we are losing the recruitment battle to countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
We must stop denigrating illegal immigration and focus on legal immigration.
4. Regulation reform that reduces the burden on our job creators
Though Obama has given lip service to the excessive regulation being thrown at our job creators at the federal, state and local levels, he has done little about it. The best he could do was find $10 billion in cuts out of the $1.7 trillion each year our businesses spend in compliance costs. That’s more than they pay in taxes!
Instead of spending $800 billion on a failed stimulus, for which every dollar we had to borrow, we should reduce the cost of regulation. We would not need to borrow a penny and it would be a boon to job creation.
5. Education reform that puts equal emphasize on vocation.
The Obama administration is populated with Ivy League alums. Besides having no connection to our job creators, they have no connection to other types of education. Specifically, they fail to recognize the relationship between education and vocation. That’s why they have ignored data that projects that over half the jobs generated over the next decade will not require a college education but technical training. Technical jobs pay well and are in high demand.
To balance our educational needs, it will take a new leader with vision that understands job creation at its most basic level. We have one of the smartest and hardest working workforces in the world. We need to ensure they are equipped to compete. We have not done well in tapping into the inherent skills of our workforce to fill today’s technical jobs and those of tomorrow. .
As the election draws nearer, the Obama administration’s glaring missteps in job creation and righting the economy will become increasingly clearer to the American people. In 2012 there will be no legions of believers lined up several blocks to vote. They have tired of the rhetoric without action and have found that Obama’s vision and leadership were no sturdier than the backdrop of faux Roman pillars at Mile High Stadium where he accepted the Democratic nomination.
What’s worse, in order to get re-elected he cannot run on his record. No more lofty ideals and pretending to be the “President of all Americans.”
Even his supporters are disenchanted, recognizing that his ideals were merely campaign fodder. In order to win he will need to go on the offensive and run the most negative, cringe-worthy campaign in American history.
This will redefine gutter politics.
He once ran as an immortal, now he is just running scared.
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