Congressman Peter Roskam

Representing the 6th District of Illinois

Listening to Job Creators

Mar 15, 2011
Opinion Piece


It's March 2011 and our national unemployment rate is still hovering at an alarming nine percent – our economy continues to suffer the effects of Washington's spending and debt binge. It's been nearly one year since PelosiCare became law and over two years since the failed "stimulus."

That is the same 'stimulus' – nearly a trillion dollars in government spending – that President Obama and Democrats in Congress promised would keep unemployment under eight percent. Well, their spending experiment failed, and to add the proverbial insult to injury, government regulation has become oppressive under four years of Democrat rule in Congress, further stifling the ability of small businesses to create jobs.

Americans continue to suffer its after-effects while House Republicans work to pick up the pieces to repair our economy and strip away the barriers to job creation.

Last Congress, Americans became disillusioned with Washington at a record rate. From profligate wasteful spending without results, to trillions piled up in debt, to jamming through a healthcare bill against the will of the people, Americans rightfully became disillusioned. Republicans made a Pledge to Americans that under their Majority it would be different; Americans would have a voice again. We've kept that pledge.

That's why since day one Republicans' focus has been on jobs, listening to and giving a voice to job creators and Americans disillusioned by the past. The conversation began with America Speaking Out, an outlet for Americans to be heard. It was formalized through the Pledge to America and it has continued through interactive initiatives like YouCut, allowing constituents to determine what spending cut bill will be voted on in Congress.

This week it continues through the interactive Forum on Job Creation, a conversation between American job creators and House Leadership that I'll be moderating. I look forward to a robust conversation hearing from job creators about what Washington needs to do – and should stop doing – to create an environment where private sector jobs can be created.

Job creators have been clear about what's working and what's not. Preventing the massive tax increases last December was a crucial first step to restoring certainty to the marketplace. Yet that is only one piece, and many barriers to job creation remain. Job creators want us to continue to stop the spending and debt binge Washington has been hooked on. Republicans have made a bold first step – cutting $100 billion from the President's budget request – to begin to live within our means and stop spending money we don't have.

We also have to roll back the excessive Washington regulations that crush jobs and shackle businesses small and large with painful mandates. We've introduced the Reins Act (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) in the House, which will require a Congressional vote on any regulation instituted by the unelected federal bureaucracy that has a major impact on the economy. This sort of commonsense measure can restore a level of confidence and certainty for job creators by assuring them they won't be subject to the whims of bureaucrats.

Furthermore, fundamental tax reform is another necessity – creating a tax code that unleashes an explosive pro-growth economic culture. Our tax code is onerous, complex, requires huge compliance costs for citizens and businesses, and fundamentally taxes at too high a rate. With even Japan now reducing its corporate tax rate, the United States will soon hold the dubious distinction of having the highest corporate tax rate in the world, at 35 percent. To say our tax code puts American job creators at a disadvantage is a serial understatement. American companies are continually less competitive compared to their foreign competitors. The 35 percent rate also makes it likely foreign-based employers will invest elsewhere in the world. In fact, the U.S. taking no action – simply maintaining the status quo – will ensure we continue to fall behind.

These are just some of the themes I expect to hear about in the Forum on Job Creation. I know it will be instructive for House Republicans as we continue to listen to job creators and continue to make jobs and economic growth the top focus of this Congress.