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Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Global Cooling to the rescue: Snow Slows Obama's Second Stimulus
By Heritage Foundation @ 3:01 PM :: 4580 Views :: National News, Ethics

The snowstorms that have already dumped over two feet of snow on the nation's Capitol and that are threatening to dump another 12 to 16 inches, have grounded the legislative process to a halt. But that might not be such a bad thing. Senate Democrats had hoped they could pass President Barack Obama's second stimulus today, but with only three of the Senate’s 100 lawmakers able to make it to the chamber, that vote has been postponed indefinitely. And the more we learn about what might be in President Obama's second stimulus, the better a little delay looks.

The Las Vegas Sun reported this weekend that big labor leaders are pushing to include their long-sought "card check" provisions into Obama's Second Stimulus. This legislation would effectively end a worker's right to fight unionization through secret ballot elections, would give the federal government the power to run small businesses and would cost the American economy thousands of jobs.

The other major provisions of Obama's second stimulus are also job killers. The $5,000 new worker tax credit does not create any incentive for already-struggling companies to begin long-term hiring. What's worse, it could even increase unemployment; companies would delay existing plans to create jobs so they could take advantage of the tax credit. And it would add to our national debt. Then there's the TARP-funded government-subsidized loans for small businesses. It's a big-government program destined to fail since the Small Business Administration has a terrible record of effectively allocating capital to the private sector.

For months, the American people and small businesses have been trying to tell the White House and Democrats in Congress that federal regulations and spending are part of the problem, not part of the solution. According to the latest National Federation of Independent Businesses survey, small business owners identified high taxes and government regulation as two of the top three problems facing their business.

Instead of piling on more debt and more regulations, the federal government should move in the opposite direction. For example, suspending the Davis-Bacon rules for the construction industry could fund 160,000 new jobs. Rescinding the unspent dollars from Obama's first failed stimulus would signal business owners that they will not face crippling new taxes enacted to cover the deficit. Killing the economically-devastating cap-and-trade legislation and prohibiting the EPA from regulating carbon-dioxide under the Clean Air Act would stabilize the regulatory environment so businesses could safely make long term decisions again.

There are things this Congress could do to help spur job creation. Notably, those job-creating ideas do not include more regulations and more deficit spending. Maybe a good thaw is what Washington needs to get back on the same page as the American people.

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