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Who’s Doing the Scaring?

Earlier this week, President Obama unveiled a unique approach to economic recovery – accuse political foes of “scaring” away the jobs and look to the power of positive thinking to bring them back.

“Today's meeting with Congressional leadership at the White House was intended to be a demonstration of bipartisanship as officials look to stimulate the economy. To President Obama, bipartisanship came in the form of a request to GOP lawmakers to quit knocking what he feels is an economy that is in recovery.

“‘One of the things he told my Republican friends, is stop trying to frighten the American people,’ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters after the meeting. ‘He said it would help a lot if people would talk more positively about what is going on.’” 

Memoli, “Obama To GOP: Stop Scaring American People,” RealClearPolitics Politics Nation blog, 12.09.09

For the 15.4 million Americans without jobs, talking more positively about the economy isn’t going to do the trick. We need meaningful policies to jumpstart job creation.

Although, the President might not be entirely off base when he talks about how economic fears have slowed the recovery. A letter to the editor published yesterday by the Philadelphia Daily News sheds light on exactly what is “scaring” away the jobs:

“Member companies tell us that a big reason behind the reluctance of business to spend and hire is uncertainty about future costs. Job creators are clearly holding back until they see the outcome of numerous policy debates at the state and federal levels - including health care, climate change, cap-and-trade and union card check - all of which could place detrimental cost burdens on the employer community and significantly impede job creators' ability to run their businesses.”

Barr, “Scaring business jobless,” Philadelphia Daily News, 12.10.09

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) summed up the dynamic in an opinion piece published today by The Washington Post:

“The president also accused Republicans of ‘scaring’ the American people, but the truth is that double-digit unemployment is scaring people and his job-killing agenda is making it worse.

“American families and small businesses face daunting economic challenges. Instead of receiving relief from Washington, they have watched with anxiety this year as the government has focused on implementing a takeover of health care, a ‘cap-and-trade’ national energy tax, ‘card check’ legislation for union membership and more tax increases.  

“I used to run a small business. I know what it takes to meet a payroll and a bottom line. Employers will continue to hold off on hiring as long as Washington pursues these job-killing policies and piles more debt on our children and grandchildren.” 

Boehner, “A better plan for jobs,” The Washington Post, 12.11.09

There’s a reason the anti-worker card check scheme is mentioned among the list of “scary” policies threatening job creation. The plan denies workers the right to vote privately on whether they wish to join a particular union and threatens workers and employers with a new binding arbitration system that would put government bureaucrats in charge of work rules, wages, and benefits.

If the President wants to ease Americans’ economic fears, he should begin by abandoning card check and the other anti-job policies that are preventing the recovery we so desperately need.

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