Advice for President Obama on Jobs: First, Do No Harm, by Deneen Borelli

Ostensibly to spur the creation of new jobs, on January 8, President Obama announced $2.3 billion in tax credits.  His announcement came on the very day the administration confirmed it is working behind the scenes to invigorate the stalled cap-and-trade bill.

The irony of announcing a jobs plan even as it pushes for new, job-killing regulations apparently was lost on the Obama Administration.

The Heritage Foundation estimates cap-and-trade, if adopted, would cause annual job losses of about 1.15 million between 2012 and 2030, rising to almost 2.5 million by 2035.1

Passage of cap-and-trade would be for nothing.  Even if imposed, cap-and-trade would have a negligible impact on global temperature.  Moreover, the burgeoning Climategate scandal involving emails and data from a major climate research center has thrown the entire global warming theory into doubt by raising the question: Was data manipulated to show a global warming trend that isn’t there?

Another Obama initiative that flies in the face of his professed desire to save and create jobs is his so-called health care reform plan, or, more accurately, the House and Senate-passed bills a secret group appointed by the Congressional leadership is presently trying to reconcile.  These bills, and most likely any combination of them, also would kill jobs. 

Even if some version of health care reform passes, jobs need not be lost.  It’s not too late for the President to drop any aspect of health care reform that adds to the tax or regulatory burden.  While some on his left would complain, overall this would be a politically-safe decision, as, in early January, public sentiment was running against his current health care reform plan by 51-42 percent.2

Here are a few other no-brainers for the President to consider if he is serious about job creation.  None of these require the adoption of yet another expensive and typically fruitless government jobs program:

* Permanently reduce top tax rates on individuals, small businesses, and corporations by 10 percentage points through 2013, reduce the individual income tax rates to three levels no higher than 10, 15, and 25 percent and repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax.  The resulting increase in consumer spending would create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the short term and millions over several years.

* Unleash domestic energy production to create jobs directly and indirectly, the latter by reducing business energy costs, leaving more capital for expansion and hiring.  Permitting environmentally-safe oil drilling in a tiny portion of Alaska’s remote Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in select, carefully-studied portions of the Outer Continental Shelf and in the Rockies would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.3 Similarly, speeding up the permitting process — which currently takes years4 — for the building of new nuclear power plants would create jobs and emissions-free energy while contributing toward the goal of U.S. energy independence.

* Permanently repeal the death tax.  A study by Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Cameron T. Smith for the American Family Business Foundation in 2009 found this would create 1.5 million jobs.5

* Say NO to calls for a second “stimulus.”  Funds lent to the government for the first stimulus could have been lent to businesses to fund new equipment and other job-creating activities.

If the President is sincere about his desire to jumpstart employment, he’ll scuttle job-killing initiatives such as cap-and-trade and health care “reform” and oppose unnecessary regulations and taxes that deter businesses from expanding and hiring.  That’s the best – and only – jobs program this country needs.

Deneen Borelli is a Fellow with Project 21, a network of black conservatives which is an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research.


1 Estimates are based on the House version of cap-and-trade, known as Waxman-Markey, approved in 2009. Source: David Kreutzer, “Heritage Analysis of Waxman-Markey Hits Where Others Miss,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo #2580, August 6, 2009, as cited in and available at as of January 8, 2010.

2 Rasmussen poll of January 3, 2010, as download from at as of on January 8, 2010.

3 Peyton Knight, “Small Group of House Republicans Derails ANWR Drilling,” The National Center for Public Policy Research, November 10, 2010, downloaded from on January 8, 2010, Karen Matusic, “Off-limits US oil, gas worth $1.7 trillion to government: study,” American Petroleum Institute, downloaded from on January 8, 2010.

4 Nicolas Loris and Ben Lieberman, “No Cost Stimulus Expands Energy Supply and Creates Jobs,” The Heritage Foundation, March 11, 2009, downloaded from on January 8, 2010,

5 Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Cameron T. Smith, “Changing Views of the Estate Tax: Implications For Legislative Options,” American Family Business Foundation, 2009, downloaded from on January 8, 2010.

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