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« Romney Jobs Plan Will Create Millions of Jobs vs Obama's Job Record of Lost Jobs--Which Would Americans Prefer? Self-determination or Welfare Slavery is the Price of Your Vote | Main | Obama Has Failed To Create Jobs »

Obama The Jobs Killer

Audio Link to Interview Monday 9/24 (Covered Part 1 and Part 2)


 Obama: The Job Killer

[Part 2 of 2]


by Henry W. Burke





We have seen that Obama has failed miserably atcreating jobs!

 [Please refer to "Obama Has Failed to Create Jobs."]



Rather than helping our struggling economy,Obama's policies have exacerbated the problem. Does he deserve the title -- "Obama: The Job Killer?"  This report will explore the following areas to prove the case:


A.  Obamacare Is Killing Jobs

B.  Taxmageddon Kills Jobs

C.  Extending Unemployment Insurance

D.  Free Trade Agreements

E.  Moratorium on Oil Drilling

F.  Keystone XL Pipeline

G.  EPA Regulations on Coal

H.  Increased Deficit Spending

I.  Competition from Assistance Programs




A.  Obamacare Is Killing Jobs



Obamacare is one of the biggest job killers.  The Heritage Foundation has determined that the healthcare measure harms job growth in these three ways:



1.  Employer Mandate.  Obamacare requires all businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a $2,000 penalty for each employee after the first 30 workers.  This employer mandate encourages businesses to hire part-time workers rather than full-time employees.  Also businesses can avoid penalties by keeping their number of employees under the 50-employee threshold.  This further discourages the creation of new jobs. 



Heritage research has calculated that the Obamacare mandate increases the cost of hiring a full-time worker by $10.03 per hour; the increase is at least $13.75 an hour for those with family health coverage.  


2.  New Taxes and Regulations.  Obamacare imposes 18 new taxes that total $502 billion in the first 10 years.  In later years, the cost dramatically increases to about $1.7 trillion per decade (triple the amount for the first decade).


The Obamacare tax increases will have a chilling effect on our economy.  The higher tax rates in Obamacare decrease the incentives for individuals to work and save more.


Obamacare will slow economic growth and destroy jobs.  The Obamacare taxes transfer money from productive private hands to the less efficient public sector.  Unlike government, the private sector allocates resources where they will contribute the most to economic growth.


One example of horrendous job losses comes from the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices.  Research has shown that this tax could result in job losses exceeding 43,000 workers.  Also these medical devices will be more expensive for the many senior citizens who need these life-saving and life-changing medical devices to ease their pain and suffering.


3.  Unpredictable Future Costs and Regulations.  A recent study found that 33 percent of business owners cited new requirements in Obamacare as either the biggest or second-biggest obstacle to hiring. In addition, Dennis Lockhart, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said:


 We have frequently heard strong comments to the effect of ‘My company won’t hire a single additional worker until we know what health insurance costs are going to be.'




Obamacare has frozen business hiring across America as businesses wait to see how the law will be applied. 





B.  Taxmageddon Kills Jobs


Taxmageddon will amount to $494 billion in tax hikes.  Without Congressional and White House action, the largest tax increase in history will hit this country on January 1, 2013!


Businesses are holding off on hiring.  Although these taxes do not take effect until January 1, 2013, they are already having a negative impact on the economy.  This slows job creation and prevents many unemployed Americans from going back to work. 



Uncertainty harms everyone.  Families, businesses, and investors need certainty to operate.  They need to know how much they will pay in taxes next year before they make important economic decisions.  Politicians decry the fact that billions of dollars are sitting on the sidelines.  People will not invest in businesses and hire new employees in an uncertain business climate.  They are stuck in neutral while they wait to see if Congress and Obama will act.


Obama’s plan to repeal the Bush tax cuts for incomes over $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers) would raise the top two marginal tax rates from 33 % to 36 %, and 35 % to 39.6 %.  The debate about whether to adopt Obama's tax increase centers heavily on how these higher tax rates would affect important job-creating businesses.   


By targeting his tax increases on incomes over $200,000, Obama is maximizing the detrimental effects of the tax hikes on job creation.  Obama's misguided tax policies will continue to destroy jobs and hamper an economic recovery. 


Two inter-connected issues are in play -- Taxmageddon and the "fiscal cliff."  The fiscal cliff consists of Taxmageddon and the mandatory federal spending reductions left over from the disastrous Budget Control act of 2011. 



The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a recent report (8.22.12) on the impact of Taxmageddon and the fiscal cliff.  If no action is taken on the fiscal cliff by Obama and Congress,the CBO is predicting a recession in 2013.  The CBO report stated:

 Such fiscal tightening will lead to economic conditions in 2013 that will probably be considered a recession, with real GDP declining by 0.5 percent between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2013 and the unemployment rate rising to about 9 percent in the second half of calendar year 2013.



The Republican-led House recently passed a bill to extend the Bush tax cuts for next year and thereby defer part of Taxmageddon.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will not even allow a vote on the House measure; Obama has vowed to veto any such measure that reaches his desk.



C.  Extending Unemployment Insurance


As part of Obama's Stimulus measure, unemployment insurance was extended by 20 weeks.  Other measures extended unemployment compensation even further. 


Many people, including some business owners, do not understand how this works.  Because the government cuts the unemployment check, it is widely assumed that the government pays the unemployment benefits.  In reality, the benefits are funded by the employers' taxes.  Because it works like insurance, people's taxes will go up as the employees collect more unemployment benefits.  In many states, if an employee collects $10,000 in unemployment payments, he can expect to pay over $20,000 in increased premiums. 


Smart business owners control their costs.  One way of doing this is by limiting the hiring of new people.  Democrats may have thought they were showing compassion for the unemployed by extending the number of unemployment compensation weeks.  This is producing unintended consequences; employers are less likely to make new hires when unemployment insurance premiums are increasing.  



D.  Free Trade Agreements



Obama is killing jobs by refusing to move forward on the pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Columbia, Panama and South Korea.  Obama is holding these three job-creating free trade agreements hostage to another measure.  He wants to increase funding for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program and is using this TAA as his ransom.  The White House claims that extending the TAA for another decade would cost $7.2 billion.


The free trade agreements would create thousands of jobs in America. Most estimates range above 100,000 new jobs.  Free trade offers Americans tremendous opportunities and we sorely need the jobs.  In Obama's first State of the Union Address, he set an ambitious goal: “double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America.”  If the trade agreements die, Obama will have to explain why he shot the hostage!


Panama is working on a $5 billion expansion of the Panama Canal(originally built by the U.S. in 1914). This gigantic construction project will add a third set of locks and enlarge the system to accommodate larger ships.  Clearly an FTA with Panama would encourage U.S. participation in this mammoth project.



E.  Moratorium on Oil Drilling


After the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama Administration imposed a six-month blanket moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf.  The moratorium was based on a flawed report by the Secretary of Interior.   In June 2010, a federal district court overturned Obama's ban.  Among other things, the court found that the summary recommendations were added afterthe report was peer reviewed by a team of seven experts.  As the court pointed out, there are 150,000 jobsdirectly related to offshore operations.


A House Committee issued subpoenas on 4.03.12 to the Obama Administration demanding documents about the editing of the report that accompanied the drilling ban.  TheWashington Times reported:

"The report falsely stated the professional views of independent engineers and the moratorium directly caused thousands of lost jobs, economic pain throughout the Gulf region, and a decline in American energy production,” said Rep. Doc Hastings, Washington Republican and Natural Resources Committee chairman. “It’s important to clearly understand exactly how this happened.”



F.  Keystone XL Pipeline


If Americans have any doubt about Obama's penchant for killing jobs, they need to look at the Keystone XL Pipeline.  On 11.10.11, the Obama Administration announced that it would delay a decision on the pipeline until after the 2012 election.  In a move to appease his leftist environmentalist base, Obama ignored the practical, scientific facts.


The environmental aspects of the pipeline have been studied to death, with a review that lasted three years.  The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) rated the potential for water contamination as minimal and contained in a limited area.  


Obviously, he cares more about his re-election than the 13 million unemployed Americans sitting on the sidelines.  The $7 billion Keystone pipeline would bring at least 20,000 good jobs to the U.S.  Obama had to choose between alienating his union supporters and his green environmental folks.  He chose to side with the latter.  This decision reflects politics at its worst!



G.  EPA Regulations on Coal


Obama promised that electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket as a result of his cap-and-trade system. He also said:

          So if someone wants to build a coal power plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.


While cap and trade never became law, Obama is making good on his promise to find other ways to get the job done.  If he cannot pass a particular measure, he circumvents Congress by using administrative means.  He is also making good on his promise to bankrupt coal and make it very expensive. 


Low-sulfur lignite coal is heavily used in coal-fired power plants around the country.  Directly and indirectly, lignite mining supports about 14,000 jobs and is the lifeblood of many communities. Obama is lousy at creating jobs but he is a master at destroying jobs!



H.  Increased Deficit Spending


Obama has racked up huge deficits and these deficits add to our burgeoning national debt. 



The national debt has increased by $5.4 trillion in the 3.5 years (42 months) Obama has been in office.  The national debt was $10.6 trillion on 1.20.09 and is $16.0 trillion today (on 8.28.12).

 [$16.0 trillion - $10.6 trillion = $5.4 trillion]



When the federal government borrows money through deficit spending, the government is competing with the private sector for funds.  This reduces private sector capital investment and adversely affects job growth. 


According to the CBO, high debt levels decrease the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  This hampers job growth and employment possibilities.   If we want to put people back to work, we must reduce the out-of-control deficit spending.



I.  Competition from Assistance Programs


Jobs can also be killed from another direction. For thousands of years, an old adage applied -- "If a man does not work, the man does not eat." 


Most compassionate Americans (including conservative Republicans) believe in a safety net for the truly needy.  We should provide assistance for the elderly, the mentally or physically-disabled, and those people who cannot work.  On the other hand, when the government is overly generous with the welfare programs, it destroys the incentive to work.


I mentioned above that unemployment compensation had been extended.  When unemployment compensation is increased to 99 weeks, for example, that destroys much of the incentive to look for a job. 


In Part 1, "Obama Has Failed to Create Jobs," I cited the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figure that 7.7 million people had dropped out of the labor force.  Many of those people have become so discouraged that they have given up looking for a job.  However, millions of people are getting their needs met through various welfare programs and have no incentive to work.  Many examples could be given where this is occurring.  A few examples include:


1.  General Welfare Spending.  Under Obama, welfare spending has increased three times fasterthan prior increases.  Federal welfare spending has grown from $522 billion in 2008 to $717 billion in 2011 (a 37% increase in three years).


2.  Food Stamps.  Under Obama, food stamp spending has more than doubled, going from $39 billion in 2008 to $81 billion in 2012.  The number of people on food stamps has grown from 31 million people in 2008 to 45 million persons in 2011.  (This equates to 1 in 6 people.)  The Obama Administration is actively encouraging people to sign up for food stamps (including initiatives with the Mexican government to reach immigrants). 


3.  Housing Assistance.  Because no time limits or work requirements are associated with any of these programs, recipients have no incentive to find employment or leave the rolls.


4.  Social Security Disability.   With continuing high unemployment, more people are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.  As a result, the SSDI program is paying out more money than it is taking in through payroll taxes.


Older workers are seeking Social Security retirement benefits earlier than expected, andsome are hoping they will qualify for SSDI.  Many people are faking disabilities to qualify for SSDI benefits.  SSDI benefits are somewhat more generous than retirement benefits and turn into retirement benefits once the recipient reaches full retirement age. In addition, SSDI benefits allow the recipient to qualify for Medicare after two years, regardless of what age the individual has reached at that time.



5.  Elimination of Welfare Work Requirements. On 7.12.12, the Heritage Foundation broke the story that the Obama Administration had gutted the work requirements from the 1996 welfare reform law.  Heritage also revealed that a hidden provision in the Stimulus Bill had already waived the work requirement in the food stamp program. Obama is bypassing Congress and the enacted laws by changing the rules by executive fiat. Obama is not a king and America is not a monarchy!





Obama has been responsible for numerous job killing activities.  These include: Obamacare, inaction on Taxmageddon, extension of unemployment insurance, failure to pass the free trade agreements, moratorium on Gulf oil drilling, Keystone XL Pipeline, EPA regulations on coal, increased deficit spending and mushrooming welfare programs. 



If we add all of these up, the job losses are in the millions of people!



Barack Obama certainly deserves the title -- "Obama: The Job Killer!"



Additionally, Obama's policies are adding huge amounts of money to our national debt.  Under Obama, the national debt has grown by $5.4 trillion in 3.5 years. 


We cannot afford four more years of Obama!



Bio for Henry W. Burke



Henry Burke is a Civil Engineer  with a B.S.C.E. and M.S.C.E.  He has been a Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) for 37 years and has worked as a Civil Engineer in construction for over 40 years. 


Mr. Burke had a successful 27-year career with a large construction contractor. 


Henry Burke serves as a full-time volunteer to oversee various construction projects. He has written numerous articles on education, engineering, construction, politics, taxes, and the economy.



Henry W. Burke










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