House Speaker's remarks as prepared for delivery.
SEPTEMBER ECONOMIC ADDRESS BY SPEAKER BOEHNER
ECONOMIC CLUB OF WASHINGTON, D.C.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
President Rubenstein, members of the board, honored guests -- thank you for the opportunity to be here with you today to talk about jobs and the state of our nation's economy.
We all know the economy is stalled, and it's been stalled. And it's not because the American people have lost their way. It's because their government has let them down.
Last week the president put forth a new set of proposals. The House will consider them, as the American people expect. Some of the president's proposals offer opportunities for common ground.
But let's be honest with ourselves. The president's proposals are a poor substitute for the pro-growth policies that are needed to remove barriers to job creation in America...the policies that are needed to put America back to work.
If we want job growth, we need to recognize who really creates jobs in America. It’s the private-sector.
This building is named in memory of President Ronald Reagan, who recognized that private sector job creators are the heart of our economy. They always have been.
That was the America I was raised in. My father and grandfather were small businessmen. They ran a tavern in Cincinnati that my grandpa started in the 1930s. I worked in that tavern growing up.
I ran a small business myself. I know what it takes to meet a payroll, hire workers, and create jobs in the private sector.
There's a fundamental misunderstanding of the economy that leads to a lot of bad decisions in Washington, D.C.
The reality is that employers will hire if they have the right incentives, but the incentives have to outweigh the costs. Businesses are not going to hire someone for a $4000 tax credit if government mandates impose long-term costs on them that significantly exceed the temporary credit. In recent years, such mandates have been overwhelming.
Private-sector job creators of all sizes have been pummeled by decisions made in Washington.
They've been slammed by uncertainty from the constant threat of new taxes, out-of-control spending, and unnecessary regulation from a government that is always micromanaging, meddling, and manipulating.
They've been hurt by a government that offers short-term gimmicks rather than fundamental reforms that will encourage long-term economic growth.
They've been hampered by a government that offers confusion to entrepreneurs and job creators when there needs to be clarity.
They've been undercut by a government that favors crony capitalism and businesses deemed "too big to fail," over the small banks and small businesses that make our economy go.
They've been antagonized by a government that favors bureaucrats over market-based solutions.
They've been demoralized by a government that causes despair when we need it to provide reassurance and inspire confidence.
My worry is that even after all of this, much of the talk in Washington right now is basically about more of the same. More initiatives that seem to have more to do with the next election than the next generation. . .initiatives that seem to be more about micromanaging economic decisions than liberating them.
I think the American people are worried about this too.
I can tell you the American people -- private-sector job creators in particular --- are rattled by what they've seen out of this town over the last few years.
My worry is that for American job creators, all the uncertainty is turning to fear that this toxic environment for job creation is a permanent state.
Job creators in America are essentially on strike.
The problem is not confusion about the policies. . .the problem is the policies.
The anger many Americans have been feeling in recent years is beginning to turn into fear. . .fear of our future.
That bothers me, and it should bother all of us.
America is a land of opportunity. Always has been.
Our economy has always been built on opportunity. . .on entrepreneurs, innovators and risk-takers willing to take a chance -- because they're confident if they work hard, they can succeed.
Over the past few years, government has made people less confident -- not more confident -- that they can succeed.
More and more Americans are realizing this, and they’re speaking out about it.
I've spent the past 4-5 weeks traveling through my district and across this country, listening to the people outside of Washington who are the key to making our economy work.
My message to Washington today on their behalf: this isn't that hard. We need to liberate our economy from the shackles of Washington. Let our economy grow!
We need to trust in the good judgment of the American people.
The instinct in government, always, is to get bigger, more intrusive, more meddlesome. And that instinct is directly at odds with the things that make the American economy move.