“House Speaker John Boehner rolled out the congressional Republican counteroffer to President Obama's American Jobs Act on Thursday. It wasn't a plan for fundamentally changing economic policy in Washington -- the GOP candidates for president will need to do that -- but it does set out the right pre-conditions for jobs and growth. And it establishes a no-fly zone to deter more Obama regulations and taxes that inhibit hiring.
Mr. Boehner emphasized what he called the "triple threat" from government now facing employers: federal regulations, out of control spending and a business-unfriendly tax code.
"Employers will hire if they have the right incentives," Mr. Boehner said, "but the incentives have to outweigh the costs. Businesses are not going to hire someone for a $4,000 tax credit if government mandates impose long-term costs on them that significantly exceed the temporary credit." That's a not-too-subtle shot at the White House, whose plan dangles tax breaks in front of employers in 2012, then snatches them away in January 2013.
The Boehner speech did warn the Democrats that tax increases are not a viable option. The speaker endorsed a regulatory freeze as well. "I would also urge the president," he advised, to "tell every member of his cabinet: 'Until further notice, I don't want anything that gets in the way of private-sector job creation.'" He said he wants to see passage of the REINS Act, which requires congressional review of costly regulations. There was a vague endorsement of tax reform and lower rates on individuals and corporations. And Mr. Boehner expressed high hopes that the congressional "super committee" will come up with the mandated $1.5 trillion in budget savings. One theme of the speech was that deficit reduction is a "jobs program."
This GOP response to the president's jobs proposal was appropriately tough and critical, but the GOP still is missing a concrete and salable economic revival plan. Those who want the Republicans to go big and go radical will be disappointed. Economically anxious independent voters who want to see a fresh jobs agenda from Republicans will have to keep looking. This was a game plan for playing defense, not offense.” - Stephen Moore writing in The Wall Street Journal Political Diary 09/16/2011