Despite absolutely no evidence to support it, conservatives base their entire economic message on the empirically disproven notion that businesses aren’t hiring because of regulatory burdens placed on them by the federal government.
Never mind that businesses themselves report that what they are mainly concerned about is weak sales, not government regulation. Never mind that all of the economic evidence points to a lack of demand for goods and services as the primary culprit behind high unemployment. Never mind that the principal cause of the housing and financial crises was the systematic deregulation of Wall Street. Never mind that ample research proves carefully considered and implemented regulations can actually create jobs and bolster businesses. Never mind all that. Conservatives need a counter-narrative to explain the poor economy, and it has to be one that doesn’t lead directly to passing the American Jobs Act.
The American Jobs Act is designed to help address the underlying economic problem—the significant gap between what our economy is able and willing to produce and what the American people are able and willing to consume. Independent economists estimate that passage of the legislation would result in up to 1.9 million new jobs. The American people, in poll after poll, have endorsed the bill as well. Yet Senate Republicans recently blocked its passage, and the House Republican leadership refuses to even allow a vote on the bill.
So what is the conservative alternative to the American Jobs Act? The same deregulatory agenda they’ve pushed for decades. But even a brief look at some of the actual rules and regulations that conservatives say are “destroying jobs” reveals how bankrupt this argument really is.
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