The U.S. economy has just suffered through the worse ten-year period in terms of economic growth since the Great Depression. This lost decade of despair and hopelessness has led to more than 6 million more Americans aged 16-64 dropping out of the workforce than would normally be expected.
With the near-disastrous Gross Domestic Product for the fourth quarter of 2015 being announced at 0.7 percent annualized by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and just 2.4 percent for the year, America cannot be allowed to continue down this pathway to the poorhouse.
Yet, rather than help the economy, President Barack Obama’s pen and phone have energized an alphabet soup of federal agencies to enact expensive, job strangling regulations that are turning towns in Kentucky into ghost towns and replacing store clerks with self-help check out stands.
While denying the transport of oil through the efficient and safe Keystone XL pipeline, they are also making it significantly expensive to ship oil by rail at the exact time oil producers are struggling for every cent due to falling prices.
Non-union manufacturers are being harassed as OSHA is now allowing union representatives to participate in safety inspections of their shops.
Potential copper mines are being stymied, farmers are being threatened with EPA inspections of their land, and coal leases on federal lands have been stopped.
Even those who need a wood burning stove to keep them warm in the winter are now forced to buy top of the line models costing five figures or go cold.
High tech companies like Disney and others continue to use the lack of effective enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws to turn away and replace skilled Americans in favor of less expensive foreign imports, and with all the talk of job creation, there are actually fewer people aged 16-64 working in America in 2015 than in 2007.
What can Congress do in the face of a thirty front war where it seems a constitutionally unhinged Chief Executive can run rampant disrupting private sector growth?
Simple answer, assert their Article One authority when Obama is pushing for a must-pass bill, like the upcoming Puerto Rico bailout.
If Speaker Ryan is serious about reasserting Article One, and this author has no reason to believe otherwise, he needs to look to his right to create a GOP bill where the compromise to Obama is that Puerto Rico gets bailed out. What Obama has to give is the inclusion of legislation like Representative Ken Buck’s comprehensive bill, The Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016, of already vetted riders designed to rein in the President and reinvigorate the economy.
As knowing Washington insiders are always quick to tell conservatives, you need compromise to make anything happen, on the Puerto Rico bill it is Obama that is asking for action, and GOP leadership holds the cards.
The just released GDP numbers confirm what most Americans know from their own economic circumstances and choices, the economy stinks, and now many economists are coming to the conclusion that it is only going to get worse. Now is the time for the GOP leadership in Congress to assert themselves and forcibly cut the regulatory binds that the Lilliputian left has used to tie down our Gulliver like economy.
Our leaders can no longer pretend that we can afford to wait for the long, eight-year national nightmare to end before the government boot gets taken off the throat of the job creators. Any time Obama wants anything, I repeat anything, from Congress a price has to be extracted that helps make America great again. For the American people failure is not an option, and failure to try is the ultimate surrender.
The GOP Congress just needs to read their own campaign material and fundraising letters to know what to do. Now they need to regain the trust of the voters by going Nike, and just doing it.
The author is president of Americans for Limited Government.