Tonight the Republican candidates will get their first chance to debate one another on a public stage.
The political pundits and talking heads have busied themselves talking about the horserace aspects of the race and the recent yet oversized influence of the “Donald.” But what would be the agenda of the debate if America’s job creators were asking the questions?
America’s entrepreneurs and business leaders don’t have time to muse about personality quirks and real or perceived public gaffs–they are busy running businesses, taking care of both customers and employees while trying to keep their heads above water. More than tough talk, patriotic rhetoric, or mud slinging towards their political opponents, they want to hear the candidates talk about relief from the government overreach that is killing their ability to grow or even stay profitable.
In the past year, unelected bureaucrats from all corners have pushed the envelope of their authority to change the rules and nudge policy towards their own political agenda. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has made several high profile moves to tilt the playing field in favor of their friends in the labor movement. By creating a new definition of “joint employers,” the NLRB is threatening the very basis of the franchise system—one of the most successful ways for people get a foothold into the business world—especially minorities and women. In another move, the NLRB has paved the way for “ambush” union elections—taking away an employer’s ability to prepare or educate their employees about the consequences of joining a labor union and accelerating the timeline of a union election to as little as two weeks.
A few blocks from the NLRB headquarters sits the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA, with encouragement from the current administration, has eagerly taken control of huge swaths of our economy. Their power plant rules alone will mean that everyone will need to pay much higher rates for electricity, and American businesses will have to forgo an advantage they once held over foreign countries that lack affordable and abundant energy.
The unelected bureaucrats aren’t the only ones making life for American businesses harder—the elected folks aren’t helping either. Five years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act it’s quite clear that the law isn’t doing what we all hoped it would accomplish—cut the cost of healthcare. Mechanisms in the bill like the Health Insurance Tax, or HIT, have driven insurance premiums through the roof, hiking costs for both for employers who offer coverage, and families who buy their insurance on the open market. This rise in labor and benefit costs, along with other government mandates like the move to pass unprecedented hikes in the minimum wage in cities and states around the country, has created a one-two punch for business owners trying to make payroll and still grow their businesses.
Candidates from both sides of the isle like to wave the banner of job creation during the campaign season. Let’s hope they understand America’s entrepreneurs can’t help politicians fulfill the promise of more jobs without some relief from onerous government regulations and overreach.
Alfredo Ortiz is CEO and President of Job Creators Network.