The Edmond Sun


September 15, 2011

Government should encourage private-sector job creation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — There has been a lot of talk in Washington lately about jobs and the economy. With national unemployment languishing above 9 percent, it is past time for this conversation. Far too often, I hear people in government talk about what we should do to “create jobs.” To be clear, politicians do not create jobs; they can only create policies that encourage job growth.

When Congress passed the $787 billion stimulus in February 2009, President Obama promised that the unemployment rate would be below 7 percent by September 2011. Instead, the national unemployment rate has increased to 9.1 percent, and our national debt has skyrocketed.

Now the president has presented another multi-billion dollar stimulus plan that relies on the same spending and government-centric tax incentives. These are temporary tax cuts paid for by permanent tax increases. While I applaud the president for making the economy the central focus, I am disappointed that the solutions proposed are the same policies that brought us record-high deficits and protracted economic stagnation.

I believe it is time for a new question, “What is the federal government doing to slow economic growth and why?” There are hundreds of low-cost or no-cost ideas that could get our nation back to work. Allowing companies to move the income they have earned overseas back to the United States would bring more than a trillion dollars of private capital back to the United States. We also could complete our free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama and South Korea, lifting the regulatory burden off community banks enabling them to lend to small businesses. We should move forward with the Keystone Pipeline, expand leasing and permitting for energy exploration, place a two-year moratorium on regulations and stop telling businesses in which states they can operate.

If you really want to “jolt” the economy back to life, we must repeal the Affordable Care Act and lock in marginal tax rates. The stability alone would give confidence to businesses about the financial future and the cost of new employees.

These ideas empower the private sector to grow their business but do not allow politicians to take credit for “job creation.” The president stated last week that he believes his plan could get America back to No. 1, but I believe that America is still No. 1. The problem in our nation is not our people; it is the broken system of centralized control in Washington that believes jobs are created by a select group in big government buildings. It is time to drop the unemployment rate by unleashing business and allowing Americans to get back to work.

REP. JAMES LANKFORD, R-Edmond, represents the 5th Congressional District of Oklahoma. His office may be reached at 202-225-2132.

Text Only
  • Instead of mothballing Navy ships, give them to our allies

    A bitter debate has raged in the Pentagon for several months about the wisdom of taking the nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington out of service to save money. The Washington, at 24 years old a relatively young vessel, is due for a costly refit, a routine procedure that all of the 11 large carriers in service undergo regularly.

    April 18, 2014

  • The pessimist’s guide to grizzly bears and Earth Day

    This coming Friday, to “celebrate Earth Day,” the Walt Disney Co. will release one of those cutesy, fun-for-all-ages, nature documentaries. “Bears” is about grizzly bears.
    The trailer says, “From DisneyNature comes a story that all parents share. About the love, the joy, the struggle and the strength it takes to raise a family.”
    Talk about your misguided “Hollywood values.” I previously have acknowledged a morbid, unreasonable fear of grizzly bears, stemming from a youth misspent reading grisly grizzly-attack articles in Readers Digest. This fear is only morbid and unreasonable because I live about 1,500 miles from the nearest wild grizzly bear. Still. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Digging out of the CIA-Senate quagmire

    Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. The White House, the CIA and the Senate still have to negotiate which portions of the report will be redacted before it is made public. But this is an important step in resolving the ugly dispute that has erupted between the intelligence committee and the intelligence agency.
    The dispute presents two very serious questions. Was the program consistent with American values and did it produce valuable intelligence? And is effective congressional oversight of secret activities possible in our democracy?

    April 15, 2014

  • Los Angeles Times: Congress extend jobless benefits again

    How’s this for irony: Having allowed federal unemployment benefits to run out in December, some lawmakers are balking at a bill to renew them retroactively because it might be hard to figure out who should receive them. Congress made this task far harder than it should have been, but the technical challenges aren’t insurmountable. Lawmakers should restore the benefits now and leave them in place until the unemployment rate reaches a more reasonable level.

    April 14, 2014

  • Many nations invested in Israel

    Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Yoram Ettinger recently spoke to a gathering at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Learning in Oklahoma City. The event began with a presentation by Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, who told the attendee that the  upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover was an occasion for them to embrace the children of God, which is all of humanity.

    April 14, 2014

  • Coming soon: More ways to get to know your doctor

    Last week, the federal government released a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors.
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Medicare, is posting on its website detailed information about how many visits and procedures individual health professionals billed the program for in 2012, and how much they were paid.
    This new trove of data, which covers 880,000 health professionals, adds to a growing body of information available to patients who don’t want to leave choosing a doctor to chance. But to put that information to good use, consumers need to be aware of what is available, what’s missing and how to interpret it.

    April 14, 2014

  • HEY HINK: Hateful bullies attempt to muffle free speech

    Hopefully we agree it should be a fundamental right to voice criticism of any religion you wish. And you should have the right to sing the praises of any religion you choose. If criticism of religion is unjust, feel free to make your best argument to prove it. If criticism is just, don’t be afraid to acknowledge and embrace it. If songs of praise are merited, feel free to join in. If not, feel free to ignore them. But no American should participate in curbing free speech just because expression of religious views makes someone uncomfortable.

    April 11, 2014

  • Putting Oklahoma parents in charge

    Oklahoma’s public schools serve many children very well. Still, for various reasons, some students’ needs are better met in private schools, in virtual schools or elsewhere. That is why two state lawmakers have introduced legislation to give parents debit cards, literally, to shop for the educational services that work best for their children.

    April 11, 2014

  • Israelis, Palestinians are losing their chance

    Developments in the Middle East suggest that prospects of success for the Israeli-Palestinian talks, to which Secretary of State John Kerry has devoted countless hours and trips, are weakening.

    April 11, 2014

  • Teens might trade naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 11, 2014


Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results