“A small manufacturer’s revenue is not take-home pay,” said Mr. Engler, a former Republican governor of Michigan, contending that the legislation would essentially tax away the money these businessmen use to hire workers and provide them with benefits.
Robert Shapiro, a former Clinton economic adviser, said the failure of Congress to rein in health care and energy costs will backfire by prompting businesses to cut more jobs.
“When companies face higher health care and energy costs that they can’t pass along, they have little choice but to cut other costs. And the costs they’ve been cutting are jobs and wages,” he said.
“The only way to ensure that the next expansion won’t be like the last one, but instead will create more jobs and bring higher wages, is to make medical cost containment the center of health care reform, and make the development and broad use of alternative fuels, from biomass to nuclear, the center of energy and climate policy,” he said. “That’s not where Congress seems headed.”
Mr. Obama is holding a jobs summit next month to examine what is stifling job creation and try to conjure up ways to increase hiring. Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, said the president and his aides should try to think more like businessmen so they can understand why some congressional initiatives would be an obstacle to hiring.
For the past two years, businesses have overwhelmingly concluded that the benefits from hiring new workers are not worth the added costs. That is why “anything the government does to raise the cost of employment, such as a higher minimum wage, mandated heath care, or greater regulatory burdens, not only prevents new jobs from being created, but also causes many that already exist to be destroyed,” Mr. Schiff said.