BARRASSO: Obama State of the Union should focus on one thing: Jobs

American people want to get back to work

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Last year, Washington added another $236 billion in new red tape — and eliminated less than $3 billion of regulations.

Every dollar wasted dealing with needless regulation is a dollar some small business in our communities cannot put toward hiring a recent college graduate. The president should tell his Cabinet secretaries to get serious about cutting unnecessary, burdensome regulations that hold back hiring.

Third, he should lay out a strong plan for tax reform. In the past, the president has used “tax reform” as a synonym for “tax hike.” Now he needs to embrace lower rates to help American workers compete worldwide.

He should call for America to switch to a territorial tax system. This would end Washington’s double taxing of the earnings of companies doing business overseas. It also would let U.S. companies bring back $1.7 trillion they have parked overseas and put people to work here.

The average unemployed person has spent the past eight months looking for work. People can’t wait any longer for Washington to let jobs come back home.

Finally, Mr. Obama should lay out a serious plan to stop wasting taxpayer dollars and shrink our budget deficits. Washington’s debt is hurting people who can’t find work because of the weak economy.

The president still hasn’t submitted a budget for next year, though he’s well past the legal deadline. This would be a great time to break his cycle of wasteful spending.

Republicans have offered solutions to get Americans back to work. In the past two years, the House of Representatives passed 40 jobs bills. They all died waiting for Democrats to take them up in the Senate.

The American people have one concern above all others: jobs. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, unemployment will stay at 7.8 percent until 2015 if the president doesn’t act.

If Mr. Obama is finally ready to embrace solutions that get people working, he will find broad support among Republicans. If he just wants to deliver another speech that ignores unemployed Americans, he will squander another chance to help all Americans create careers and build the lives they want.

Sen. John Barrasso is a Wyoming Republican.

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