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E-News 10/28/11

This Week:  Jobs “Can’t Wait!”

Rodney Votes to Kill 3% withholding Rule

Case Study: Destroying Jobs One Regulation at a Time

Coming Soon – Even More Help for Homeless Veterans

This Week:  Jobs “Can’t Wait!”

“President Obama has a new slogan.  Implying that Congress is hindering the effort to promote job creation, he unveiled his new catch-phrase: ‘we can’t wait.’

“The President is right, we can’t wait.  Economic growth and private sector job creation must be our number one priority. 

“But the President should also take his own advice because right now, 15 different House-passed jobs bills - each reducing red tape that is hindering small business or removing obstacles to domestic energy production - are stuck in the U.S. Senate awaiting action by Majority Leader Harry Reid.  You can read the entire list of the ‘Forgotten 15’ on my website at http://frelinghuysen.house.gov/.

“It's time for President Obama to step off the campaign trail and work with the House on these common sense ideas.

“Yesterday, the House passed another of these common-sense proposals.  We repealed the so-called ‘3 percent withholding rule’, which was included in the President's jobs plan and adds unnecessary costs to businesses and hinders growth.   Read on to learn more about the ‘3 percent rule’.

This week’s Rutgers-Eagleton poll reported that the number one issue to New Jersey’s residents is ‘economic growth and jobs.’  A close second was ‘taxes.’  This is why we ‘can’t wait’ until the President drops his blind insistence on higher taxes and spending more borrowed dollars.  We want him to help us make sure that America is a place for opportunity and economic security again.”

                                                          Rodney Frelinghuysen

Rodney Votes to Kill 3% withholding Rule

The House voted to repeal another burdensome business regulation this week.  Rodney is a cosponsor and early supporter of H.R. 674, which would repeal the imposition of 3 percent federal government withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government agencies. 

If not fully repealed, here’s how the rule will affect businesses, especially small businesses:

Imagine that you are a small business owner who has a very thin two to five percent profit margin during a tough economy. You are trying to avoid laying off workers but on top of all your operating expenses, the federal government will begin keeping 3% of the money it owes you until the Internal Revenue Service finally acknowledges – months or even years later – that you had already been paying your federal taxes.

It is easy to see why compliance with this withholding tax will impose significant financial burdens on both the public and private sectors, adversely affecting job creation and economic growth at a time when America can least afford it. It will also further limit the cash flow of small companies that operate with thin margins in a challenging economic climate. Startups and small firms with a high volume of government contracts will be particularly disadvantaged.  

This is a clear burden that millions of small businesses will face if the Senate does not follow the House’s lead and President Obama does not sign the repeal bill into law.

Combined with the new obligation of mandatory health care for every new employee under threat of IRS sanction, is it any wonder that the business community is “uncertain?”

Recommended Reading: Emily Miller, writing on how we can return U.S. companies’ money to the U.S. in the Monday Washington Times,Bring Home One Trillion Dollars.”

Case Study: Destroying Jobs One Regulation at a Time

One of the heaviest regulatory anchors weighing down the economy is the Obama administration’s federal takeover of healthcare.  In its attempts to micromanage one-sixth of the $14 trillion economy, simplicity and clarity is apparently not the name of the game for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

Consider one of its recently-finalized rules, which governs so-called “accountable care organizations,” or networks of doctors and hospitals that are supposed to (voluntarily) collaborate to improve Medicare outcomes and keep taxpayer costs down.

The proposed rule—all 429 pages of it—included the word “require” (or some variant) 601 times, and was promptly panned by the American Medical Group Association, a premier industry organization that described the rule as too complex to be achievable.  In a letter commenting on the rule, the group said the rule was, “overly prescriptive, operationally burdensome, and the incentives are too difficult to achieve to make this voluntary program attractive.”

Undeterred, President Obama’s regulators went back to the drawing board and returned with a final rule that measured 696 pages (267 pages longer than the original) with 1,064 uses of the word “require” (an increase of 77 percent).  Is this the administration’s idea of streamlining regulations to aid job creation?

With more than 10,000 pages of regulations added by the federal takeover of health care, American businesses are suffocating under a blanket of uncertainty from the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda, as this single example demonstrates.  Business owners cannot afford to expand or hire without knowing their future liabilities for employees’ health care or when the federal government will impose more costs. 

“Could anyone make a more persuasive case for repealing Obamacare,” Rodney asked.  “Repealing this new law and replacing it with a patient-centered system along with lawsuit reform will reduce costs, relieve regulatory burdens and create jobs.”

Recommended Reading: The World Bank released its annual "Doing Business" report last week, and the many of the details are not encouraging.  Read “America as Number Four” in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal:

Coming Soon – Even More Help for Homeless Veterans

It is a tragic reality that thousands of former servicemen and women sleep on the streets of America or in homeless shelters every night. The majority suffer from post-traumatic stress and other mental illnesses.  Many are addicted to alcohol or various drugs.

Those who have served this nation in uniform should never find themselves living on the streets without care and hope.  At the direction of Congress, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is attempting to end homelessness among our military veterans over the next five years.

It’s an effort Rodney has long supported. “All homeless veterans and those at risk for homelessness must have ready access to supporting programs and services,” he said.  “That’s why our community should be very grateful that not-for-profit organizations have stepped forward to work with veterans groups and the Department of Veterans Affairs in this important campaign.”

One such private organization is Community Hope of Parsippany. In 2004, the people and supporters of Community Hope first established the ground-breaking “Hope for Veterans” program, on the campus of the Lyons VA Medical Center in Somerset County, The program, which Rodney called a “national model,” utilizes a once-vacant building on the Lyons campus to provide a safe, environment where veterans can sustain their recovery and start on the path to rebuild their lives.  During their stay, the veterans receive addiction recovery services, health and mental health treatment as well as occupational and career assistance and financial training.   

In addition, Community Hope, and its partner Peabody Properties, should soon be breaking ground on Valley Brook Village, a community of 63 units of apartments and townhouses for homeless veterans and those at-risk of homelessness as a result of post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and physical disabilities incurred in combat.  The project, also on the campus of the Lyons VA Medical Center, has been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and is awaiting funding from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

“I am confident that the State of New Jersey recognizes the need for this innovative project which, when finally approved, will be the area’s first permanent housing for homeless and disabled veterans,” said Rodney.  “More than $18 million from various sources has already been committed to this veterans village! New Jersey’s contribution will be the final step toward making this idea a reality!”

Recommended Reading: Zachary Goldfarb, writing in the Sunday Washington Post, “Obama’s efforts to aid homeowners, boost housing market fall far short of goals.”  This is a thoughtful commentary that demonstrates, among other things, that the Administration has failed to address one of the root causes of our economic slowdown – the mortgage crisis.  Read the story here:

And finally….

Recommended Reading: “Iran just defeated the United States in Iraq”, writes Frederick Kagan and Kimberly Kagan in the Thursday Los Angeles Times, “Out if Iraq”: