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Another View -- Dan Innis: Small business smarts will get America back to work

February 20. 2014 11:09PM

It has been six years since the bailout and five years since the stimulus. We have been stuck with Obamacare for four years. Yet fewer Americans are working today than at the beginning of the recession. It is time for the advocates of big government to admit that we aren’t going to spend our way into economic recovery. The only way to speed up this sluggish recovery is to get America back to work.

I’m running for Congress because I still have faith in the American economic miracle. In fact, my husband and I are currently expanding our own small business, and we’re betting on a return to economic prosperity. Every small business success has its own story. That’s one reason I’m launching a Jobs Tour, to hear directly from other New Hampshire entrepreneurs how they built their businesses, and what they need to create more jobs.

Politicians are quick to take credit for every good piece of economic data, as if they were responsible for creating jobs. Every new hire, every startup is because someone in the private sector took a risk.

It was a risk when we bought and renovated a small business in 2008. We hired two other employees and reopened in 2009. That small operation was successful enough that we are now expanding and will soon open The Hotel Portsmouth, which will employ a dozen people. That’s more jobs than Carol Shea-Porter or Frank Guinta ever created in their eight years in Congress.

The hotel business is every bit as challenging as serving as dean of the Paul School of Business and Economics at UNH. In that capacity, I oversaw more than 100 faculty and staff, with an annual budget of $30 million, helping to educate nearly 2,500 students a year.

All of these experiences helped me create the Innis Agenda for Jobs and the Economy. The big-spending bailouts and stimulus bills that have come out of Washington D.C. have managed to create jobs only in Washington, D.C. My plan acknowledges that we create jobs from the bottom up, one new employee at a time. My plan will strengthen the fiscal and regulatory climate in which entrepreneurs decide whether or not to start and expand their businesses, creating a more favorable climate for all businesses.

We can shift the incentive for job creation by removing federal obstacles. We should restore the 40-hour full-time work week. The 30-hour rule under Obamacare is forcing employers to cut hours for part-time workers.

We can restore the Welfare to Work programs hailed by both Congressional Republicans and the Clinton administration. The Obama White House has weakened these incentives through executive order.

We can require workers on unemployment to take part in state retraining programs if they stay on unemployment longer than six months. We must remove trade barriers, reform the way we fund our transportation infrastructure, and finally approve construction of the Keystone Pipeline.

The economy is threatened by the taxes and other job killing policies on Obamacare, which is why I’ve already outlined a comprehensive health care plan. The $17 trillion national debt threatens our fiscal stability, which is why I have proposed a sweeping balanced budget agenda.

These are the job creation ideas I’m putting forward. I’d welcome similar plans from Frank Guinta and Carol Shea-Porter. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything other than partisan talking points from either of them in quite some time.

Frankly, I’d welcome any ideas to get the economy moving again. Recent reports that Obamacare will lead to two million fewer people in the workforce is a testament to how much Washington has damaged our economy. Obamacare defenders even go so far to claim that millions of Americans staying home is a good thing. That’s absurd.

We will speed up economic growth when we get more Americans back on the job, and my plan is the right first step.

Dan Innis is a Republican candidate for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st District. He is the former Dean of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.

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