NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

What's Holding Back The Hiring? Start With President Obama's Job Killers

August 10, 2010

President Obama claims that he's concerned about "jobs, jobs, jobs," but he has signed laws, issued executive orders and approved regulations that create incentives for private-sector employers to lay off people or delay hiring people.  It's no wonder high unemployment persists, says Jim Powell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. 

Obama's top job killers include executive orders and regulations promoting compulsory unionism: 

  • By gaining a bargaining monopoly in workplaces, labor unions have negotiated above-market compensation and benefits for their members, which has driven governments toward bankruptcy, priced unionized businesses out of markets and destroyed jobs.
  • Although Obama's card-check legislative initiative (to eliminate the secret ballot in union certification elections) stalled in Congress, he has pushed compulsory unionism by other means.
  • For example, in January 2009, Obama issued executive order 13496 promoting compulsory unionism among government contractors; the next month, he issued executive order 13502 requiring compulsory unionism for federal construction projects.
  • In March, Obama named Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board; Becker, formerly an attorney for the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union, is pushing the NLRB to rewrite union certification rules, making it easier for unions to gain a bargaining monopoly in workplaces -- which would destroy more jobs. 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 (ObamaCare): 

  • According to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, ObamaCare will hike taxes an estimated $15.2 billion, and the middle class will get whacked.
  • Moreover, employer mandates, taxes and penalties will reduce funds available for private-sector hiring.
  • The mandates, taxes and penalties kick in when an employer has more than 50 employees, and they apply to all employees, so one effect of the law is to discourage small businesses -- which create most American jobs -- from hiring more than 50 people.
  • If a business has 45 employees and it needs to hire eight more people for a total of 53 employees, but it doesn't offer health insurance or its insurance plan doesn't satisfy the latest ObamaCare regulations, hiring those eight additional people would entail a $2,000 penalty for each of the 53 employees -- a total of $106,000! 

By increasing the cost of hiring people, increasing the cost of doing business, reducing after-tax returns from investment, and subsidizing unemployment, Obama is repeating FDR's misguided policies that prolonged high unemployment during the Great Depression, explains Powell. 

Source: Jim Powell, "What's Holding Back The Hiring? Start With Obama's Top 10 Job Killers," Investor's Business Daily, August 10, 2010. 

For text: 


Browse more articles on Economic Issues