Weekly Columns

Finding Common Ground for Job Creation

Senator John Boozman's Column for the Week of September 19, 2011

Sep 19 2011

Our nation’s weak August job report highlights the urgent need for Congress to create an environment that helps spur job creation across the country. With unemployment close to eight percent in Arkansas, it is clear that we need a jump-start for our state’s economy as well.  This has been my number one priority in the Senate and I am happy to hear that President Obama is moving this to the top of his agenda.

In President Obama’s address before Congress, he impressed upon members the importance of passing jobs creation legislation. We need to work together to get our economy moving in a direction that helps our job creators hire hardworking Americans who are unemployed or underemployed and have been looking for meaningful employment for far too long.

We must find common ground to create an environment that helps our job creators while at the same time not adding to our deficit. We've experienced the failures that result from the tax, spend and borrow philosophy; when the money goes away, the jobs go away and our children and grandchildren are left to foot the bill. We need to promote job creation in the private sector with a long term plan that supports economic growth.

Measures like increasing production of American energy and expanding our exports and infrastructure investments are good starting points.

We need to produce more American energy. We need to utilize our offshore resources, expand our access to federal lands and promote the development of natural gas. In Arkansas, we have an abundance of natural gas in what is known as the Fayetteville Shale Natural Gas Field. This may contain as much as 10 percent of all the natural gas in the U.S. According to a study done at the University of Arkansas, the Fayetteville shale could generate more than $17 billion and produce about 11,000 jobs over the next several years.

Hundreds of thousands of more people can have reliable jobs if we take steps to increase our exports. This allows American businesses to compete and succeed on a global market while opening up new markets for American products. This will allow Arkansas agriculture producers, businesses and manufacturers to save millions of dollars every year and reinvest those dollars into our economy and communities.

President Obama’s job proposal includes investment in infrastructure, something we all agree is important. These projects not only help put people in the construction industry to work, but create long lasting economic opportunity after it’s completed.  It’s something all Americans can benefit from. Reauthorizing the surface transportation bill, something we’re working on in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in addition to passing a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, will prevent layoffs as well as allow communities to plan for future growth and development.

These are commonsense ideas that promote private sector job growth and don’t come at a cost to our national deficit. These proposals have widespread support throughout the country in addition to backing from many members of Congress. We’re looking for solutions to providing Americans opportunities to provide for their families and starting with these common ground plans is a key to long lasting recovery.