In his State of the Union Address, President Obama highlighted the importance of making America a better place to do business saying, "to help our companies compete, we also have to knock down barriers that stand in the way of their success. To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I've ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them ..."
As President Obama has signaled the importance of examining the regulatory impediments to job creation, I am hopeful that through the launch of www.AmericanJobCreators.com, we can bring the voice of job creators nationwide directly to Washington and into this debate. We agree that America's entrepreneurs deserve the opportunity to succeed and grow here in the United States.
The first step is listening to the personal stories of job creators, innovators and entrepreneurs about how government impacts job creation.
There is no question that regulations, particularly those that relate to the safety of the American people, are justified and important. However, we also have an obligation, as the president noted, to ensure that government regulation of private industry is reasonable and predictable. But we're learning that Washington and Sacramento are writing regulations that are by contrast burdensome and uncertain.
Despite all the promises of stimulated job growth that the recent explosion in federal spending was supposed to create, we are currently faced with unemployment rates stuck at 9.4 percent nationally and 12.5 percent here in California.
Even President Obama has recognized that it is imperative to begin a national debate that centers on identifying and removing obstacles to job creation.
Currently, American small businesses must navigate federal fine print amounting to 150,000 pages of regulations, and the burden is only getting worse. Last year's health care reform bill alone generated 159 new bureaucratic hurdles. So-called financial reform generated more than 550 new rules, regulations and reporting requirements.
California isn't any better. I ran a small business in Vista for more than 20 years, struggling against the third worst business environment in the nation. I know too well how regulatory barriers stand in the way of new hiring and investment. Regrettably, many other small businesses owners have given up on California, leaving the state or shutting down completely.
Next week, I will convene the first in a series of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings that aim to listen to the challenges facing American job creators. Hopefully, this direct dialogue with job creators will compliment the government-wide examination of regulations that the president has ordered.
I'm asking for help from you, San Diego's proven entrepreneurs. By visiting www.AmericanJobCreators.com, the personal stories describing how government impacts your businesses can become a part of this broad and national discussion. Tell us where Washington helps your business and where it hurts. Be as specific as you can be. Job creators deserve a government that understands the impact of its regulations. We're listening.
Editor's note: Rep. Issa will appear at the Vista Chamber of Commerce's 2011 Meet the Leaders banquet Friday evening. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Shadowridge Country Club in Vista. For details, call 760-726-1122 or log onto vistachamber.org.
Congressman Issa represents the 49th Congressional District of California that includes parts of San Diego and Riverside County. He is the current Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform