As of late, the Left has derided the General Assembly for passing legislation that would put a defense of marriage amendment on the ballot in May instead of focusing on jobs. They seem to have already forgotten the past session where Republicans passed job creating bills while Democrats opposed and vetoed them (We’re looking at you, Overridden Governor Perdue). In fact, a report issued by the NC Free Enterprise Foundation found the current Republican controlled General Assembly significantly more pro-business than its predecessor—a fact that even the N&O admits.
According to the report, Republicans held the highest positions, such as President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Speaker Thom Tillis. Both leaders scored a 96% on a pro-business evaluation. Democrats ranked markedly lower with the lowest being Rep. Pricey Harrison with an 8.2% and Sen. Ellie Kinnaird at 16.4%.
Republicans entered the General Assembly with the intent of creating jobs but did not want to (due to balanced budget constraints) enact a miniature porkulus stimulus program like Obama’s. Instead of focusing on crony capitalism and paying for pet projects—like Obama’s Solyndra—Republicans decided to forgo Keynesian economics for basic laissez faire principles. In order to do so, they passed several pieces of legislation designed to reduce burdens on businesses including:
- Capping non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits
- Clarifying environmental regulations
- Reducing regulatory burdens on businesses
By passing these bills, Republicans decreased costs and risks incurred by businesses, increased their ability to produce goods and services, and amplified their need for employees. In the long run, these policies create jobs without wasting ridiculous amounts of tax dollars. Whereas stimulus bills often create short term government dependent jobs at the cost of other potential jobs lost due to taxation.
In short, compared to their predecessors, the Republican General Assembly has most certainly valued job creation as a primary focus. On the other hand, Democrats and the Governor blocked additional legislation that would have further aided businesses and provided jobs. And unfortunately, no government actions create jobs instantaneously and many, such as most of Obama’s stimulus programs, are not quite “shovel-ready.” So perhaps critics should wait more than three months before stating that Republicans did not focus enough on jobs.