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23 September 2011 - Mr. President, Less Talk, More Action

Job creation is getting a lot of attention from a lot of people these days, including the President and members of Congress. That is why a week ago on ‘Samuelson Sez’ I presented an idea that would create jobs, suggesting that our leaders in Washington approve funding to finally begin modernization of the seventy-year old locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, that transportation system so vital to America’s economy, not just the Midwest, but across the nation.

Well, no surprise. I didn’t get a call from Washington this week so let me try again with another idea that will create jobs. Mr. President, please submit to Congress the Free-Trade Agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea and then Congress, please approve and put those trade agreements in place. They would greatly increase our trade opportunities in those markets and would increase the U.S. dollar value of exports going into those countries.

One study tells us that every one-billion dollars worth of exports produces 6,000 jobs in our economy. President Obama, in his first State of the Union address and again, in this year’s State of the Union address, said he was going to push for Congressional approval of trade deals with the three countries and he repeated it again in his job-creation message earlier this month. While the President keeps calling for the agreements to be put into place, he does not send them to Capitol Hill and until he does, Congress cannot vote approval. Arizona Senator John McCain called it remarkable that President Obama has yet to submit the agreements which he said the Farm Bureau has estimated would put $2.5-billion into the U.S. economy.

Utah Senator Orin Hatch said the President should have brought the trade agreements to the Hill the night he presented his jobs creation bill at the joint session of Congress. He said, “I can’t for the life of me understand why this has gone on and on and on for this long. Should we pass these free trade agreements, we would create upwards of 250,000 new jobs.” As I recall, the President’s message that night was to create jobs and he challenged Congress to pass his bill “right away”, a term he used several times.

So, we have offered two suggestions that would create thousands of jobs…modernize the inland waterway system and sign the Fee Trade Agreements. It is time to stop talking and start doing, and using the line from the President, do it right away!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.