Here's a To-Do List for Recovering Jobs

Article excerpt

Let's hope the president and Congress enjoyed their vacations because some historically important business awaits them.

So here are some ideas that Washington should take up first thing, The following recommendations were inspired by reports from McKinsey Global Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance for American Manufacturing and the National Urban League.

Moratorium on costly regulations: Business owners are reluctant to hire or expand.

Reform tax codes: Reduce the corporate tax rate overall while eliminating loopholes. Simplicity will help restore confidence in the business world.

Resolve the housing crisis: Workers can't move because they are trapped in their own homes. So workers are unable to move to new jobs while their homes cannot be sold.

Time magazine proposes a major federal program that will allow homeowners to write down mortgage payments or rent their own homes.

It is scandalous that America's homeowners have been left behind in the stimulus.

Seed startups: Provide financing inducements for companies starting up. That is where many of the new jobs will be created as well as the next booming companies.

Do the big things: Ratify free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea and Panama. Other Western nations are ahead of us, as usual, while we try to tell those countries how to run their labor forces. Approval for an oil pipeline from the tar sands of Canada to Texas also needs to be OK'd. America has turned regulatory approval into a gauntlet that seems designed to go nowhere.

Rebuild America: Put Americans to work building bridges, highways, sewer lines, airports and other public facilities. An investment bank that partners with private industry is one way to do it. Another idea is to bring back the pay-as-you-go method that was used to build the interstate highway system. Funds from closed tax loopholes could be used.

Retrain America: Provide competitive grants to nonprofits to provide job training in fields where there is demand. Nonprofits are leaner than government; and it is easier to change course with a nonprofit than with government.

The president is considering a version of the Georgia Works program in which unemployed workers are matched with employers for eight weeks of training - at no cost to the employers. …