Who is the real job creator, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? Fiercely debated, the question remains a central theme in both presidential hopeful’s campaigns.
Republicans attacked Obama’s economic record during a Wednesday morning conference call.
During the call, U.S. Congressman Mike Kelly, (R-Butler), and Bruce Hottle, owner of Eagle Concrete Products (a manufacturer based in Somerset), discussed why the President’s economic, environmental and health care policies are detrimental to job creation and small business.
Kelly used his previous experience as a family car dealership owner to illustrate the difficulties caused by the Obama administration.
“I don’t know if I have ever seen another president that has more hostility towards American job creators in both his rhetoric and his policies. You look at what the president is doing, you can’t be so hostile to businesses and you have to be friendly to job creation.”
Citing unemployment and long-term unemployment rates as evidence, Kelly called the economic recovery “anemic” and job creation “absolutely impossible.”
“This is a person who has never actually worked in the private sector the way we have…He’s never created a job, he’s never run a business.”
Contrary to Kelly’s argument, Obama campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Austin said the president has assisted over 150,000 small businesses by granting Small Business Administration-supported loans, which allow for expansion in size and staff.
“Facts are facts – under the President’s leadership we have seen 26 straight months of private-sector job growth, in which businesses have created more than 4.2 million new jobs.”
In addition to job growth, Kelly also attacked Obama’s environmental policies.
“This is a country that does not need to rely on anybody from outside our borders for our own success. But you can’t do things like blocking the Keystone Pipeline that would have created 20,000 jobs and got those refineries back and got things going again.”
He further criticized the high cost of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare. Both of these policies, Kelly claimed, “cost Americans jobs, good jobs.”
On the other hand, Kelly praised Romney for working both in the private and public sector, and his long history as a job creator.
Despite these claims, the Obama campaign has repeatedly dismissed ‘Romney Economics’. Austin, in an email, refuted Romney’s business record.
“Romney’s record stands in stark contrast with the President, who has cut taxes for small businesses 18 times helping them grow and create jobs while lowering their costs,” she said.
“Romney economics means tax cuts for large corporations and the wealthy, but no help for small businesses, it is about doing whatever it takes for him and his investors to profit, regardless of the cost to workers, companies and communities.”
On the call, Hottle, who has owned Eagle Concrete Products for 35 years, echoed much of Kelly’s message when he talked about how the president made life more difficult for him.
“I run a small business…(and) I can tell you that our bottom line has been negatively affected by this recession. What’s even more frustrating is President Obama’s desire to add even more roadblocks to job creation.”
Besides Obama’s economic record, Hottle blasted the health care act, calling it a “big mystery.”
“For small businesses to survive, the key to it is controlling your costs and your bottom line. We don’t know what (health care) costs are going to be a month from now and that’s what makes it difficult for us to plan and to expand our business and create more jobs and hire additional people.”
The call wrapped up on the same note with which it began: a criticism of Obama for not understanding the private sector in the same way that Romney does.
“Romney has been in the private sector, he understands the risk involved. There’s always some risk: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you have to be willing to take the risk. Government needs to get out of the way and let us take those risks.”