Op-EdAppeared in U.S. News & World Report on May 11, 2012By Ron Lazof

Washington Should Remove Hurdles to Job Creation

Ronald Lazof is managing director and member of Prism Advisers, LLC and the newest member of the Job Creators Alliance.

Good economic news is hard to come by these days as our national economy continues to struggle. The latest jobs report was just more of the same: more than 5 million long-term unemployed, nearly 4 million “missing workers,” and 4.7 million jobs needed to get back to where we were before the Great Recession.

As an entrepreneur and job creator, it’s disheartening to see so many of our fellow Americans out of work and discouraging to see the national debate on jobs so devoid of the voices of small business owners. As a member of the Job Creators Alliance, I am committed to advocating on behalf of small business owners who are struggling against the unprecedented regulatory onslaught coming from Washington.

The alliance supports progrowth policy principles that, if properly pursued at the federal and state level, would put our nation on the path back to prosperity by empowering and encouraging small business–the engine of our economy.

Politicians in Washington can also take note of what small business owners themselves are saying. In the newly released Thumbtack.com/Kauffman Foundation Small Business Survey, entrepreneurs ranked states and cities on their overall friendliness to small business. The results are telling. Those states where would-be job creators are subjected to burdensome, confusing, and costly regulations were ranked among the least friendly to small business. My former home state of California, for example, received an “F” for its business-friendliness on a broad range of regulations, ranging from health and safety to licensing and employment regulations. Coupled with having the second-least friendly tax code in the country, it’s no surprise that California is at the bottom of the list. My new home state of Texas, on the other hand, got an A+ for overall small business friendliness, with an A in every regulatory category and for friendliness of the tax code.

California is a cautionary tale for Washington–but it doesn’t appear Washington is taking note. Just last year alone, the Obama administration enacted dozens of new rules and regulations that cost business over $16 billion–and that doesn’t even take into consideration the thousands of regulations that are currently pending.

At a time when economic data continues to point to a long road ahead before the unemployment rate returns to prerecession levels, job creation must be the top priority for every policymaker and elected official at every level. Instead of going down the path of bigger government and more regulations, which has failed to stimulate job creation at the state level, Washington should roll back the regulatory onslaught and unshackle small businesses so that they may do what they do best. To put it simply: Washington should be more like Texas, less like California. Removing the hurdles to job creation imposed by the government’s overreach would help jumpstart national economic growth, making the road to recovery a little less of a reach.