September 12, 2011 2:18 pm ET - by Jamison Foser
The National Federation of Independent Business — the Republican-leaning interest group that purports to represent the interests of "small business" — says its members cite "poor sales" (read: lack of demand) as their biggest problem. Republicans don't listen. Corporate executives tell the Wall Street Journal the same thing — and Republicans don't listen to them, either. Now, the New York Times provides even more examples of corporate America spelling out the reason it isn't hiring:
As President Obama faced an uphill battle in Congress to win support even for portions of the plan, many employers dismissed the notion that any particular tax break or incentive would be persuasive. Instead, they said they tended to hire more workers or expand when the economy improved.
Companies are focused on jittery consumer confidence, an unstable stock market, perceived obstacles to business expansion like government regulation and, above all, swings in demand for their products. [...]
"You still need to have the business need to hire," said Jeffery Braverman, owner of Nutsonline, an e-commerce company in Cranford, N.J., that sells nuts and dried fruit. While a $4,000 credit could offset the cost of the company's lowest-cost health insurance plan, he said, it would not spur him to hire someone. "Business demand is what drives hiring," he said.
Even the Chamber of Commerce's chief economist spelled things out clearly: Lack of demand prevents companies from hiring:
"If I get a $4,000 benefit for hiring you and I pay you $80,000 and you're going to sit at your desk and do nothing because there's nothing to do," said Marty Regalia, chief economist of the United States Chamber of Commerce, "then the businesses aren't going to hire you."
But do Republicans listen? Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) tweets a link to that Times article:
No matter how clearly the "job creators" Republicans claim to revere say that what they need is an increase in demand for their goods and services, Republicans just can't — or won't — understand them. They're like the bartender in the Simpsons episode "Bart Vs. Australia" who interpretes everything as a request for beer:
That's basically where we are: Economists, and even GOP-leaning business interests, are saying as clearly as they can that hiring will increase when demand increases. But Republicans only hear what they want to hear.
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