WASHINGTON The National Retail Federation announced that it has told House Republican leaders that Congress needs to pass legislation that encourages job creation through tax policy and greater availability of credit while avoiding mandates and regulation that discourage growth.
“One thing that’s really been lacking on this issue is leadership and a consistent message that eliminates the disincentives that exist,” NRF President and CEO Matt Shay said. “We know that there are trillions of dollars in assets in cash sitting on balance sheets at the Federal Reserve and on the books of many businesses, including a number of ours. But no one has the courage to invest that capital because of the uncertainty that exists about what’s going to happen next.”
“Our members’number one issue is job creation,” Shay said. “We are willing to talk to anybody about how to create jobs and get the economy back on track. This is not a partisan issue. It’s an economic issue.”
Shay said he was particularly concerned by remarks made this week by Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of President Obama’s deficit reduction commission, supporting the idea of a Value Added Tax or similar consumption tax. NRF said it has long opposed consumption taxes because of the negative impact on consumer spending, and has commissioned a study on the impact of a VAT that will be submitted to the deficit commission later this year.
“Talk about sending the wrong message to consumers and investors and businesses,” Shay said. “That’s absolutely the wrong direction and that’s not the way in which we ought to be going.”
Shay was among executives from more than a dozen business associations who participated in a forum on job creation held at the U.S. Capitol this morning by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the House GOP’s America Speaking Out program.
“Job recovery needs to be led by the private sector,” Shay said. “We need policies that will help free access to credit so business can begin to expand, prosper and create jobs. That means more certainty in federal tax policy and the regulatory agenda, and fewer mandates that discourage job creation.”