MacIver News Service

By Chris Rochester

MADISON, Wis. – Tax reform laid the groundwork for long-term, sustained economic growth. Now it’s time to make sure America has the workforce to fill the new jobs that will be created as a result, House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Friday.

Speaking with business leaders at a Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce luncheon in Madison, Ryan touted the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act, the sweeping tax overhaul signed into law just before Christmas last year. “We really believe it’s going to reset this economy and put a foundation, a bedrock under this economy that will last for an entire generation,” Ryan said.

With the stage set for increased, long-term economic growth, Ryan said now is the time to focus on the workforce. “We have a skills gap in America. In Wisconsin, we have an opportunity gap,” Ryan said. “That’s what we want to focus on now.”

There are 6.5 million job openings in America, but even more people who are capable of working but not in the workforce. “We want to pull people off the sidelines, off of welfare, into the workforce,” Ryan said. He outlined his goal of a 20 hour/week requirement for able-bodied, working-age people to either work or go to school – mirroring recent welfare reforms in Wisconsin that have helped more than 25,000 people get off food stamps and into private sector jobs.

Chris Rochester is the Communications Director for the MacIver Institute, where this article first appeared.