Any Econ 101 student would flunk the course if he showed the aptitude of this Administration regarding basic economics. It is likely most Americans have never taken an economics course, yet would be able to discern why recent economic policies, either proposed or already implemented, destroy jobs. Simple common sense or a modicum of “street smarts” is all that is required.
The President’s jobs summit to address the soaring unemployment issue was embarrassing. Apparently Obama is unable to pass Econ 101 and needed outside advice. Why we have Tim Geithner and Larry Summers and a host of other “experts” that could not educate the man is beyond comprehension. Is he so unbelievably ignorant? Perhaps it is his incredible arrogance that leads him to believe his silver-tongued teleprompter will enable him to “talk-over” his failed policies. Regardless, this “summit” was either an insult to the intelligence of the American public or a revelation of Obama’s intelligence.
The other possible hypothesis is that the President is so ideologically opposed to markets that he believes that all direction must come from Washington, more specifically him. If so, his knowledge of history is as bad as his knowledge of economics. This hypothesis takes us beyond the possibility of ignorance into the realm of stupidity.
The accompanying chart from Heritage indicates the gap between the Administration’s plan versus actual on the jobs front. It is not encouraging.
The Heritage article that follows came via email and should be required reading for every politician in Washington. Even if they are incapable or unwilling to understand, they should remember the Hippocratic oath: “Do no harm.” The article concludes with a similar caution: “If the President is truly concerned about jobs, both he and the Congress should abandon their reckless policies and instead consider alternatives like Cantor’s. Unfortunately, as Foster points out, ‘the best we can hope from government is that it keeps to a minimum the jobs it prevents and the income and wealth it destroys.’”
December 4, 2009 | By Amanda Reinecker
Taxes kill jobs. They don’t create them.
Yesterday, the White House hosted a “Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth” to address the soaring unemployment rate and to discuss new ways and policies to promote job growth. This is not the first time President Obama has attempted to address the nation’s job crisis, and there are real doubts whether he’ll be more successful this time around.
When President Obama took office in January, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent. He quickly called for action and in March he signed into law a $787 billion “stimulus” package that would allegedly create 3.3 million net jobs and “save” millions more.
“Since then,” Heritage’s Conn Carroll writes, “3.4 million more net jobs have been lost, pushing the unemployment rate above 10 percent.”
In short, the president’s “stimulus” package, which was supposed to cap unemployment at eight percent, failed horribly. This is because “every dollar Congress ‘injects’ into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of the economy,” explains Carroll. Therefore, the more the government spends, the more taxes Americans will have to fork over to Washington. This is exactly what we’re seeing now.
Since taking office, President Obama has proposed massive new taxes on our ailing economy, explains Heritage tax policy analyst J.D. Foster. These taxes may come in many different forms but each of them will eventually affect every American:
- Energy Tax: Cap-and-tax climate change legislation would cause energy prices to “necessarily skyrocket,” as even President Obama admitted. This would cost the average American family an additional $3,000 each year.
- Health Care Tax: Funding a Washington takeover of the health care industry, which represents one-sixth of our economy, will require massive new taxes from individuals, families, small business and employers.
- More Deficits and More Debt: The President’s ever-expanding budget will likely produce $13 trillion in deficit spending over the next 10 years, which is a debt Americans will have to pay.
These massive taxes create a poor environment for economic growth. But there are alternatives, like lowering tax rates to encourage investment. As Foster explains, “If the President wants the economy to create more employees today, then he has to stop threatening the employers with taxes, red tape, and a bleak future.”
The administration and its Congressional allies have been presented with numerous opportunities to cut tax rates — such as the highly unpopular death tax — and thereby permit greater economic prosperity. Nonetheless, the House voted 225 to 200 to “kill job creation again” by making the current estate tax rate permanent rather than completely abolishing it in 2010, as was planned.
A better jobs plan
Speaking at The Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) presented an alternative vision for a jobs bill — one that would actually create and save more jobs without raising taxes and redistributing wealth.
Cantor’s alternative includes reforms that Heritage experts have long-supported:
- Resist unaffordable expansions of government and energy subsidies;
- Take back unspent bailout and “stimulus” money;
- Limit annual spending increases and enact firm sending caps that will force lawmakers to prioritize truly worthwhile programs;
- Embrace pending agreements to expand free exchange with other countries; and
- Create a Bipartisan Entitlement Commission to oversee reforms of government programs like Social Security and Medicare that threaten to bankrupt our nation.
The economy will likely recover on its own, but these policies are a sure way to speed up the mending process without causing further damage.
If the President is truly concerned about jobs, both he and the Congress should abandon their reckless policies and instead consider alternatives like Cantor’s. Unfortunately, as Foster points out, “the best we can hope from government is that it keeps to a minimum the jobs it prevents and the income and wealth it destroys.”