By Daniel B. Kline
Given the current economy, every politician in the nation likes to give speeches about jobs. They talk about jobs, go on “job tours,” write legislation about jobs and do everything short of writing a Broadway musical about jobs, but, of course, very few actually create any jobs.
Our president also likes talking about jobs and he does seem to understand that it's hard to have a thriving economy with 10% unemployment, but he too has a fundamental lack of understanding as to how jobs get created. Obama plans to create jobs by taking more money away from the public through increasing taxes. (I'm pretty sure he also thinks he can create jobs by being charming and telegenic, but he has not said that out loud).
He, of course, only plans to tax the wealthy – you know, the people who pay nearly all the taxes now; the same people who buy stuff and hire people with their money. He also seems completely unaware that taking money from the public and giving it to the government has multiple negative effects on the economy.
First, government never spends our money as well as we do. Second, when you raise taxes, you remove incentive. Why would a person who already has money risk that cash in attempt to make even more if Uncle Sam will just take the lion's share of the profits?
President Barack Obama isn't interested in creating jobs any more than the blowhards in the Tea Party are. Instead, the extreme left and the extreme right want to demonize each other. The president says we don't have jobs because rich people take all the money while the Tea Partiers say we don't have jobs because the federal government wastes money on entitlement programs.
None of this rhetoric creates a single job – unless you count the talk radio hosts who live off this sort of nonsense. Then, of course, we have the ridiculous debate about the debt ceiling, which has about as much uncertainty as the NFL lockout. We don;t how they will agree or exactly when they will agree, but we all know that at some point an agreement will be reached.
Creating jobs requires that both sides of the political debate drop their rhetoric. Obama has to stop blaming the rich and the Republicans have to stop blaming the poor. We won't create jobs by raising taxes and more than we will create jobs by eliminating food stamps or other needed social programs.
Instead, the right must acknowledge that there are too many loopholes that allow those with the most to escape paying anything – let alone their fair share. The left must accept that government has an awful lot of waste and while some programs can remain, others must go.
To create jobs, we need politicians who actually want to do that instead of ones who just like talking about it. Since we don't have that, it's hard to see an end to our economic downturn. Sadly, to create jobs we need leaders and that appears to be a job opening for which nobody qualified has applied.
Daniel B. Kline's work appears in over 100 papers weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can see his archive at dbkline.com. You can listen to his podcast or buy his book, Worst Ideas Ever, at Worstideasever.com.