President Obama's much-anticipated speech on his jobs proposal this week will no doubt remind Americans why one out of every 10 of them is unemployed. He’ll wax, in his usual professorial manner, over the tug and pull of supply-and-demand economics.
Let’s not forget that he will also feature some of his 2012 campaign lines — phrases on how we can’t return to the “failed policies of the past” … which someone in the White House feels will continue to salve the wounds of Americans by blaming Bush.
What I hope to hear is an admission from the president. I would like, just once, to hear him acknowledge that government cannot create one job that is sustainable, profitable and in the private sector. It’s very good at employing people, mind you. Just look at the tens of millions of federal employees who sucked off the federal largesse, especially during the burgeoning stimulus months.
But are any of those jobs sustainable, and does one dollar spent on a federal job outweigh and outlast one dollar spent creating a job in the private sector? Unequivocally, that answer is no. Simple logic defies anything to the contrary.
If I want to create a federal job, I must first borrow approximately 65 cents of every dollar from say, China, to fund that job. Not to mention the agency that employs the public worker will not pay federal income taxes the way a private-sector employer would. And on the rarest of occasions, that building will not pay real estate taxes due to legacy purchases decades old, especially in Washington, D.C.
So, please, Mr. President, enter into that august room on Thursday and admit the best jobs that last and yield the most benefit are the ones government does NOT create. Set the right conditions with regulatory and monetary policies, then get out of the way.
It won’t be easy. Corporations are hoarding cash. Why? They fear the government and its heavy-handedness. They fear bailouts for otherwise inefficient casualties of economic Darwinism. And they fear the uncertainty of a tax code run amok.
So assuage those fears. Americans need to hear from someone who sounds more like he holds an M.B.A. than a Ph.D. Let’s hope this president can give us that this week.
A little more business acumen in our White House can only help this economy. Heck, he’s tried everything else ...