Stimulus: Part Deux
The cat is out of the bag. It seems President Obama’s new jobs “plan” is really nothing more than a second-rate version of his failed stimulus from 2009. Because what didn’t work the first time with nearly a trillion dollar price tag will surely work the second time with $300 billion, right? From the Chicago Sun Times:
According to people familiar with the White House deliberations, two of the biggest measures in the president’s proposals for 2012 are expected to be a one-year extension of a payroll tax cut for workers and an extension of expiring jobless benefits. Together those two would total about $170 billion.
Great. Fifty-six percent of the new spending will be for these two initiatives, which are not new ideas. Remember, these were supposed to be new ideas; instead, they are policy retreads that failed to create jobs the first time around.
So what are some other ideas?
Well, he wants to give tax breaks to businesses who hire the unemployed. This too is an idea that has been tried – in the 1970s – and failed. The Heritage Foundation notes that this scheme could “actually end up reducing employment.” It creates a perverse incentive to for underemployed workers to become unemployed workers because unemployed workers will be more attractive to companies looking to hire. That’s a bad idea politically for the President, and a bad policy “solution” for Americans.
Oh, and don’t forget the free trade agreements he hasn’t sent to Congress, taxes on job creators, small businesses and family farms, as well as increased infrastructure spending.
Sounds just like Stimulus I, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, conservatives in Congress can block such shenanigans this time around. They should also seize the opportunity to present their own job creation ideas, as they have been doing for the past nine months. Remove harmful regulations, lower tax rates and broaden the base, end subsidies, open up oil and gas drilling and pass the free trade agreements cleanly (the President is, after all, so keen on passing “clean” bills).
These ideas will create jobs without driving up our national debt. Unfortunately, though, these are not the kind of jobs the President thinks should exist. Because unless you build roads, bridges or make solar panels, he really doesn’t have any interest.