Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's the Jobs, Stupid

I could have titled this post Wasted Opportunity, but elected for the more in your face approach. For two and a half months (or longer) Washington has focused all its attention toward the spending limit on their credit card when the real issue is jobs. Balancing the budget on spending cuts or tax increases will only slow an already comatose economy.

If anyone is serious about bringing the national debt under control it will require tremendous effort on the jobs front. More jobs also means a better economy. In a recent article I argued that government regulation and interference is holding back job creation. The other half of the story is what the government can do to jump start the economy via job creation.

Governments around the country are cutting jobs while the private sector is adding a small number of jobs. I agree with selective downsizing of government payroll. The government should not create jobs by hiring more people. Washington can create jobs by providing focused funding. A large part of our electric grid was built in the 1930's and is in need of an upgrade; out road look like a page out of a developing country and our bridges collapse from time to time; our transportation system is outdated and more efficient, high-speed alternatives, need investment. Honing spending to targeted areas of infrastructure is the fastest way to create jobs without installing another permanent level of government spending/bureaucracy.

All the debate on the spending limit, spending cuts, and/or tax increases has created no jobs and never will. When unemployment is over 9%, why are we talking about anything other than jobs?

If we had jobs and a better economy the budget problems would largely vanish. One third of the deficit is from lower tax revenues directly related to the slow economy. Unemployed people pay few taxes, payroll or otherwise. Another third of the deficit comes from increased spending on food stamps, unemployment, and other social programs to help the people harmed by the economic conditions. The remaining third of the budget shortfall will require attention in the future when jobs are on the upswing.

Every politician in Washington that is debating the budget when jobs are the real issue should be fired. Both political parties are at fault. The only time jobs are considered is when it is used as an argument to further a political agenda.

Stop talking about the debt limit. It creates no jobs. Raising taxes or reduced spending creates no jobs. If we spent the last three months talking jobs the way we talk credit limits our economy would be humming. Our trade deficit was over $50 billion in May. There is work to do. Now we need to get out of our way and start hiring.

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