By: Amy Lutz
As Joe Biden likes to say, one of the biggest issues facing the US today is a three letter word: jobs, J-O-B-S, jobs. Wait…alright, so we all know that jobs is a four letter word, but for the Obama administration, that phrase applies in more ways than one. “Jobs” is a word commonly referenced by the President and his advisors, but this four letter word reflects perhaps more negatively on the administration than one of the more common, four letter curses in our vocabulary. Barack Obama’s record on job creation is shaky at best, and even saying that is pushing it. Since the left’s hope-and-change-promising Messiah has taken office, the economy has taken a turn for the worst and more and more people are losing their jobs and livelihoods. This fact; however, does not stop the Obama administration from claiming success in the face of a possible double dip recession.
When Barack Obama, whom I like to dub the “Job Destroyer in Chief,” took office, his platform was stimulus, stimulus, stimulus. The left believed, and still does, that waywardly tossing money at a sinking economy like our own will magically solve everything. Common sense and the facts tell a different story. In a report released by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors on July 1st, hand-picked Obama economists detailed the weak, if not damaging, impact that the Obama stimulus had on the American economy. The report, released on a Friday so as to bury its findings in the lull of a three-day weekend, claimed that the stimulus package “added or saved” about 2.4 million jobs. Here’s the kicker: those 2.4 million jobs cost $666 billion (I doubt that number is a coincidence), or $278,000 per job, and all at the taxpayers’ expense. Don’t forget that many of the jobs created by the stimulus were also temporary census jobs that only “stimulated” the economy for a few brief weeks before leaving thousands of people unemployed once again. Also, there’s significant data indicating that the stimulus actually did more harm than good. Six months before the report was filed in July, the stimulus had reportedly created or saved 2.7 million jobs. By the time July 1st rolled around, 300,000 of those jobs had disappeared. The unemployment data throughout Obama’s term in office reflects his lack of job creation and failure of the stimulus package. The President promised that if we just passed the stimulus bill (like the health care bill, so we could find out what was in it), unemployment would not rise above 8%. When Barack Obama took the reins, unemployment was 7.6%. Now? 9.1% and rising. The national debt also reflects the fiscal irresponsibility of Washington during Obama’s tenure. Our debt was $9.9 trillion when the President entered office, and currently stands at $14.5 trillion. I’m confused as to where 2008’s “hope and change” fits into our dreary economic landscape in 2011. Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign contains more of a “let’s hope something changes” platform than one that actually creates a workable plan for economic recovery.
As rumors that yet another stimulus package might be headed our way heat up, the Obama administration has shifted gears and attributed job creation to something they know a bit too much about: food stamps. Yep, that’s right, apparently food stamps are providing employment to thousands of people all around the country. Well, that is according to the Obama administration, and we all know their record on economic accuracy. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stated recently: “But I should point out that when you talk about the snap program or the food stamp program, you have to recognize that it’s also an economic stimulus. Every dollar of snap benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity.” Vilsack claimed that as people use food stamps to buy groceries, more people are needed to stock, shelve, package, process, and ship the foodstuffs accrued from food stamp users. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney continued with this logic while stating that not just food stamps but unemployment insurance as well help stimulate our fractured economy. After mocking a Wall Street Journal reporter for asking how unemployment insurance creates jobs, Carney replied: “It is one of the most direct ways to infuse money into the economy because people who are unemployed and obviously aren’t earning a paycheck are going to spend the money that they get. They're not going to save it; they're going to spend it.” The White House Press Secretary concluded by saying that there “are few other ways that can more directly put money into the economy than providing unemployment insurance.” Alright, so let me get this straight. We increase the size of government-run programs like food stamps and unemployment insurance so that the people using these funds will stimulate the economy by spending them in the free market. Sounds reasonable…well it would if the funds that supply food stamps and unemployment insurance came out of thin air. These programs are funded by taxpayers who are already sore from holding up our bloated bureaucracy on their shoulders. So taxpayers fund government run programs, which according to the Obama administration creates jobs. Then; however, taxpayers are still left with the tab from funding the programs in the first place and in more debt than ever. Here’s a better plan: I agree with the President that an increase in spending in the free market creates economic prosperity, but why does this increase in spending have to come from the government? Why don’t we just decrease the tax burden on every American, increase individuals’ disposable income, and let the principles of capitalism do the rest? Unfortunately for us, the Obama administration does not adhere to common sense economics and continually increases our regulations and taxations, creating an even bigger, unnecessarily complicated economic fiasco.
Although all signs point to a double dip recession, Barack Obama is full steam ahead with his Keynesian, big government principles of overtaxing the rich and over-bloating the welfare system. Even respected business tycoon Warren Buffet has bought into the twisted logic, stating, “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.” Well, Mr. Buffet, if you are so concerned about not being taxed enough, why don’t you just write a blank check to the government? I’m sure they could always use a few extra dollars to spend on interactive dance software or analyses of exotic ants (yes, unfortunately, those are real stimulus projects). Tell me, when in history have tax and spend (and spend and spend) policies worked in the long run? The only proven method of economic success and recovery throughout history has been low taxes, small government, and fiscal discipline. Just ask Calvin Coolidge or Ronald Reagan. And don’t forget Rick Perry. Like Al Gore likes to say of the global warming argument, “the debate is over.” History has proven time and time again that conservative economic principles are the most efficient. All the government needs to do is to let the free market breathe. How can the economy prosper when Uncle Sam has his hands tight around its neck? Liberal administrations like the one currently in power have no trust in the American people and our nation’s proven principles of liberty and economic freedom. However, the American people are the true source of economic success. Prosperity rests on the shoulders of the small business owner setting up shop for the first time; the businessman who might just have the next great idea; or the innovator who could change the world with a new product or service. These entrepreneurs hold up our capitalistic system and when they are free to pursue risk and reward, the burden is light and prosperous. However, as is depicted in the novel Atlas Shrugged, when American business owners are weighed down by twisted regulation and suffocating taxes, our economy lags and little is produced. If that load continues to grow heavier on the backs of our entrepreneurs, it will soon become too overwhelming and our once prosperous system will come crashing down without a net to halt its descent.