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Friday, December 04, 2009

Translation: We're going to hold jobs hostage until a Republican is elected
Posted by Jill | 4:39 AM
The New York Times account today about yesterday's jobs summit reads in places like something from The Onion:
While liberals are calling for ambitious job-creating measures along the lines of the New Deal and Republicans want to scale back government spending programs, Mr. Obama talked at the White House on Thursday of limited programs that he suggested could provide substantial bang for the buck when it comes to job creation. Among them was the weatherization program.

Called “cash for caulkers,” it would enlist contractors and home-improvement companies like Home Depot — whose chief executive was on the panel — to advertise the benefits, much as car dealers did for the clunkers trade-ins this year.

Here at Casa la Brilliant, we just spent a bunch of money ripping apart the cheap no-insulation "finished basement" job done by the previous owners of our house in the 1970's and adding insulation and new windows. This plus replacement of some rusty ductwork has already in its first month resulted in $40 in electricity savings and I don't know how much in heating oil because we no longer need to use space heaters to supplement the house's heating system. But we're both working so a tax credit is meaningful. If you aren't workiing, and you have no income, you aren't going to be able to hire a contractor to add insulation, or install new windows, or anything else to save energy. And not everyone has the skills or the wherewithall to do it oneself, not that that would create a single job.

But the most significant part of the article is where a businessman from Salt Lake City made very clear that at least in his opinion, businesses won't hire as long as Barack Obama is president:
Mr. Obama told the chief executives that he wanted to know: “What’s holding back business investment and how we can increase confidence and spur hiring? And if there are things that we’re doing here in Washington that are inhibiting you, then we want to know about it.”

He got a blunt answer from Fred P. Lampropoulos, founder and chief of Merit Medical Systems Inc., a medical device manufacturer in the Salt Lake City area. Mr. Lampropoulos said some in his discussion group agreed that businesses were uncertain about investment because “there’s such an aggressive legislative agenda that businesspeople don’t really know what they ought to do.” That uncertainty, he added, “is really what’s holding back the jobs.”

The president acknowledged, “This is a legitimate concern,” one that he and his advisers had discussed before he took office.

But Mr. Obama said he had decided that “if we keep on putting off tough decisions about health care, about energy, about education, we’ll never get to the point where there’s a lot of appetite for that.”

The argument that Democrats’ ambitions are unnerving business is one that Republicans have been making lately, and it was prominent Thursday when House Republican leaders held a competing round table on jobs with conservative economists.

In case you're wondering, that competing round table was primarily a forum for the kickoff of Newt Gingrich's 2012 Presidential campaign. Gingrich's plan? You guessed it: More tax cuts for business, starve Medicare and Social Security:
He said the government can start by aiming for a balanced budget each year, develop more domestic energy sources and lower or eliminate a number of taxes he said hurt smaller businesses and prevent them from adding positions.

"If you're an entrepreneur, you're going to be able to find the money" if the government isn't sucking it up, the former congressman said.

Gingrich spoke to a receptive crowd, which often cheered as he made his points.

He told jokes and quoted from authors George Orwell and Albert Camus in describing his view of the government's negative effect on job growth.

His tax ideas include a two-year, 50 percent reduction in Social Security and Medicare taxes, lowering the capital gains rate to 0 percent, eliminating the estate tax and lowering corporate taxes.

Because eight years of tax cuts during the Bush years weren't enough for Jamie Dimon and the rest of his Wall Street cronies. And because perhaps if the already preposterously wealthy get even more tax cuts than the Bush Administration gave them, they'll hire a few maids, cooks, butlers, gardeners and pool boys. And the work place of the future will once again look like this.

(Byron Dorgan has a different take on why small businesses aren't hiring, and it has more to do with Jamie Dimon and his cronies than with their tax burden.)

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Blogger Interrobang said...
Newt Gingrich quoting George Orwell disgusts me.

And you could power the entire northwest of England if you hooked up a turbine to George Orwell's grave right now.

(My word verification word was "stanica," which is a thinly-disguised anagram of "satanic." I think that's appropriate, in the sense of 'The Devil can quote Scripture to his own purpose.')

Blogger Bob said...
Lampropoulos is full of shit. I did hear a legit complaint on the news from an ordinary person that all the attention on "shovel ready" construction projects distracts from the fact that most unemployed people are not construction workers or in any allied businesses that benefit from these projects.