The Associated Press reported yesterday that “There’s a problem with the bipartisan jobs bill emerging in the Senate: It won’t create many jobs.” Given the President’s track record, that shouldn’t be a surprise.
One feature of the President’s jobs bill is a tax cut for businesses that hire unemployed workers. The AP writes that “even the Obama administration acknowledges [the tax cut] would only work on the margins.” Here’s why, according to the AP:
Tax experts and business leaders said companies are unlikely to hire workers just to receive a tax break. Before businesses start hiring, they need increased demand for their products, more work for their employees and more revenue to pay those workers.
“We’re skeptical that it’s going to be a big job creator,” said Bill Rys, tax counsel for the National Federation of Independent Business. “There’s certainly nothing wrong with giving a tax break to a business that’s hired a new worker, especially in these tough times. But in terms of being an incentive to hire a lot of workers, we’re skeptical.”
There’s good reason to be skeptical.
The Obama administration already has a less-than-stellar reputation for not creating jobs, as evidenced by the fact that despite approving a $862 billion stimulus bill and promising to save or create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010; as of this January employment had actually dropped by 3.4 million jobs.
Perhaps that’s why the President’s economic report shows “the economy is projected to add jobs this year at a pace too sluggish to make much of a dent in unemployment,” as the Washington Post reports:
The nation will add an average of 95,000 jobs a month this year, according to the forecast, a bit below the number that economists think needs to be generated just to keep up with population growth. The unemployment rate is projected to come down quite slowly after that, averaging 8.2 percent in 2012, when Obama will be up for reelection.
That report stands in stark contrast to the President’s bold prediction last year.
Heritage Foundation President Dr. Edwin Feulner has some suggestions to get the economy moving again:
You need to give main street businesses and banks—our real job creators—some certainty by eliminating the threat of higher taxes, spiraling debt, and suffocating regulation. Make the tax cuts on the books permanent, to encourage more saving and investment.
Urge Congress to reform the bankruptcy laws so that supposedly “too big to fail” companies can be restructured in an orderly way rather than bailed out or regulated to a slow death. Denationalize General Motors. And please, end the TARP bailout slush fund.
There are bold things the President could do to create jobs, and he could start by reducing the barriers to business and job growth.