In 1952, Shepherd Mead wrote a little book called "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." In 1961, it became an award-winning Broadway musical. It's an instruction book about how a young man with lots of drive and cunning can rise from the mailroom to the top of the company. One of the songs from the musical, sung by the main character, J. Pierrepont Finch, is "I Believe in You." Finch sings it to a mirror.
Today that song might be re-titled "I Believe in Government."
President Obama delivered his latest speech on job creation and the economy Tuesday at the liberal Brookings Institution in Washington. As with all of his speeches, this one was loaded with first-person references and blame of the Bush administration for America's economic troubles. Apparently George W. Bush has finally replaced Herbert Hoover as the Democrats' favorite whipping boy.
The president again claimed his "Recovery Act" has "created jobs and spurred growth." He got the "act" part right. The facts tell a different story about recovery.
ABC's Jake Tapper analyzed the administration's claim to have saved one million jobs when that assertion was made at the end of October. Tapper wrote, "The 'majority of funds' came from state governments because (stimulus) distributed the money in block grants to the states. What did the states do with the money? They did save jobs, but primarily bureaucratic jobs. States used the money to temporarily paper over budget gaps which would have forced layoffs of state employees, which should have been a necessary step in slimming down state-level spending."
At Brookings, the president said, "My economic team has been considering a full range of additional ideas to help accelerate the pace of private sector hiring. We held a jobs forum at the White House that brought together business owners, CEOs, union members, economists, folks from nonprofits, and state and local officials to talk about job creation."
He might as well have assembled a group of scientists to discuss how water is made. The combination of two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen is learned in Chemistry 101. The way to create jobs is to allow businesses to make sufficient profits so they can afford to hire more workers and manufacture more "widgets." If businesses must pay more in taxes to government and more in health care costs there will be less profit and fewer employees. Why is that formula so difficult to understand?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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