Ed Feulner

Businesses must spend money to make money. It’s expensive to invent, test and develop new products, and it can take years before they pay off.

Government doesn’t work that way.

Washington, D.C. spends money to hire people to enforce laws and regulations. Years, even decades later, those federal employees will still be toiling away on Uncle Sam’s dime (that is, yours and mine as taxpayers), even if the problem they were hired to address has ceased to exist.

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Consider: the federal government funds at least 340 programs that are supposed to create jobs. There are also 130 programs supposedly serving the disabled, and 130 programs supposedly serving at-risk youth. Why? Because it’s always easier to add new programs than to end ineffective existing ones.

That’s a harsh -- and expensive -- reality, one that seems to escape President Obama, who promises, in effect, to save money by spending money.

“We have had to spend our way out of this recession in the near term,” Obama said recently. He also claimed his administration has “begun to make the hard choices necessary to get our country on a more stable fiscal footing in the long term.”

That’s, well, rich, coming from an administration that fully supports budget-busting health care “reform” and climate change cap-and-trade bills. Taken together, these two measures -- both of which have passed the House of Representatives and are pending in the Senate -- would cost taxpayers trillions. Nobody in Washington talks about mere billions anymore.

If the administration aims to get people back to work, it must realize that government intervention is the problem, not the solution. A sensible first step would be to cut federal spending.

Yes, Obama correctly notes that he inherited a $1.2 trillion budget deficit when he came into office. So why make that worse? His administration has proposed budgets that would add $13 trillion (there’s that word again) to the national debt over the next decade. That’s hardly sensible budget stewardship.

“My economic team has been considering a full range of additional ideas to help accelerate the pace of private sector hiring,” the president added. But the simplest and best idea is right in front of us: slash tax rates to give companies a reason to invest in new jobs.

Ed Feulner

Dr. Edwin Feulner is Founder of The Heritage Foundation, a Townhall.com Gold Partner, and co-author of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today .
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