John Stossel

This week, President Barack Obama proposed "a budget that will create new jobs in manufacturing and energy and innovation and infrastructure, and we'll pay for every dime of it by cutting unnecessary spending, closing wasteful tax loopholes!"

What? I must have fallen asleep and woken up in 2008. That could not be something he'd claim after five years in office -- years after making similar claims and not delivering on them.

Does he think we have no memory, or that we're just ignorant? Are these just poll-tested phrases that work because most voters are too busy to pay attention?

This one smug sentence alone is amazing in its confidence and deceit. Let's break it down:

--"I will ... create new jobs ... "

Politicians always say that, but this president says it especially often. Do voters not know that government has no money of its own, so when politicians "create" jobs, they take money from the private sector, the only group that creates real jobs?

I emphasize "real" because, of course, politicians can create jobs by funding companies like Solyndra, hiring more staff or paying people to dig holes and fill them up. But those jobs don't last or create real wealth. Politicians can't create real employment by taxing people and giving the money to others.

This post-recession economic recovery is the slowest ever. Usually, after a recession, the cost of labor drops, and companies rush to hire so they can profit as the economy improves.

This time, employers looked at a thousand new regulations, unknowable new rules and taxes coming from Obamacare, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Labor Department and so on. They decided: "I better not try."

May I hire interns to see if I like them before offering them long-term jobs? No. It may not be legal to employ interns anymore.

May I build a pipeline? Maybe. But the Environmental Protection Agency must approve. And state utilities. And state environmental officials. And the State Department. And the White House. And ... who knows whom else?

We might get permission in a year, or three years, or five, or we may never be allowed to build. Maybe instead I'll invest in a country where the rules are predictable and understandable.

--The president says he will "create new jobs in manufacturing ... "


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate