But what may be most objectionable with Mr. Obama’s plan is its potential for political mischief. The first such shenanigans come from earmarks. One of the proposed projects to receive this federal largesse is a museum on organized crime located in Nevada. Doesn’t Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid live in Nevada? Is that the kind of project that requires emergency federal funding? Is it irrelevant that Mr. Reid is facing a tough reelection next year?
Even if the earmark issue is somehow resolved, however, there is another issue that it seems no one is discussing.
A week ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, mentioned Mr. Obama says his goal is for 80% of these three million jobs to be private-sector. That means, Senator McConnell continued, that 20% would be public-sector, meaning this bill would create 600,000 new federal government jobs. For comparison, Mr. McConnell noted this would be the size of the entire Postal Service workforce.
Once government creates a job, it rarely eliminates it. Government swells by nature, feeding on tax dollars taken away from private citizens and employers until it becomes a bloated, sprawling bureaucracy.
So if Mr. Obama creates 600,000 new government bureaucrats, those jobs should be expected to be kept around permanently, long after this economic crisis is resolved. After all, eliminating those jobs means laying off 600,000 people. Who wants to take responsibility for that?
But most federal employees, that are not political appointees, vote Democrat. Since Washington, DC is the seat of government, whenever new federal bureaucrats are created many live in Maryland and Virginia. In 2008, Virginia went Democrat for the first time since 1964, and Mr. Obama won it by 130,000 votes. Creating 600,000 new jobs might help cement Virginia in the Democrat column, making it harder for Republicans to retake the White House.
So this bill, as currently designed, has serious flaws, some of which convey a partisan advantage. These must be thoroughly discussed and understood, and any major legislation cannot be allowed to benefit one party in what must be a bipartisan solution.
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