Paul Jacob

Has the country gone mad? No need to answer; the question is rhetorical. (In other words, I know the answer, too.) According to the Bureau of Labor, 14 million Americans together make up our dismal national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent. That figure doesn’t include the 9.3 million who have uncomfortably settled into part-time work, or the million additional folks who have become discouraged and stopped looking for work altogether. 

This is a depression. No doubt, some agency of government spares no expense cataloguing the psychiatric records needed to substantiate that diagnosis.

President Obama campaigns across the country for his jobs bill — or to get re-elected next year on the slogan, “Republicans are even worse than me.” Only one effort stands any chance of success.

This jobs bill is predicated on two central ideas: (a) drop-shipping crates of cash to state and local governments, tallying each tiny statistically detectable response to stimulus as credit to Mr. Obama’s heroism, audacity, and sagacity, and (b) when people decide whether or not to vote for him next year, he’d prefer they be employed (if they’re not too discouraged) or, at the very least, to blame Republicans.

Thankfully, the Obama Jobs Bill is fully paid for. How? By raising taxes in the future on rich people who can afford it and don’t pay their fair share

So, what does that tax share look like now? America’s top ten percent of income earners pay 73 percent of all income taxes collected. The bottom 47 percent of Americans certainly pay plenty in many another tax, but pay nothing in federal income taxes . . . in many cases receiving money from Uncle Sam over and above what they’ve paid in.

Fairness has a whole new meaning.

A proposal by U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., makes more sense than Obama’s bill — if the goal is to make sure everyone has a job. It makes no sense at all, but Jackson’s idea is for the federal government to simply hire every unemployed American at roughly $40,000 a year. 

That’s more than 15 million people. 

But that’s not the half of it. Think of all the millions making less than $40K who will quit their jobs to take the sinecure with the salary bump. 

Hmmm. Why didn’t we think of that?

But count on congressional Republicans to stand in the way of Obama and the Democrats. Not out of a principled belief in free markets and antagonism to government taking money from one person to give to another, mind you. Something else will be at play, here.

With all the jaw-boning over jobs, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson’s proud declaration that as governor he never created a single job is the only statement with any merit — proving he understands the difference between politically-created, walking-around-money jobs and productive private sector positions financed through profits earned. 

Funny, unemployed Americans don’t want jobs badly enough to travel to Alabama to pick the crops not now being harvested by illegal immigrant labor. Obama’s administration doesn’t want Boeing to open up a plant in South Carolina. Even in my neck of the woods, in Arlington County, Virginia, the county board moved unanimously to prevent a Wal-Mart, Target or other big box store from opening for business.

The message is: We want jobs, but only the jobs we want. We want high-paying jobs, with lots of perks and lavish health benefits and a pension paying more in retirement than one makes while working.

These days you won’t find many of those jobs . . . outside of government.

Maybe the government will start growing money trees.


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.