Robert Knight

How does paying people not to work constitute a key element of a “jobs bill?”

President Obama’s goofy, gimmicky American Jobs Act, which even the Harry Reid-led Senate rejected Wednesday and which the adult-led House regards with head-shaking bemusement, would throw another $447 billion “stimulus” at the economy, and extend unemployment benefits for another year. 

Pass it now! Pass it now! It worked so well last time.

The answer to the question above is that it makes perfect sense within President Obama’s worldview that government activity in and of itself “creates jobs.” So, when government as middleman shifts money from people who have jobs to those who don’t, it reduces unemployment. Got that? Never mind that stubborn unemployment rate, which won’t sink below 9.1 percent no matter how many Obama-inspired demonstrators occupy Wall Street.

This is not a commentary, by the way, on how and when governments should assist people down on their luck.  Many have been hard hit by this awful economy. But under the principle of subsidiarity, the federal government is dead last in the list of entities responsible for people’s well being, with the family at the top, followed by  church, community, local governments, etc.  That’s the way things work best.

Most Americans believe in at least some safety net for the poorest of the poor, but few think that adding people to the dole is a positive development. The exception, of course, is the unwashed masses trying to overthrow capitalism. They are actually demanding that everything be free, all the time, for everybody. Then there are the Democrats who, out of compassion, work to create ever more poor people to vote for them and name buildings after them. 

But, as I said, this column is not about that. It’s about the administration’s odd views about job creation.

In August, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack actually claimed on MSNBCthat record increases in food stamps (we’re up past 45 million people and counting) are  an economic engine:

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.