On Nov. 6, the unemployment rate jumped to 10.2 percent. The underemployment rate — including part-time workers who want full-time jobs and those who have simply quit looking for work — reached 17.5 percent.
How did Washington, D.C., react? The next day, the Democratic-controlled House passed a trillion-dollar increase in government disguised as a health care bill.
In the face of the worst jobless rate in 26 years, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats don’t seem to realize that adopting bad policies kills jobs.
What’s most remarkable about this is that the president should know better. We now have proof that the Obama administration’s job-killingpolicies are hurting America.
In a January interview with CNBC, when he was still trying to sell his massive $787 stimulus bill, Obama said, “If we do nothing, things will get much, much worse. With the plan that we have, we will do better than we would otherwise have done.”
At the time, the Obama White House predicted that unemployment wouldn’t get worse than 8 percent if the stimulus was enacted. By the middle of 2009, it promised, the massive spending bill would be having a positive effect on employment.
So much for promises. By the White House’s own standards of success, its economic recovery policies have been an abject failure. But that doesn’t mean they don’t keep touting the stimulus as a success, of course, aided by that most meaningless of economic metrics, “jobs created or saved.”
As recently as the end of October, Vice President Joe Biden claimed that the stimulus act “saved or created” 1 million jobs. But consult a more objective source — like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the government’s official job counter — and you will find that 3.2 million Americans have lost their jobs since February, when the stimulus act was signed.
In fact, the most accurate measure of jobs under the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress isn’t jobs “saved or created,” it’s jobs “lost and dislocated.”
American Solutions calculates that the figure cited by the administration as gains for employment actually represents future, additional unemployment. The 1 million jobs supposedly funded by the stimulus bill — overwhelmingly in government — will necessarily end when their government funding ends. Add these 1 million dislocated workers to the 3.2 million Americans who have lost their jobs since the stimulus was passed and you have an astonishing 4 million-plus jobs lost and dislocated since the beginning of the Obama administration’s policies.
Democratic economic policies aren’t simply ineffective, they are affirmatively job-killing. And they’re about to get worse.
The health care bill Speaker Nancy Pelosi bribed, cajoled and threatened through the House last weekend imposes a 5.4 percent income tax “surcharge” on any tax filer who makes more than $500,000 a year. The Joint Tax Committee has found that fully one-third of this new tax will be paid by small businesses, the engines of American job creation.
What about 4 million jobs lost or dislocated don’t Washington Democrats get?
Instead of the insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, Washington should try a new approach: Instead of killing jobs, the president and Congress should try creating them.
The White House should take the approximately $500 billion in stimulus funds that haven’t been spent and redirect it toward cutting the payroll tax in half for two years.
Social Security and Medicare would be protected, and every single American who works would get a take home pay raise. Every single small business would have more money available to create more jobs. (This and other solutions for creating jobs and prosperity now can be found at www.americansolutions.com.)
Unless, of course, the point of the Obama economic policies isn’t to create jobs, but to increase Democratic political clout by increasing the size of government.
If that’s the case, Democrats soon will find out that killing jobs in order to grow their party by growing government isn’t a bargain the American people are ready to make.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has published 19 books, including 10 fiction and nonfiction best-sellers. He is founder of the Center for Health Transformation and chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future. For more information, visit www.newt.org. His exclusive column for The Examiner appears Fridays.