Democrat Barack Obama said Wednesday that as president he would spend $210 billion to create jobs in construction and environmental industries, as he tried to win over economically struggling voters. Obama's investment would be over 10 years as part of two programs. The larger is $150 billion to create 5 million so-called "green collar" jobs to develop more environmentally friendly energy sources.
Sixty billion would go to a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to rebuild highways, bridges, airports and other public projects. Obama estimated that could generate nearly 2 million jobs, many of them in the construction industry that's been hit by the housing crisis.
First of all, any plan that spends only 200 billion dollars over ten years is nothing more than window dressing and will likely have negligible effect anyway. (Bush's tax cuts came to roughly 1.3 trillion dollars over the same time period for instance) Let's put that to the side for just for a minute. Obama's philosophy is 180 degrees opposite of mine. I generally distrust the government, and I believe that jobs are almost always better created by the private sector. I believe the best way to create jobs is to simply cut taxes across the board. Obama clearly embraces government playing a role in more not less of our lives. He wants universal health care and now his plan to create jobs also has government taking the lead.
This plan is likely an homage to liberal icon FDR. It is still to this day debateable just how much his massive government spending helped create jobs. What isn't debateable is just how much bureaucracy that plan added. Working in mortgages, I know the corrossive effects of bureaucracy and thus I am turned off by any plan that creates an added layer. To me Obama's plan is frankly nothing more than sophisticated vote buying. He targets those that are struggling and then tells them the government will take care of them. This, like much of his economic policy, flirts with socialism. I envision private industry leading our economy whereas Obama envisions the federal government doing it.
Now, let's get back to the size of the plan. Any reasonable economist will point out that a ten year 200 billion dollar plan is minute. Our economy produces a GDP of about 13 trillion dollars per year. Obama wants to spend 20 billion per year to create jobs. Frankly, there are about one hundred people in America that can contribute their networth and spend more. The reason for this, I believe, is found here...
This agenda is paid for," Obama said as the Republican National Committee promoted an "Obama Spend-O-Meter" online to track his proposals and portray him as a tax-and-spend liberal. Obama explained that the money for his spending proposals will come from ending the Iraq war, cutting tax breaks for corporations, taxing carbon pollution and raising taxes on high income earners.Obama like all Democrats has made ending the Iraq war, tax breaks for corporations, etc. their rallying cry. The dirty little secret is that the Iraq War and all their other cause celebre don't actually account for very much savings. That is why his jobs plan amounts to 150 billion dollars over ten years. It's because cutting all the demonized programs winds up creating something that is nothing more than window dressing. I have no doubt that his measly 150 billion dollar plan is paid for. Furthermore, he will raise taxes on the biggest income earners, the ones most in a position to stimulate the economy. Whatever jobs we will gain with his plan, we will lose that and then some by raising taxes on the wealthy.
Obama may in fact be able to sell the people on this plan. That's because most of the country is totally economic brain dead. To the average person 150 billion dollars is a lot. That's because less than one tenth of one percent knows the actual size of our economy. Long ago, I guaged Obama as all charisma and no substance. This supposed jobs stimulus is just one more example of his obscenely lacking set of substance.
Finally, here is how Barack Obama's jobs plan fits into an overall worldview that has lots of roots in the world view of Karl Marx.