Jobbed on Jobs

The job situation is proving to be such a campaign albatross for Wisconsin Democrats this fall that their candidate for governor is forced to make a big deal when a new firm in Milwaukee hires twenty people.

Twenty jobs? That’s almost two dozen!

The Wisconsin Democrats’ record on job creation is so bad, their state chairman puts out a press release praising President Obama for creating jobs…in Michigan.

Now, to give Mike Tate some credit, in that same press release he did boast that the trillion dollar stimulus package did create 63 jobs in Wisconsin.

Sixty three?  Wow, that’s like, much more than two dozen.

Poor Mike Tate. Sixty three jobs for billions of stimulus dollars spent in Wisconsin? Nice return on investment. But as they say, when your party’s economic policies give you lemons…

Ah, but the troubles don’t stop there. On the same day Wisconsin State Senator Julie Lassa holds a press event to bash her opponent, the hand-picked candidate to be the Democratic nominee to replace Dave Obey in Congress has to stare down new jobless figures in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin lost 1,000 more private sector jobs last month.


That has to be particularly stinging for Lassa, the Chairwoman for the poorly-named State Senate Committee on Economic Development.

It would be only a slight overstatement to say the major economic development success stories in Wisconsin the last few years have been for the printers of over-sized checks. Governor Doyle’s Department of Workforce Development has handed out more of these babies than Publisher’s Clearinghouse and the PGA combined. Trouble is, they always seem to be for ‘worker retraining’ after yet another manufacturing plant shutters its doors in Wisconsin.

The fact of the matter is Americans in general, and Wisconsinites in particular, have not seen a return on their investment in the failed economic policies of the last several years.  That fact comes as no surprise to anyone who understands how a dynamic, free market economy works.

We are already seeing political literature of incumbents crowing about their job-creation initiatives, but the unemployment numbers discredit their glossy, four-color claims.

No matter if you title legislation “The Recovery Act” or the “Jobs Act” or the “Don’t Read the Papers, Everything is Fine Act,” if you squeeze capital out of the private sector, if you unduly punish risk, if you constantly ridicule and attack job providers, you will stifle any hopes of economic growth.

As I write this in July 2010, we’re about to enter year three of learning that lesson.

In Wisconsin and across the country, Democrats are now poised to reap the discontent they’ve sown with their pro-meddling, pro-spending, pro taxing, anti-producer policies.

So while, Republicans may indeed be ready to win races across the nation, recent history indicates their time in power could be short-lived too. Frankly, if the GOP had been better stewards of tax money in the early 2000s they never would have lost their legislative majorities, both in Madison and Washington, DC.

The party that embraces a pro-growth agenda will gain and maintain electoral success for one reason: these policies will lead to job creation.

  1. Establish some certainty in the marketplace by unequivocally rejecting any proposed new tax increases.
  2. Cut spending. Cut programs. Not just stem the growth in spending. Cut government spending.
  3. Promote, encourage and reward risk by incentivizing investment (and not just in trendy feel-good amorphous ‘green jobs,’but ALL sectors of private employment).
  4. Control the cost of government by curbing projected health and retirement benefits for public employees.
  5. Permanently eliminate the double taxation of income. Tax a dollar earned, once; not again at time of the wage earners’ death.
  6. Eliminate the tax on capital gains.
  7. Enforce regulations that exist and you can quiet the calls for increased regulations.
  8. Quit bad-mouthing employers, risk takers and job providers. Rather, celebrate and encourage them.
  9. You don’t need 10 points because it’s a nice round number. Often, less government is better.

These are not radical or new proposals. But they beat what we’ve seen from our elected leaders recently.  If policy makers were to embrace a pro-jobs agenda similar to this, the economy would develop and return much more than 63 jobs per two billion dollar investment.

The best way to create jobs is to allow individuals who earn money to keep more of it. Investors will invest. Inventors will invent. Job providers will provide jobs.

And the big-check printers can drum up business elsewhere.

By Brian Fraley
A MacIver Institute Perspective