On Jobs and the Debt Ceiling
One thing that tends to annoy me to no end is politicians talking about jobs and promising job creation. First, politicians cannot create jobs- at least not real jobs. People besieging the President to 'create jobs' are misguided at best, socialists at worst. The only jobs that politicians have the power to create are government jobs. The President can create 10,000 IRS jobs for example, with the snap of his finger, as long as Congress approves the budget to fund them. However the problem with this is that the funding has to come from somewhere- and it comes from taxpayers. Taxes fund government. Thus, to create 10,000 government jobs, the money has to be taken away from millions of Americans who would have used that money to better their lives and families by spending or investing that money, thereby creating REAL jobs- private sector jobs. Thus the creation of government jobs results in at least the same number of private-sector jobs being eliminated. After all, if an employer's taxes go up to fund more government jobs, they have to ultimately lay off some of their employees because they can no longer afford to pay them. This is simple economics, not rocket science. Government jobs are essentially akin to welfare because money is being removed from the private sector in order to fund government jobs. Furthermore, government jobs are never as efficient as private sector jobs, just as government bureaucracies are not as efficient as private enterprises.
The best thing the President, or any politician can do to help spur the economy is to do everything in his/her power to get the heck out of the way of free enterprise. In other words, reduce or eliminate taxes, regulations, licensing requirements, AND subsidies. Subsidies interfere with the free market just as much as taxes, because they artificially support industries that are not otherwise economically viable.
I write this as John Boehner and the Republicans in Congress are going head to head with President Obama and the Democrats over the debt ceiling. Democrats everywhere are declaring the end of the world as we know it if the Republicans do not authorize an increase in the national debt ceiling (enabling the US to FURTHER INCREASE the national debt which already stands at $14.3 TRILLION dollars).
The federal government is spending approximately $3.7 TRILLION dollars each year while bringing in $2.2 trillion. First, the fact that we're paying 2.2 TRILLION in taxes is scary enough, but the fact that the federal government is spending 1.5 TRILLION more than that is astonishing. I HOPE the Republicans have the backbone to REFUSE to increase the debt ceiling. I have a feeling that a compromise will happen, but I hope not. The best thing that could happen would be for the federal government to have to live within it's means, as does every American family and business. It's a simple matter of prioritizing spending. There is MORE THAN ENOUGH income to fund the priorities like paying interest on our debt ($214B), Social Security ($727B), Medicare ($527B), Medicaid ($274B), leaving $400B for other major government operations (military and other essential functions). I still believe that there is much room for cutting even in that 'prioritized' list- Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and the military all need to be trimmed back in tight economic times like this.
If there isn't enough left over to pay for things like... the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Education, Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, National Endowment for the Arts, Commission of Fine Arts, SO BE IT. In fact, there are way too many to list... Check out the complete list of federal government agencies here.
Long story short, SHUT 'ER DOWN!!! If we continue to raise the debt ceiling, the federal government will never stop growing and we will be in the same shape as Greece, Iceland, and Portugal.