Are jobs really what we care about?
The number one, two, and three issues facing our country today is jobs, jobs, and jobs, right? I have heard Obama say it, I have heard endless chatter from Congress about it and all the Republican candidates running for President have varying plans to address it.
I understand the grand divide in the theories of how to stimulate the economy. The left wants to pump up government spending until there is enough consumption that new jobs are required which sparks more demand creating more jobs, etc... The right wants to reduce the burden on job creators allowing them to risk more of their capital igniting new investment, creating jobs. Demand Side vs Supply Side. And while I am a heavy supply-sider, I at least respect this philosophical disagreement.
However, beyond my comprehension is the way the President's Administration actually treats cases where jobs are at stake. Here are a few very popular examples:
The National Labor Relations Board blocking Boeing from building a plant in South Carolina because it is a right to work state and will reduce union labor. Estimated 1000 jobs at risk.
AT&T - T-Mobile (DOJ)
The Department of Justice preventing AT&T from buying T-Mobile from the Germans citing Anti-Trust laws. AT&T cited 5000 jobs were to be created from the deal.
Keystone Pipeline (EPA)
Pressure from the EPA has prevented the building of the pipeline. Estimates anywhere from 8000-20,000 constructions jobs at risk. Administration wants to wait until after the election to decide.
USEC Loan Block (DOE)
Delaying of $2B loan for a Uranium Enrichment project. Not the type of energy wanted by the administration. Potential of 400 jobs at risk. Also, missing out on about 2000 construction jobs to build the new plant.
Solyndra failure (DOE)
Losing $500 million in taxpayer money to make a poor investment in a solar company. The impact on jobs here is that the government or taxpayers don't have that money to invest in something else.
Gulf Drilling Moratorium (DOI)
Since the BP oil spill, the Department of the Interior granting of permits to drill in the Gulf of Mexico have been virtually non-existent. Obviously reducing potential job activity in energy sector.
Obama Care & Dodd-Frank
Two bills that are expected to have big negative impacts on job creators. The first raising costs to start and maintain a small business and the second increasing hurdles for financial institutions to extend credit.
For each and every one above, the administration made a decision that pleased some constituency. However, what is unmistakable in each case is that ANOTHER PRIORITY WAS CHOSEN OVER JOBS. Whether it was environmental concerns, union rights, clean energy, health coverage or consumer protection, they were chosen over jobs. No matter what your political view on these issues, if employment is really THE top issue, why would all of these other priorities keep trumping it?
In fact, the only things I have seen the administration do that would be an effort to directly impact jobs is to implement a massive government spending bill, extend the Bush tax cuts, and go for this payroll tax holiday. All three just add to our massive unsustainable debt burden, or better put, pushes the problems down the road to the next guy. Hopefully, the next guy is sooner rather than later.