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The New Job-Creation Nonsense

By Investor's Business Daily

Economy: In a follow-on to the president's jobs summit, Congress is cooking up a jobs bill for a vote next week. It's the same tired recipe to expand government at the expense of the private sector. Call it a jobs kill.

Last week, we watched as 130 Big Labor bosses, community organizers, left-wing think tanks and a few token CEOs supposedly put their heads together to come up with a way to create jobs in the worst U.S. recession since 1929.

It was window dressing. Instead of looking to proven solutions to create jobs, like tax cuts and free trade, Big Labor's agenda ruled.

The summit's three recommendations - Cash for Caulkers, bailouts for city and state governments, and tax holidays for small businesses - all not coincidentally amounted to gravy for unions.

The agenda has now moved to Congress, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hopes to pass a "jobs bill" as soon as next week.

Whipping out Uncle Sam's credit card, Pelosi proposes charging an additional $75 billion to $150 billion to extend unemployment benefits, beef up infrastructure spending, create targeted tax incentives to small business to carry out her green agenda, and bail out profligate states and municipalities.

It's remarkably similar to the jobs summit agenda. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a plan just like it in the works, too.

All this attentiveness to union demands signals the primacy of politics over economics and jobs. After all, most of the 29 attendees Fox News could identify were big-bucks Democrat campaign donors. The Service Employees International Union alone, prominent at the jobs summit, has dished out $29 million since 2008 to Democrats.

It also signals a lack of urgency from Democrats for the plight of 26 million unemployed and underemployed Americans who are in dire straits and need jobs with economic growth.

If Congress and the White House were serious about creating jobs and jump-starting the economy, they'd swallow their objections to free trade and pass the ready-to-go trade pacts with mighty South Korea, fast-growing Colombia and strategic Panama, and to heck with what unions say. They'd gain 384,000 jobs right there, according to Chamber of Commerce estimates, and spend nothing. That's what serious people do in emergencies.

They'd also get serious about tax cuts and make sure the 2010 tax cuts on business do not sunset at a time like this. Those tax cuts were the ones that got us out of the post-9/11 recession and will put us right back there if they expire.

At least, that's what serious people would do. But since they won't, it means some sacred cows are more important than mere jobs for the hoi polloi. It just goes to show that the whole jobs approach seen among Democrats is more attuned to special interests - at a cost of real economic growth for everyone.

All that will be left in the wake of the behemoth "jobs bill" if it passes will be new costs. Those costs - debts, really - will have to be repaid not by government but through higher taxes on the private sector, which will be drained even more.

At a time of 10% unemployment, that's a whole lot of jobs that won't be created and a tribute to the Democrats' union-created bridges to nowhere.


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