Writer Ari Berman of the left-wing magazine the Nation wrote last week that if jobs are the issue that decides the election, Barack Obama should be the winner.
OK, it’s the Nation. You weren’t expecting rational analysis, were you? But the piece is worth reading for what it reveals about left-wing thoughts on how you create jobs. Berman actually tries to make the argument that Obama has a plan to create jobs and Mitt Romney doesn’t. You can read the piece here.
So how does Berman come to this conclusion? Essentially, he views job creation through a narrow, left-wing lens that recognizes only one method of creating jobs, which is for the government to bankroll new hires. If the federal government is going to lay out hundreds of billions that can be used to hire teachers, cops, firefighters, construction workers and so forth, that counts as a plan to create jobs.
If, on the other hand, your plan is to boost economic growth so the private-sector employment picture will improve – as is the case with Mitt Romney – that is not a job-creation plan. What is it? Berman quotes David Madland of the liberal Center for American Progress: “It is a plan from the Republican candidate for president designed to maximize corporate profits. What it doesn’t do is help the middle class or create jobs.”
Got that? Maximizing corporate profits is inconsistent with job creation in the bizarro economic world of the Nation and the Center for American Progress. Vote for Barack Obama! He’ll make corporations less profitable (mission accomplished) and create lots of jobs as a result (any day now).
But wait, you say, Berman tells us that “even the conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal” criticized Romney’s plan. It’s very popular these days for Obama’s apologists to claim WSJ editors have defended him. They made the claim with respect to Obama’s spending, only to be debunked by just about every media outlet in the nation, including the WSJ itself. But what did the Journal really say about Romney’s job-creation plan in the editorial, published way back in September and cited by Berman? It said the following:
“The rollout is billed as Mr. Romney’s ‘plan for jobs and economic growth,’ and it rightly points out that to create more jobs requires above all faster growth. This may seem like common sense, but it’s a notable break from the Obama administration’s penchant for policies that ‘target’ jobs rather than improving overall incentives for job creation. So we have had policies for ‘green jobs,’ or construction jobs, or teaching jobs, or automobile jobs, or temporary, targeted tax cuts for jobs – even as the economy struggles.
“Mr. Romney seems to understand that the private economy will inevitably produce millions of new jobs – in industries and companies we can’t predict – when it resumes growing at 3% or more. This is an important philosophical distinction that drives most of the Romney agenda.”
Where the editorial criticized Romney’s plan, it was because they wanted it to be more aggressive and specific about tax cuts – not exactly what Mr. Berman is getting at, is it?
The reason Ari Berman, readers of the Nation and other Obama supporters fail to see a job-creation plan is that they don’t understand how jobs are created. To them, jobs are created when a politician sends a certain amount of money to favored constituencies with the expectation that it will be used to hire people to do work the politician wants done. Another way they think jobs are created is for the federal government to run 47 “job-training” programs – as if companies can’t train their own workers, and as if jobs are plentiful if only people go through a government program first.
If Obama’s job-creation strategy worked, then it would already be working. Instead, unemployment has soared during his presidency, and job-creation has now slowed to a near-standstill. Obama complains that this is because the Republican Congress won’t let him spend even more stimulus money. But the real reason is that economic growth remains at or below a paltry 2 percent, which is bad under any circumstance, but is horrible as part of a so-called “recovery” from a recession.
Mitt Romney understands that a robust private sector is the best job creator, which is why he proposes cutting the corporate tax rate, slashing regulations, repealing Obamacare and ending the explosion of federal debt. If that doesn’t look like a job-creation plan to Ari Berman and other Obama supporters, it’s because they – unlike Mitt Romney – have never been involved in the creation of jobs and don’t know how it works. Much like their leader.