As the political theater continues in this country, I continually see people buying into their own destruction by believing in empty promises and going along with the detrimental actions being taken by the US government.
The latest in this trend is President Obama's so-called "Jobs Bill" that has yet to illustrate ACTIVE job creation strategies and/or plans other than the usual temporary public works jobs. As stated by Obama himself, here are the key provisions of this proposed legislation:
The program includes the repackaging of some previous Obama proposals and the extension of other initiatives, including temporary payroll tax cuts that were enacted last year. But he also called for several significant new steps, such as enlarging that tax cut to provide $1,500 in savings for the average family and offering another tax cut for businesses that hire new employees.
“The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working,” Obama said. “It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away.”
The current payroll tax cuts from last year have NOT had the impact that the administration hoped they would. Unemployment remains steady at 9.1% (a VERY conservative estimate that does not include longtime unemployed people) and extending these tax cuts will probably not positively impact the situation. The reduction in Social Security taxes being taken out of employee paychecks will give working citizens a little more money at their immediate disposal but it will also decrease their benefits once they retire and collect benefits. The problem is that keeping the tax cut doesn't create jobs where they didn't exist before.
More importantly, the response to this bill by ACTUAL job creators seems to be lukewarm at best. Here's how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce responded:
The president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donohue, said Obama is right to call for "swift passage of pending free trade agreements," but that while the president discussed several important issues his ideas fell short. "A workable jobs plan must genuinely reduce regulatory uncertainty, unshackle promising American industries, and not be overly reliant on government spending and subsidies," Donohue said. "Now that many proposals have been put on the table, the time for talking has passed and the time for action is now. Our nation urgently needs an economic growth agenda that accelerates and fires up the powerful job-creating engine of American enterprise. The president and Congress must act faster, be bolder, and put their faith in free enterprise, not in bigger government," he said. Source: Business Journal Daily
Can something be done to increase the effectiveness of this possible approach?
Obama may back a national version of a Georgia program that encourages businesses to provide on-the-job training for people receiving unemployment benefits. About a third of the time, the workers wind up getting hired full-time. Offering tax incentives to businesses to hire the unemployed. Under consideration is an expanded version of a law passed last year that encouraged companies to hire the unemployed. The law exempted employers from paying their share of the Social Security tax when they created jobs for those unemployed for at least two months. But economists say the law didn't boost hiring much.
Rajeev Dhawan, director of Georgia State University's economic forecasting center, says the tax break might encourage employers to hire workers they didn't need, which would be inefficient. Or, he says, it could give them a tax break for something they were going to do anyway. Source: Paul Wiseman, Associated Press Economics Writer, September 7, 2011
So, the question becomes "What is needed to encourage US businesses to hire American workers other than enacting tax cuts?" Giving out tax cuts and extending unemployment insurance are NOT proactive job creation strategies. Surveying our country's manufacturing and service needs to determine our employment shortcomings so money can be invested in developing those areas would be where I would start. America has a tremendous wealth of untapped talent and a lot more support for entrepreneurship MUST be on the table. The days of staying at one company with job security over the course of your career are gone. The push to maximize corporate profits are keeping wages stagnant and are enticing companies to send jobs overseas for cheaper labor prices.
The US workforce has to evolve to navigate a rapidly changing job market that is unfriendly to the job seeker in terms of pay and workload. Our President and Congress have yet to engage in forward thinking about this matter and things will NEVER change unless we ALL do!