Harry Reid Fact Checked But It Won’t Change Faulty Worldview
December 27, 2011 4 Comments
Forbes had a big splash over the weekend fact checking Sen. Harry Reid’s ridiculous assertion that millionaires don’t create jobs. Using the government’s own data, Forbes surmised that most millionaires do in fact create jobs and that of the 250,000 who earned a million or more in 2009 only 16,000 or so of them were the hedge fund managers and lawyers that Reid cited as being the only millionaires. Forbes rightly points out that even if Reid was correct about hedge fund managers and lawyers being the only millionaires, it’s not like they don’t hire secretaries and other staff to work for them. Thus they create jobs.
The problem here is that Forbes misses the boat completely. They’re allowing facts to cloud a worldview. The pesky facts, which any fool could have come up with, were never going to side with Reid on this issue. It is absurd to suggest that those who earn a million or more a year don’t create jobs. Especially in light of the fact that this income group earned $600+ billion. They either created jobs with their wealthy or they’re swimming in gold coins like Scrooge McDuck. Don’t laugh, there are liberals out there who really believe the millionaires and billionaires out there are swimming in gold coin money bins, Harry Reid is one of them.
The real problem though is that Reid is a progressive and as such he doesn’t believe the private sector creates jobs. He believes government creates jobs. This goes right in line with Obama’s top down approach to the economy. Decisions are made in Washington and the government is directly responsible for any and all job creation. If jobs are lost, the progressives in government whine about evil hedge fund managers and greedy lawyers and businessmen. This is one reason why Obama spent the better part of his first two years claiming the government “saved or created” millions of jobs. It’s because the progressives really believe it.
We in the GOP need to be careful not to fall into this trap. Bush spent his entire administration claiming he created millions of jobs. Lots of conservatives like to point to Reagan, claiming he created tens of millions of jobs. Bush, Reagan and the government did no such thing. Government doesn’t create private sector jobs. Private sector jobs are created by investors who foresee demand for certain services or products or by demand itself.
Government can only create conditions that are good or bad for job creation. But at the end government doesn’t create the jobs, the market does. High taxes and heavy regulation, both supported by Obama and the progressives, hinder job growth. It creates conditions that make the c0st of hiring overly expensive and thus risky. On the other hand, lowering taxes and reducing regulations can have the opposite effect. Lower taxes and lower costs create ripe conditions for job growth. But at the end of the day, it isn’t an act of government that creates a job. It’s businesses that create the job.
We conservatives need to be careful about giving to much credit to government concerning job creation. We to easily fall into the progressive trap by claiming that Rick Perry created a million jobs in Texas or that Jon Huntsman created jobs in Utah. Those men and all other Republican governors and presidents did no such thing. They may have created conditions that were good for job growth by reducing taxes and regulations. But they didn’t create the jobs, the private sector did. By falling into the progressive trap, to many Republicans falsely believe that government creates jobs. This is how the left wins and shifting the country ever leftward. Let’s not continue falling into this trap.