Diary

Gross Pay

The president says he’s creating jobs. I’m skeptical. I guess there are some things government can do to ensure that jobs get created, out there in the bill-paying, profit-making world. But these do not include spending trillions of borrowed money.

And neither do they include simply giving more money to state and local governments.

The truth about Obama’s much-ballyhooed job creation is that more than half of his alleged new jobs turn out to be government jobs.

Government jobs don’t count, Mr. President.

Remember, many things governments do actually drain us. Jobs in the marketplace, on the other hand, serve real consumer demand, make us all better off. They also help pay the taxes for those government jobs. Employing more people in government means needing more real jobs to pay for the government ones.

And how much work do politicians cause us to engage in just to unbury ourselves from their silly, wealth-extracting regulations? I know, I know: Every time they add on some new complication to the tax code, jobs emerge in the accounting and tax-consulting industry. But this doesn’t exactly make us better off, does it? Not on net.

This lesson applies generally. Here’s the bottom line. Government can borrow and tax to spend to create “gross jobs.” Sure. But on net, after balancing the collective books, we’re not better off.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation, for more information go to www.citizensincharge.org