Jobs. Listen to the Republican debates you’d think the economy was in the free fall. That we’re headed for a new dark age. I’m happy to discuss what policies the government could utilize to boost our economy. I hear Republicans talking about how they are going to bring millions of jobs to this country. They’ll repeal the biggest job killer in our history –Obamacare. They’ll reduce job killing taxes. As a slogan they’re great. I want to pay less in taxes. I want more jobs. Again, I’m happy to discuss various policy proposals but they have to based in some kind of reality.
Let’s talk about Obamacare. We can discuss healthcare reform another time. Every analysis not part of a Republican debate has called Obamacare’s effect on the national job market minimal at best. It hasn’t killed any jobs. It hasn’t caused jobs to revert to part time. There’s no reality in which Obamacare has anything to do with jobs.
As for jobs we have one of the longest expansion of job growth in modern history. Jobs are being created at a rate of 200,000 jobs a month and have been for years. Our unemployment rate has fallen to below 5%. Does this mean our economic picture is perfect? of course it isn’t. Our labor force participation is low. Much of that is due to demographic and social changes, (think students staying in school longer than immediately going into workforce or seniors retiring), but some is economic. While there are certainly issues worthy of discussion, a sky rocketing unemployment rate isn’t one of them.
While we’re talking jobs, let’s talk about the poor. The moocher class as Republicans like to think of them. Most of the people who are poor and getting some form of government assistance are working at least one job.
Discussing how to create jobs from a conservative perspective is a valuable exercise. For example, the Constitution explicitly mentions infrastructure as a key priority for government. Job bills in the government have been stalled. Programs that would provide for investment in infrastructure have been attacked. Mechanisms that fund programs haven’t been adjusted for inflation, funding for science, technology, and infrastructure have fallen.
We can and must do better. We can’t start with Republican unreality. Let’s start with making realistic priorities and then decide how to fund them.