Yesterday Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) blogged about his upcoming Job Creators Roundtable in Brookfield on Nov. 7, 2011.
Giving potential ‘job creators’ just 2 days to adjust their busy schedules — or five days for those of you who follow the congressmen’s official press releases — and offering up exactly ZERO novel ideas, it is clear that finding creative solutions to the persistently high unemployment in this country was the last thing Mr. Sensenbrenner was trying to accomplish.
Rather, the fluff piece serves simply as a vehicle to parrot the standard GOP talking points regarding the President and the ‘do-nothing Senate’ which enjoys a slim democratic margin.
Mr. Sensenbrenner, apparently ignorant to the historically low approval ratings that congress now enjoys, actually has the gall to suggest to his constituents that he, or rather House Republicans, are actually pushing forward a progressive jobs agenda.
And what does Sensenbrenner offer up as proof for such a ridiculous claim? Simply the following sound bite:
“...the House has passed legislation to reform costly regulations and save hundreds of thousands of jobs. We have passed legislation to reform our tax code and enable small businesses to gain access to capital.”
In other words, tax cuts to businesses and less regulation. This mantra should sound familiar as the GOP overlords make all congressmen pledge this type of nonsense.
I won’t go into Mr. Sensenbrenners’ motives for such a Pavlovian response to commands from party whips, but let’s be clear on the facts.
First, when tax rates are high, companies are motivated to invest in their business rather than pay the high taxes on the profits.
One of the best ways to do this is to HIRE EMPLOYEES so their salaries can be written off as expenses.
On the other hand, when taxes are low, the incentive is to cut costs, fire workers and pull out the profits. This is especially true of publicly-traded companies whose boards can be pressured by investors to maximize profits.
There is plenty of evidence to support this notion. When Presidents Reagan and W. Bush cut taxes, non-farm payrolls dropped significantly. When Reagan and Clinton raised taxes (yes, President Reagan raised taxes!), the trend reversed.
Frankly, the myth that that jobs are created when taxes are cut is ignorant at best and irresponsibly dishonest at worst.
Secondly, the notion that businesses do not require regulation belies all available evidence. Perhaps the best example is the financial sector that, following decades of deregulation by both Democratic and Republican congresses, nearly crashed the global economy.
In contrast, the most successful societies around the world are tightly-regulated capitalist economies.
If Mr. Sensenbrenner is truly sincere about finding ways to stimulate the economy, he should drop the talk-radio spin and get his facts straight.
If he is serious about incentivizing private sector hiring, he should look for models around the country and around the world that work.
And if he is serious about meeting with the public, be damn sure to give more than a few days notice.
Anything short of this and Mr. Sensenbrenner is just another beltway crony looking to keep his job and curry the favor of the GOP, and with unemployment at or above 9%, it is clear how well that strategy is helping the American worker.