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Jobs Bill?

February 11, 2010

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV) has not officially unveiled his $80 billion Jobs Bill yet, but an advance copy was leaked to “The Hill”, a Washington DC newspaper that covers congress.  Seems like there is much more pork in the bill than there is jobs creation.  Here is what it provides for:

Highways and Transportation – This is the centerpiece of the bill.  Although billions of dollars have already been allotted road construction projects in the 2010 Transportation Department budget and additional billions were funneled to road construction in Obama’s first stimulus bill and unemployment grew rather than shrank to 10%.  Now the Senate has decided to dump billions more down the same black hole for some reason expecting different results.  Expected 2010 job creation: very limited.  Road Construction companies will definitely benefit, but it is uncertain if they will need to create new jobs to meet the demand.  The time it takes for the money to get through the federal government, through the state government, for the bidding process to take place and then for the actual work crews to begin construction on site, it is close to a 2 year process; 2010 will see little benefit, but 2012 might see much more (interesting, that is the same year that President Obama is up for re-election).

Energy – Additional tax credits for “new energy” sources.  Unfortunately, the potential tax savings do not come close to the additional expenses businesses would have to fork out.  As in the past, the only businesses that will take advantage of these credits are the ones that had previously planned on green construction projects.  Expected job creation: Nil.

Taxes – Reid’s bill has several deductions for business that hire new employees and keep them on the payroll through 2010.  Unfortunately, small business owners have explained to Congress and the White House over and over again that they are unwilling to take on new employees until the President drops his proposals for Healthcare reform and Cap and Trade.  These two bills can add considerably to their day to day expenses, therefore most business owners are currently unwilling to hire new employees until they are certain exactly what their expenses will be.  Expected job creation: next to none, but the companies that were already planning to hire will benefit.

The tax incentives are being used by the White House to lure Republicans over to the dark side; basically trying to buy their votes with the phrase tax cuts, rather than providing true tax relief for small business owners.  Highway and Energy provisions are showpieces for the Democrats Union and Green supporters.  The remainder of the bill is pure pork.  Money For rum companies in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as well as money for Samoa.  There is a big chunk of change to pay for disaster relief (which is not job creation) as well as extensions in benefits for the unemployed (in essence making it more likely that they stay unemployed).

Senator Reid and President Obama are selling this bill as a necessary for job creation, but it is nothing but what they have created is another spending bill, full of pork and nonsense.  This bill will do nothing to spur job creation.

Here’s an idea, instead of the government spending $80 billion on a jobs bill that does not create jobs, could they just give each of us taxpayers a check for our share ($500) and call it even?  It is our money.

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