Valentine: Stimulus not saving jobs

Friday, July 17, 2009

How do you quantify saving jobs? It's darn near impossible according to the Government Accountability Office. Instead of just promising to create jobs President Obama always throws in that he will either create or save 3 million jobs. But as unemployment hits 9.5 percent and is likely to shatter the 10 percent mark, it appears Mr. Obama is doing neither.

Even in the face of remarkably dismal data, Vice President Joe Biden has been saying -- with a straight face -- that the stimulus package has saved jobs. He says it has prevented police officers, school teachers and other local government employees from getting laid off. Don't look now, Joe, but these people are getting laid off left and right.

But these folks in the Obama Administration are just getting tuned up. There's talk of another stimulus package that would dwarf the first one. How do they intend to pay for all of this? The reality is they have no plan to pay for all of it. However, they do intend to use their insatiable spending as an excuse to sock it to the producers to the tune of a $540 billion tax increase over ten years. Of course, it's only going to be for the rich . . . again. How many times do they think they can come back to that well? Apparently they believe there is no limit.

This latest tax is the brainchild of Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel. He wants a "surtax" on those making over $280,000 per year. This addition to the tax burden could leave those making over $350,000 with an effective tax rate of a whopping 45 percent.

That's just fine with the Democrats in Congress who find it ridiculous that anyone should make that kind of money. But who are they to make that determination?

We have allowed a covetous collection of social engineers to invade Washington and seize power. They either don't understand or they don't care that the wealthy are the ones who create the jobs and the opportunities for everyone else. I've never worked for someone making 20-grand a year. Are there gluttonous, self-absorbed rich people who live to excess and seem to care very little about anyone but themselves? Oh, sure. Many of them are living in Hollywood and they vote Democrat. Still, that's no reason to confiscate their money. It's not ours to confiscate.

So, why would the rich Hollywood-types go along with such a scheme to redistribute the wealth? Much of it has to do with appearances. They don't want to appear greedy so they publicly applaud every effort to take from them their hard-earned money and give it to someone else. Privately they know that their legion of tax lawyers and CPAs will surely find a way to shelter them from the liberal onslaught coming from Washington.

And they'll do as they did when Congress assessed a luxury tax on yachts back in the early 1990s. They'll evade it. Back then, any boat that sold for over $100,000 was slapped with a 10 percent luxury tax on top of the other taxes to which it was already subjected. It was a torpedo to the bow of the boat-building industry. Wealthy yachters had their boats built overseas where they not only bypassed the luxury tax but any state sales taxes. Thousands of people were thrown out of work and the tax failed to produce anywhere near the money it was supposed to generate.

The untended consequences of government meddling. They just don't get it and their ignorance is on the verge of ruining this country.