Jewish World Review August 17, 2011 / 17 Menachem-Av, 5771
Tax credits for job creation
By Martin Schram
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's high time -- way past time, in fact -- for Washington to try a surefire economic stimulus solution to create jobs in this debt-crippled economy. It's a plan that can win plaudits from all manner of pols and ideologues, from the extreme left to the ultra right.
Give tax credits to all companies that hire new workers.
It is the ultimate Republican tax-cutting plan: It rewards the private sector for acting in its own best interest. And it gives wary companies that are now just hording their profits the confidence that can get them to start expanding again.
It is the ultimate Democratic jobs-generating plan: It guarantees results before federal tax dollars are spent.
It is the ultimate Tea Party no-new-taxes/no-new programs populist plan: It produces the new jobs without government or adding reams of red tape.
It is more Keynesian than anything ever produced by Mom and Pop Keynes.
And mainly, it is, by definition, the most shovel-ready plan any economist can conjure: No federal money would be wasted on any so-called "shovel ready" programs that pile up, forever un-shoveled, in national compost heaps of old economic theories decomposed by layers of bureaucratic and construction permit realities run amok.
"Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected," President Barack Obama lamented last June to his Council on Jobs Competitiveness. Of course, it was fair to wonder why a president's best and brightest could not have discovered that in advance and warned him before he approved some $800 billion in stimulus programs. But we are not about such hindsight today.
Our focal point today is that by using job-generating tax credits to prime our economic pumps, not a dollar of Washington's money would be spent before the private sector has created and filled the jobs. A side benefit of this is that this is not one of those programs that reward the special interests that have invested in our politicians -- presidents and senators and representatives -- by giving them campaign money as a down payment for future access and consideration. All employers have a chance at getting this tax credit -- all they need to do is hire new employees.
This is an idea I thought made good sense when Obama became president amid a catastrophic recession and jobs crisis. Now it turns out that the template for it already exists -- it was just created by President Obama.
On August 5, Obama announced a program to give firms tax credits for hiring unemployed military veterans. Obama's Returning Heroes Tax Credit would give companies that hire unemployed veterans a $2,400 maximum credit for every short-term hire and $4,800 for every long-term hire. His plan would give companies a $9,600 maximum credit for every long-term hire of a veteran with service-connected disabilities.
Well, if works for creating jobs for unemployed military veterans, why not expand it to include all unemployed Americans? That Republican-sounding idea was raised the day Obama announced his veterans program -- by the former chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer.
"The President today started talking about a very sensible plan of you know a tax cut for firms that hire veterans," Romer, who resigned her job last year, said on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher.'' "...There are 15 million other unemployed people. Let's do a big tax cut for any firm that's willing to hire. .. Someone, I think, ought to be making the case for swinging for the fences, not small programs."
Think big, swing big. This week, President Obama appeared in our living rooms looking just like the pack of Republicans in Iowa campaigning for his job. While attacking his GOP opponents in campaign-style events in the Midwest, Obama announced a plan to announce: he will be announcing a new economic resuscitation, jobs-creation economic plan -- next month.
August is no vacation month for America's 15 million unemployed -- it's just another crisis month. So why not get started now?
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
• 07/06/11: Obama's on-the-job retraining from Clinton
• 06/29/11: Obama, Nixon suddenly joined in posterity
© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE