5 Worst So-Called Job Creation Ideas From the GOP
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As Dean Baker pointed out, most businesses don't actually pay the 35 percent marginal tax rate that conservatives so love to argue is punishingly high.
Meanwhile, a new Congressional Budget Office report makes the point that the tax cuts portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known as the stimulus bill) were far less effective at job creation than the direct purchases of goods by the government and direct payments to people, such as food stamps and increased unemployment.
We know this already; the well-off are doing just fine in this economy, and businesses are reporting record profits under these purportedly too-high tax rates. The people who continue to suffer are those who are still not being hired (and who, of course, are not paying much in taxes since they're not taking in anything). And as long as we have high unemployment and low wages, we'll continue to have low spending, less sales, and no incentive for businesses to add jobs.
And let's not even get started on terrible ideas like the tax holiday on overseas profits “brought home” by multinationals, shall we? Talk about moral hazard and perverse incentives; giving corporations tax breaks on money they keep offshore costs the government money, provides an incentive to keep profits offshore until the government can be bullied into another tax holiday, and the last time around, back in 2004? Cost the US jobs.
2. Repeal EPA regulations
Republicans like to pit the economy versus the environment, as if it's simply inevitable that any concern for clean air and water is automatically going to hurt business and kill jobs. They've repeated the term “job-killing regulations” until no one even questions the idea anymore.
The problem is, it's just not true.
As Laura Clawson at Daily Kos points out:
“The thing of it is, a move to a clean energy economy or to any of a number of safer, better practices in other areas would create jobs, but those are potential jobs. Meanwhile, corporations and politicians that want to keep doing the same old thing point to existing jobs and claim (rightly or wrongly) that these jobs are threatened by increased regulation, with no word of the jobs that will be created in new fields.”
She's discussing a new study, by Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), which reports that a 10-percent reduction in carbon pollution from all fuels would correlate with an increase in jobs. Not only that, but a significant increase in household disposable income. The standards the study suggests are similar to ones already in place in California, which leads the nation in terms of environmental regulations.
Meanwhile, there's no guarantee that eliminating regulations would preserve the existing jobs, let alone create new ones. Just like low taxes, it's simply an ideological claim that keeps right-wing politicians hammering the same ideas they've been hammering for the last 30 or more years—as employment has fallen. As Adam Hersh, an economist with the Center for American Progress points out:
“The Republican 'jobs agenda' presents a litany of bills that in fact provide explicit subsidies for corporate oil, coal, and gas producers. Those subsidies, and the stranglehold big oil, coal, and gas companies have on national energy policy, are blocking the development of a fledgling advanced technology manufacturing industry that will create jobs right here in the United States: the renewable energy industry.”
1. Cut the minimum wage
Michele Bachmann's become the GOP posterchild for advocating this terrible idea; cutting the minimum wage to make the US “more competitive” with overseas labor.