New Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele argued on ABC’s This Week program today, that government stimulus can’t create jobs. Jobs are only created by business. His narrow minded rationale completely ignored the fact the infrastructure improvements lead to private sector job creation.
Steele said, “But you’ve got to look at the entire package. You’ve got to look at what’s going to create sustainable jobs. What this administration is talking about is making work. It is creating work.” Host George Stephanopoulos said that these were jobs, Steele replied, No, it’s not a job. A job is something that — that a business owner creates. It’s going to be long term. What he’s creating…” Stephanopoulos asked if it counts if it is a government job, Steele continued, “Hold on. No, let me — let me — let me finish. That is a contract. It ends at a certain point, George. You know that. These road projects that we’re talking about have an end point.”
Steele also argued that the government should not do anything, because the jobs will come back on their own, “But they come — yes, they — and they come back, though, George. That’s the point. When they go — they’ve gone away before, and they come back. And the point is that the small-business owners take the risks. They’re the ones that are out there in the morning putting that second mortgage on the house, taking the risks that are necessary so that they can employ your — your kids and my kids and future generations. That’s sustainable, long-term growth. Otherwise, then why do we need the small-business community? Why don’t we all just get a government job and call it a day?”
I have always believed that a job was anything a person got paid to do. It didn’t matter whether the job was publicly or privately created. Steele’s definition makes it sound like everybody is going to get a government job. Obama’s plan is to stimulate the economy through infrastructure improvements. These projects not only provide short term jobs, but also help redevelop areas so that they become more attractive to new business development. One of the first things companies look at when they are considering locating to an area is infrastructure. Can the company get its people and products to the market effectively?
So the Republicans are advocating that we do nothing but provide tax cuts, and wait for the jobs to come back? Besides the fact that anyone who wants to start a new business can’t because banks aren’t lending, so tax cuts would do nothing. The other problem with the Republican do nothing approach is that it is certain to take a bad situation and make it worse. This is not an ordinary recession that we currently face. Doing nothing would mean that millions more people would lose their jobs. Steele’s comments today are an example of how ideologically driven and out of touch the GOP is right now. It is no surprise that these guys keep losing elections.