I have a question. I mean this in all sincerity. I ask it without intending a drop of cynicism. My question is this: How do tax increases create jobs?
The question is prompted by the governor’s news conference on August 25. It is no secret that California has a serious jobs problem. Our unemployment rate is the second highest in the nation, and that understates the problem as our jobless rate does not include (1) those who have given up searching for jobs, and (2) those who are underemployed and seek full time work but cannot find it because of our anemic economy. Persistent joblessness destroys our economy, our communities, and our families. For that reason, the governor and Democrat leadership have promised to focus on the jobs problem in the last two week of the legislative session.
It is about darn time. The GOP months and months ago proposed dozens of pro-jobs and pro-economic growth bills. But, as I detailed in my last column, the Democrats killed all of those bills. And now they want to focus on jobs? Welcome to the issue, guys. Better late than never.
Except maybe not so, which brings me back to taxes. The governor and Democrat leadership held a news conference on the 25th to announce this new-found concept of focusing on jobs and to outline their jobs recovery plan. Amazingly, it amounted pretty much to just a call for new taxes. Sure there were a couple of targeted tax cuts in the package, but overall, it is more of the same from the Democrats.
So I ask, how do tax increases create jobs? Forget for a moment that raising taxes was the governor’s plan to solve California’s budget crisis, and then the solution to the prison overcrowding problem, and then, said the governor, was the way to attack our so-called “wall of debt.” Now, apparently, tax increases are the way to create jobs.
In short, Jerry Brown and the other Democrats finally have a “jobs plan” and it looks a lot like their other plans to solve our other problems: raise taxes.
Who knew one simple idea could do so much? Sadly, though, it will not work. Raising taxes is not a serious policy to grow the economy. It is only a serious policy to grow government. Raising taxes does not create jobs. It merely transfers wealth from the productive class to a growing government. If tax increases create jobs, why not confiscate all private wealth – one hundred percent tax rates for all income levels should just about do it – and watch the jobs explosion.
Of course, the idea is preposterous, as preposterous as the latest Democratic jobs plan.
Government “creates” productive, private sector jobs only by leaving more money in the hands of . . . the private sector. Individuals know better how to spend their own money than does the government. Sacramento should get out of the way of entrepreneurs and business owners. Let them keep their money to hire more workers or make capital improvements to grow the company. That is a real jobs plan, one that will work and one that my Republican colleagues in the Legislature and I have gotten behind. Democratic business as usual, i.e., their single idea with its repeatedly failed promise to solve all of societies’ problems, has not worked and will not work. I suppose it’s good that the Democrats at least notice the jobs problem now. But like so much out of Sacramento, hold on to your wallet while government tries to fix that problem.