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Jay Carney: “The White House Doesn’t Create Jobs”

Am I missing something, or does this:


MR. CARNEY: Well, the White House doesn’t create jobs. The government together — White House, Congress — creates policies that allow for greater job creation. And that can be through tax cuts, for example, for working Americans; everyone who works pays a payroll tax. And the tax cut that this President pushed for, for one year, for this calendar year, he’s pushing for to be extended next year.”


Sort of sound like this:


Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body – the producers and consumers themselves.  — Herbert Hoover


But most certainly does not sound like this:


But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe. — FDR, Inaugural Address (1933)


According to the Press Secretary, the White House “doesn’t create jobs,” tax cuts do.  I don’t think old Herbert could have said it better himself.  Compare this with Roosevelt’s bold inaugural message — that he was was going to end the Depression come Hell or high water, complete with a veiled threat that if Congress won’t go along then he would do it without them.  Roosevelt never said “hey man, the White House doesn’t create jobs, tax cuts do.”  That kind of talk was Hooverism, it had already been tried and failed and people were starving, and they rejected Hoover in favor of hope and change.

Similarly, Americans rejected Bushism for hope and change.. and the depression still lingers on, years now, and the best this administration can come up with are more free trade deals, the GE CEO as jobs czar, and “government can’t create jobs, only tax cuts can.”

If we do tax cuts at all, I’ll agree it’s far better to reduce them for those that actually spend their paychecks on real things in the real economy rather than blowing bubbles on the stock market and futures, and investing offshore.  But ultimately, even middle class tax cuts aren’t the answer for getting out of a depression.

The jobless need a job, not a tax cut.

And if only we had a Democrat in the White House, government could create jobs — we need only look to history and remind ourselves how we got out of the last depression.  The Works Progress Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority, the Hoover Dam.

We don’t have to embrace Hooverism, the idea that only tax cuts can create jobs and only the market can work it out.  We could have done major new infrastructure, something as bold as Hoover Dam, perhaps a nationwide high speed rail network, big idea green projects.  Whatever, just get the millions of jobless working again and stop waiting for tax cuts to work.  We needed real financial reform, re-enactment of Glass–Steagall (passed in response to the last Great Depression, repealed by Clinton and the Republicans).

We needed a lot of things, we needed hope and change, but got none of it.  We did get to keep our Bush tax cuts however, I guess that’s better than nothing assuming you still have your job.

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