The Biggest Lies About Jobs
Robert B. Reich
And if all others accepted the lie which the party imposed -- if all records told the same tale -- then the lie passed into history and became the truth.
-- George Orwell, "1984" (published in 1949)
House Majority Leader
It's not true. Cutting the deficit will create fewer jobs.
Less government spending reduces overall demand. This is particularly worrisome when, as now, consumers and businesses are still holding back. Fewer government workers have paychecks to buy stuff from other Americans, some of whom in turn will lose their jobs without enough customers.
But truth doesn't seem to matter.
Republicans apparently believe that if big lies like this are repeated often enough, people start to believe them. Unless, that is, those big lies are repudiated -- and big truths are told in their place.
What worries me almost as much as the Republicans' repeated big lies about jobs is the silence of President Obama and Democratic leaders in the face of them. The president has the bully pulpit. Republicans don't. But if he doesn't use it, the Republican big lies gain credibility.
Here are some other whoppers being repeated daily:
"Cutting taxes on the rich creates jobs."
Nope. Trickle-down economics has been tried for 30 years and hasn't worked. After
To his credit, President Obama argued against Republican demands for extending the Bush tax cut for those making more than a quarter-million dollars a year. But as soon as Republicans pushed back, Obama caved. And the president hasn't even mentioned that the
"Cutting corporate income taxes creates jobs."
Baloney. American corporations don't need tax cuts. Many of them, like
The president needs to point this out -- not just in
"Cuts in wages and benefits create jobs."
Congressional Republicans and their state counterparts repeat this howler incessantly. The same untruth is used to justify corporate America's incessant demands for wage and benefit concessions from average workers. And it's used to justify corporate and state battles against unions. But it's dead wrong. Meager wages and benefits are reducing the spending power of tens of millions of American workers, which is prolonging the jobs recession.
President Obama should be standing up for the wages and benefits of ordinary Americans and explaining why this claim is wrong. The president should be traveling to the Midwest -- taking aim at Republican governors in the heartland who are hell-bent on destroying the purchasing power of American workers. But he's doing nothing of the sort.
"Regulations kill jobs."
House Republicans are using this whopper to justify their attempts to defund regulatory agencies. Regulations whose costs to business exceed their benefits to the public are unwarranted, of course, but reasonable regulation is necessary to avoid everything from nuclear meltdowns to oil spills to mine disasters to food contamination -- all of which we've sadly witnessed. Here again, we're hearing little from the president.
I know the president can't be everywhere, doing everything. There's tumult in the
But nothing is more central to average Americans than jobs and wages. Unless the president forcefully rebuts these big lies, they'll soon become conventional wisdom.
- 3 Reasons the U.S. Economy Remains in a Coma
- The Biggest Lies About Jobs
- Why Higher Unemployment Might Not Be a Bad Thing
- Not Raising the Debt Ceiling Would Worsen the Fiscal Situation
- We Can't Be Serious About the Debt Ceiling Until We Fix Spending
- It's BACK! The Return of Stagflation
- Federal Budget: Why Triangulation Won't Work
- Quitting Fear Inc
- Republican Obsession with Spending Cuts will Kill Jobs
- What Happens After Quantative Easing 2 Ends?
- What You Really Pay for at the Pump
- Brighter Job Outlook for Class of 2011
- Jobs Report Shows Growth, But Nothing to Shout About
- The Real News on Jobs
- The Democrats' Lame Response to the Republican Shakedown
- The Slow Decline of North America
- 'So Be It' Economics
- St. Louis Mayor Discusses Economy, Education, and Future of Cities
- The Incredible Shrinking Budget Debate
- The Wages of Infamy
- A G-Zero World: New Economic Club Will Produce Conflict Not Cooperation
- The Post-Washington Consensus
- Currency Wars: Then and Now
- Currencies Are Not the Problem
- The Great Jobs Recession Goes On
- America's Corporate Recovery Is More Fragile Than You Think
- Impending Debate Over Spending Cuts Has Nothing to Do With Reviving Economy
- Pruning Farm Subsidies
- The Wealth Gap Around the World
Available at Amazon.com:
The Biggest Lies About Jobs | Politics
Copyright 2011, ROBERT REICH; DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.