WASHINGTON — In his latest job creation effort, President Barack Obama is trying to find practical and politically feasible ways of spurring hiring among skittish employers.
Among the ideas expected in his economic speech Tuesday is an expanded program that gives people cash incentives to fix up their homes with energy-saving materials, senior administration officials have told The Associated Press. Obama is leaning toward new incentives for small businesses that hire new workers and new spending on roads, bridges and other public works, the officials said.
An impressive effort by the White House to synthesize the results of Thursday’s jobs forum so swiftly.
In a letter to President before the forum, the NAM identified spending on transportation and energy infrastructure as good policies to encourage private-sector jobs creation, and the hints above are encouraging.
Irwin Steltzer of the Hudson Institute, writing at The Weekly Standard in “Recovery on the Horizon?“, sees positive signs of private-sector recovery — more manufacturing activity, declining inventories, even jewelry sales. He also identifies a dichotomy to come out of the jobs summit that will shape the President’s speech Tuesday.
It is fashionable these days to talk about “take aways,” what attendees take away from a conference. My guess is that President Obama’s “take away” is consistent with his view that activist government cannot leave job creation to the private sector, but also that he must dispel the notion that he is hostile to the private sector — something that some of his staff want him to do. So a mix of spending and incentives for small businesses to hire will be laid out in the Tuesday speech.
Obama’s goal will be to keep the unemployment rate heading down, even if he has to create government-funded jobs to do it. My Hudson Institute colleague, Diana Furchtgott-Roth points out in a recent column that in 1850 Frédérich Bastiat noted that jobs provided by the government are seen, those displaced by higher taxes or snatched from private sector firms are not. At least, not in the short run. And the president’s congressional allies have no interest in the long run — in which they will be dead, electorally, if the economy suffers a relapse. They want action this day. Which is just what their president intends to give them.
- ABC News, “President Obama to Pitch More Job Creation Proposals on Tuesday”
- New York Times, “Obama Eyes Bank Bailout Funds to Spur New Jobs”
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