It Is Time To Stop Pretending Like Republicans Want To Create Jobs

Posted by | May 7, 2011 09:33 | Filed under: Top Stories


By Yashwanth Manjunath

A few months ago, the Republicans ran their entire 2010 campaign on creating jobs. Their campaign slogan was actually “where are the jobs?” Too bad it was all smoke and mirrors. Since the Republicans have been in charge of the House they have spent their time repealing health care reform, defunding NPR, demonizing Planned Parenthood, and abolishing Medicare as we know it.

Barely a month into their new regime, “where are the jobs” became “so be it.” Perhaps the most damning example that illustrates how little the Republicans care about job creation was their push for $61 billion in spending cuts to avoid a government shutdown. Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s, found that those proposed Republican budget cuts would cost the country over 700,000 jobs over the next two years. Zandi is no “bleeding heart” liberal either; he worked on the McCain campaign.

The Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they could not care less about creating jobs; the question is why? Stuart pointed out months ago that it is very much in the Republicans’ best interests politically to ensure a poor economy leading up to the 2012 elections. However, I actually think it is even deeper than that.

During an interview I conducted recently with labor economist Jeffrey Keefe he pointed out that the current unemployment situation has been very good for Wall Street, and for corporate profits in general. He was right; in 2010 corporate profits grew at grew 36.8 percent in 2010, the biggest gain since 1950 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Keefe went on to argue that an unemployment rate of 7-9% is ideal for corporate profits because it is just low enough to avoid hurting economic efficiency, but just high enough that workers have no leverage to bargain for higher wages and benefits. Looking at how impressive a year 2010 was for corporate profits, it is hard to argue with his logic.

Whenever one discusses the Republican Party it is important to remember who they really represent. Republicans work for the big banks, big oil, health insurers, and every other mega corporation that makes up the “U.S.” Chamber of Commerce, not the average voter. The Republican politicians are rewarded for their subservience to the corporate elite by having those enlarged profits funneled back to them through campaign contributions while in office, and a sweet lobbying gig after leaving office. If that unholy symbiotic relationship means lower wages, worse benefits, and fewer jobs for average Americans, well so be it.

On a somewhat related topic, Jim Yardley at the far-right American Thinker recently wrote about how NJ Republican Governor Chris Christie “has an obligation to run” for president in 2012. Under Christie’s wonderful leadership, in 2010 the state of New Jersey was a whopping 50th out of 50 states when it came to job creation. New Jersey actually lost 15,000 jobs that year; one of only five states to do so. How does Yardley expect Christie to win the presidency with such a poor record on job creation? My guess is by using smoke and mirrors.

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