Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Obama's “Cash for Caulkers”--Long on Caulk, Short on Cash

Obama's newest photo op was at a Home Depot in Virginia to promote his "cash for caulkers" program. His newest idea to create jobs is to give tax breaks to citizens who insulate, caulk, install windows, etc.

Okay, I suppose to some people who are mostly concerned about what they're going to "get" from the government, this would look good. I want to caulk my house. The government will help pay for my caulk! I want new windows. The government will give me money for them!

But where does the money come from? So many forget that any government funds originally belonged to us, the taxpayers. So essentially, we are paying for ourselves to get caulk and windows.

This is supposed to be a job creation program. What kinds of jobs will it create? Will so many people flock to Home Depot that they will need to hire more employees? Let's say the answer to that is yes, though I'm skeptical. Will those jobs be the kinds of jobs that could support a family? What happens to those jobs when the government runs out of money for caulk?

Will so many people install new windows in their homes (which is incredibly expensive, even with "government money") that companies who install windows will need to hire massive amounts of new employees to install or manufacture those windows? What I think is more likely to happen is companies that install windows will have more work for their existing employees, and it may stop some layoffs.

Is stopping layoffs creating jobs? Is giving more work to existing workers creating jobs? Is the quality of any jobs created high enough to support a family?

I'm so tired of these job creation programs thought up by liberal elitists who don't seem to understand what is going on in America. Last summer, they were talking about "shovel ready jobs." They came up with ideas to build bridges and roads and jobs that catered to unions (who always vote Democrat). But they never thought about what would happen once those projects were finished. What happens to the workers then? Do they still have work to do? No. What happens when a worker has no work to do? His job is eliminated.

The "jobs" this administration "creates" seem to be:
  1. short-term construction jobs
  2. short-term low-paying retail jobs
  3. short-term manufacturing jobs
  4. white-collar government jobs (10,000 per month, but that doesn't count because it's taxpayer funded and is a whole different blog.)

Why is every job they ever talk about "creating" a blue-collar job? It's as if they think America consists entirely of blue-collar citizens, while the only white-collar jobs are in government. Doesn't that betray a pretty screwed up world view?

There are millions of unemployed white collar workers (IT, human resources, marketing, accounting) right now. There are thousands of entrepreneurs who can't start businesses or can't maintain their businesses.

You could argue that if you create manufacturing jobs you might need more white collar workers to manage the extra people and projects. You could argue that, but you shouldn't because every job this administration has thought about creating is short term. Businesses don't create permanent jobs for white collar professionals for short-term projects. They just pile the work onto existing employees.

We need to create not only "shovel ready" jobs, but jobs for the other people in America: white collar workers that support families and have enough disposable income to buy things, go on vacation, go out to eat. You know, all the stuff Americans have stopped doing that help create permanent jobs.

So Obama went to Home Depot. He should have stayed home and looked at his calendar, which should read 2009, not 1933.

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