The Heritage Foundation today has some must-read analysis on the attempt for a second stimulus. Here are the highlights:
Anticipating this bleak job news, the President announced in his State of the Union address last week: “That is why jobs must be our number one focus in 2010, and that is why I am calling for a new jobs bill tonight.” It is understandable why the President wants to call this new legislation a “jobs bill” instead of what it really is: his second stimulus. But that would mean admitting that his first stimulus completely failed, which both the objective evidence and the opinion of the American people show it has. …
There is one sector of the economy that is thriving under President Barack Obama: government. This week, the Obama administration announced that the number of government employees will grow to 2.15 million this year, topping two million for the first time since President Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over.” And today, USA Today reports “the lobbying industry is humming along in the nation’s capital” as the top 20 trade associations and companies increased their lobbying expenses by 20% in 2009. ConocoPhillips spent $18.1 million dollars lobbying Congress in 2009, up from $8.5 million the year before, while it also laid off 1,300 people.
This is a perfect example of what happens to an economy when government becomes “the focus” of job creation. Jonathan Rauch explains: “Economic thinkers have recognized for generations that every person has two ways to become wealthier. One is to produce more, the other is to capture more of what others produce. … Washington looks increasingly like a public-works jobs program for lawyers and lobbyists, a profit center for professionals who are in business for themselves.”