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Obama’s Job Plan

economics, Feds

Barak Obama intends, as President of the United States, to institute a fiscal program that would increase the number of jobs in America by three million, with eighty percent of those jobs in the private sector. Therefore, six hundred thousand of those jobs would be government jobs, filled by employees who are paid from the tax dollars of Americans in the private sector. This plan will, if successful, will help to alleviate the pressures from the mass firings and layoffs of Q3 and Q4 2008. With the unemployment rate of 7.2% being the highest seen in the US in sixteen years, ( addressing the causes of unemployment is a matter of national concern.

The average salary for a government worker is $56,000. ( Comparatively, the average American worker’s salary is just over $42,000. ( Obama intends to increase the government payroll by $33.6 billion annually. The President’s budget for 2009 provides $14.3 billion in Title I funding for low-income schools. (, page 3). This figure does not include the cost of benefits for government employees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the number of civilian government employees at over 1.8 million. An increase of 600,000 employees is an increase of 33%.

Increasing the number of employed Americans is a good thing. However, this remedy may be worse than the disease. Governments can’t spend their countries out of recessions. When governments attempt to spend their way out of economic downturns, they turn recessions into depressions. Assuming a perfect return of 2.4 million American jobs from Obama’s plan, the plan would return the number of employed Americans to their pre-2008 levels. Of course, now the American people would be also paying $33.6 billion in salary to 600,000 more government employees, and additional billions in the form of government employee benefits.

Instead, Obama should embrace his tax-cut plan. While Congressional Democrats were briefly divided on the plan, history has demonstrated that increased capital in the private sector directly leads to increased employment in the private sector. In a capitalist society, centralized planning leads to inefficiencies in the ability of the market to react to consumer forces. To maximize the economic benefit the American government can have on the American economy, Obama should pursue legislation that plays to the capitalist country’s strengths, rather than mandating weaknesses.


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One of the more interesting stories from the end of 2008 was the fall of Rod Blagojevich and his attempt to sell the vacant Senate seat left by Barack Obama. In the wake of Obama’s November resignation, the Senatorial seat from Illinois was to be appointed by the Governor, Blagojevich. As has now been made apparent from the allegations of the federal investigators, Blagojevich attempted to sell the seat to a number of upcoming politicians, including Jesse Jackson, Jr., a member of the House from Chicago and federal informant. Jackson had been reporting on Blagojevich’s suspected corruption for years, though he did not participate in any investigation into Blagojevich’s attempt to sell Obama’s Senate seat.

In the weeks that followed, the Illinois legislature has failed to impeach Blagojevich, has failed to construct a special election to fill Obama’s vacancy, and has otherwise wasted this time. The Senator from Illinois will have seniority determined based upon the date in which the vacancy is filled, which gives Illinois no opportunity to appoint a senator prior to the victors from the ’08 elections taking their seats. Blagojevich, un-impeached and still un-convicted, appointed Roland Burris to the position. The resultant outcry has been strident and loud; led by Senator Reid, the Majority leader in the Senate, Democrats have refused to acknowledge Burris’ credentials. Burris was refused entry to the Senate based upon his lack of the approving signature from Illinois’ secretary of state, Jesse White.

White has confirmed that he lacks the authority to fail to provide the approving signature1. However, White failed to provide the requisite approval based upon his desire to “make a statement.”

White’s failure to provide the necessary signature is morally wrong. As the secretary of state, White is duty bound to perform his role in accordance with the laws of Illinois and the United States. White’s knowing failure, though far less devastating than Jackson’s rejection of Worcester v. Georgia2, follows the same damning logic: an elected official with a duty must perform that duty or resign from the position. While Jackson’s civil rights abuses are orders of magnitude more damaging to American History than White’s willful violation of law, there will be no true consequences from his (in)action.

A nation of laws must enforce those laws, and rigorously. Elected officials who willfully fail to uphold those laws are degrading the value of the law. A clear corruption law should be mandated by Federal government, impacting all federal, state and local officials, requiring them to perform their duties and punishing them for willful failures.

However, given House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s goals, we may be seeing more corruption in the future.

1. White’s Opinion

2. 31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 515


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