Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who last year tied Socialist Bernie Sanders for the title of the Senate's most liberal, has always voted in a manner that suggests that more government is the answer to every problem. He recently spoke with Greg Sargent from the Washington Post's The Plum Line and had some advice for President Obama on how to turn around the economy.
“Everybody knows that government creates jobs,” Brown said, citing the highway bill that has passed the Senate but is bottled up in the GOP-controlled House, which Dems say would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“Government creates jobs in highways,” Brown said. “We hire private contractors. That creates other jobs. It builds an economic foundation for job creation.”
“During the fifties, the sixties, the seventies, the eighties, the United States had great infrastructure programs,” Brown continued. “We were the envy of the world. Those are clear formulaic job creating strategies that we know.”
Aha! Sherrod has a plan! Let's spend a lot of money on infrastructure. That's bound to create boatloads of jobs. Wait...this sounds a little...familiar. From Brown's newsletter in February 2009:
Ohio will receive more than $8 billion to help create as many as 133,000 Ohio jobs. The funds are designed to stimulate Ohio's economy through investment in infrastructure projects, foster new business growth and new industry, and help millions of Ohio middle class families with much-needed tax relief.
Sherrod has had this idea before! It must have worked really well for him to suggestdoing it again, right? How did those 133,000 jobs in Ohio work out? In February of 2011, two full years after the "stimulus" bill passed, his number was actually pretty close at 109,000.
109,000 jobs LOST, according to employment data from the BLS website.
Sherrod Brown, just like Barack Obama, believes in the fallacy that government drives the economy, and that the government can create growth. My fellow Ohioan Maggie Thurber does an excellent job of explaining what liberals will never understand or acknowledge (emphasis mine).
To be fair, he is technically correct that government spending can create temporary jobs - but he fails a basic economic lesson when he refuses to acknowledge that such spending comes at a cost to the private sector, which is the only true place where growth can occur.
You see, there is a difference between jobs and growth.
Government could pay us all to dig ditches. And if they wanted to employ us for a long time, they could give us only spoons to move the soil. Think about how many people could be employed if only the government did that!
But hey, cheer up, Sherrod! Maybe the private sector can afford that cost. I hear it's doing fine.
Cross-posted on Third Base Politics