Hartford, Connecticut 9:08 a.m. - Maybe the third time's a charm for Connecticut Democratic senatorial nominee Richard Blumenthal who has had a hard time offering a clear answer about government's role creating jobs.
When his opponent Linda McMahon asked him in a debate Monday night "how do you create a job," he offered a meandering reply explaining jobs can be created "in a variety of ways by a variety of people." He went on assert government can help preserve jobs by providing more capital to small businesses, tax policies that promote job creation and intervention by government to help promote American-made products.
But Republicans have hit back hard and McMahon said, "Government, government, government. Government doesn't create jobs" and insisted entrepreneurs do.
When we asked in an interview on Wednesday if government is the engine of job growth, Blumenthal tried to answer it three different times. First he said, "Government can help create jobs through for example an energy policy that results in new technology, public private partnerships in fuel cell manufacturing. Government can be an active partner and enabler in new job creation as it has done in many areas where new technology has resulted in new manufacturing and new jobs."
When asked if that is a yes, he said, "Jobs are created by businesses and government can help businesses create jobs through enabling new technology – and research and development and investing in jobs that creates a new future for people."
Several minutes later while answering an unrelated question he came back to jobs and said, "You know the point about jobs. Business creates jobs. Government does not. But government can enable job creation as it has done by providing new technology, support for research and development, financing that is key – right now the banks are not lending. Government can play a greater role in providing financial support, deductions for start ups, research and development credits. All kinds of policies I have advocated."
Which came first? Big government or jobs? The government doesn't create jobs they only decide if they will interfere to the least degree or whether they will try to micro-manage something they can't even begin to understand.
The Government creates many jobs. Teachers, police, military, air traffic control, postal service, schools, etc. Government contractors are private sector jobs but the money comes from the government. This is huge. There are dozens or hundreds of companies whose primary business is defense contracting. The government buys computers, cars, buildings, etc. It takes people to produce all that stuff. Those people are in private sector jobs. Funding for research produces jobs at universities and in private businesses. The results of the research generally makes us more competitive overall.
Generic tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs. We've had big tax cuts for the wealthy for the last nine years. Our deficit grew like crazy and our jobs went to other countries.
Specific tax cuts can be useful. They may or may not create a net gain in jobs but they certainly can affect the types of jobs that are created (manufacturing vs service for example).
Just my $0.02 worth.