Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sherrod Brown Gets It Wrong; No Surprise There


Ohio's idiot Senator Sherrod Brown is at it again. This time he is complaining about President Obama's jobs proposals, including eliminating the capital gains tax.

While clearly the capital gains tax needs to go the way of the telegraph and buggy whip, I have to agree that the elimination of the capital gains tax is no quick fix. It will increase employment in the long run, but is not likely to have great effect in the short run. It will not immediately encourage new employment. It will end the penalty associated with cashing in investments, so the investment can be converted to new business. That will help employment, but again, over the long run.

Sherrod Brown's plan is, you guessed it, a new government program. He wants to tax (i.e., discourage) productivity and create a new government program to loan money to small businesses. He wants to do to business loans what last October banking disaster was for mortgage foreclosures.

Earth to Sherrod: We don't need MORE government programs. We need fewer government programs that stifle productivity and discourage entrepreneurs. Return to real Federalism, where the states regain sovereign powers under the United States Constitution.

Here are some ideas that are really radical.

1. Trim or eliminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is way past its prime. Money spent there generates diminishing returns. We are spending more and more to eliminate less and less contamination. If the states want such an agency, let the states do it. They already do, in fact. For interstate problems, they can do an interstate compact in appropriate cases.

2. Dump the entire Department of Labor. Get rid of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. If the states want it, let the states do it. We don't need a National Labor Relations Board. It kills jobs. If the states want such boards, let them enact them. We don't need anything that the Department of labor does on the national level. There is nothing that it does that, if desirable, could not be done by the states.

3. Eliminate or severely trim the Department of Transportation. Other than administering highway grants and maybe running the air traffic control system, there is little or nothing that could not be done better and cheaper by the states.

4. Eliminate the Department of Education. It educates nobody. To the extent that is has desirable programs, let the states do the necessary.

These are job killers. And the federal government has plenty more. Eliminate them.

I am not talking about unfunded mandates, either. Taxes should be cut to let the states take up the slack.

That would be a real jobs bill ... except for federal government workers. Most of them would migrate to state work, although probably taking pay cuts. But, my sympathy level is not great on their account.

Don't expect Sherrod to listen, though. More government program means more government and less liberty. That is just fine with him. He is simply a more and bigger government kind of guy.

Sherrod Brown is the worst thing to hit Ohio since Bob Taft.

Update: I can think of plenty more federal agencies who job-inhibiting functions would be severely curtailed if not eliminated: Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Department of Energy and on and on.

Once upon a time, the United States had the greatest innovation and growth in both technology and the economy in the entire world. We were a growing power. Now the United States appear to in in decline. Why? Government. Government is most efficient in only one thing: inhibiting innovation. One-size-fits-all regulation is really, really good at that. Domestically, government is all about a small (well, no longer small) group of people getting their jollies by telling the rest of us what we have to do. We have a government loaded with mini-despots. If you don't believe me, go the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to get anything done beyond routine renewing tags or a driver's license.

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