The Illinois GOP: Monkey See, Monkey Do
May 30, 2009
I recently received an e-mail from the Illinois House Republican Caucus
with the headline "Getting Illinois Back on Track.” The main talking
points of the article are that Illinois Republicans are creating jobs
and improving our schools and colleges. The "whys” are because Illinois
has an unemployment rate of 9.4%, thousands of miles of roads and
thousands of bridges that need repair and inadequate or burdensome
property taxes to fund necessary school repairs and construction. The
"how” is a claimed 450,000 new, good paying jobs created by a government
expenditure of $29 billion. I had to recheck the article to make sure it
wasn’t from the Illinois House Democrats.
Before probing the "whys” and "how” of this legislation, the myth of
government created jobs should be exposed for what it is and why it
fails to correct a genuine economic problem. Government jobs are funded
by tax money taken from one group of people and given to another. That
temporarily reduces unemployment but also reduces the income of the
people currently producing, people who may have created real jobs if
that money wasn’t taken from them. Furthermore, government created jobs
last only as long as the supply of tax money to pay them is replenished.
This does not create new wealth but only changes the spending pattern of
A simple thought experiment bears this out. If you earn and spend $100
per week, certain businesses you patronize receive that as income. If
you give $30 of that to your children to spend as they please, they may
patronize other businesses, but the businesses you patronized lose $30
income. While the businesses your children patronize may hire new
employees, the ones you patronized will shed employees. The net gain in
jobs is zero. No wealth is built.
The 9.4% unemployment rate in Illinois is a symptom of wealth
destruction by high taxes, political corruption, fascist government
regulation and poor business management practices, often required to
satisfy bureaucrats and pressure groups. Companies did not curtail
operations or leave Illinois or go bankrupt because government failed to
create jobs. Theoretically, government created jobs could reduce the
unemployment rate to zero, but only by increasing taxes that would
destroy more wealth producing jobs. We could all be employed and poor at
the same time. Just let government handle it and live happily with the
illusion that zero unemployment means we are prosperous.
As to the merit of the Republican spending program, I have a few
questions, such as what happened to all the gasoline taxes allegedly
levied to maintain our roads and bridges? Once roads, bridges and
schools are repaired, does the need for maintenance suddenly disappear
or will it take $29 billion each and every year thereafter to maintain
them? Where are the programs to eliminate waste, corruption,
vote-buying, excessive regulation, wealth destruction and big government
in general? Where is the program that allows the economy to decide how
to grow by letting the job creators keep more job creating wealth?
Education is in shambles because the Illinois Education Association has
extorted exorbitant wages, benefits, pension plans and extra jobs from
politicians seeking their support and contributions. Property owners
have been gutted with out of control property taxes to pay union demands
acquiesced to by feckless political leaders and school boards. The IEA
and politicians aligned with them hide behind children to pillage tax
funds to satisfy their own greed and lust for power. If school budgets
were short changed for building and facility maintenance, it was a
political decision to postpone the day of reckoning and pay the high
cost of placating the IEA. Creating jobs now merely provides cover for
the consequences of IEA greed in the past.
Illinois Republicans have seen Illinois Democrats get away with phony
job creation schemes that have brought the state to this sad point in
its history. It’s hard to blame them for trying the same tactics, but
blame them I do. They have chosen an expedient path that requires no
leadership, no courage and no principles to follow.
Treating a cancer patient with pain medication may alleviate a symptom
of the disease, but it doesn’t cure the disease. Treating the symptom
can mask the severity of the underlying cause and give the appearance
that treatment isn’t necessary. Government created jobs treat the
symptom, high unemployment, but neglect the cause, wealth destruction.
Government created jobs may actually contribute to wealth destruction.
The patient is led to believe he is better but deteriorates and dies
I can’t support the Republican plan because it is the same failed plan
Democrats foist on the public. It’s a cowards plan to make people feel
good while they are being eaten alive rather than confront them with the
facts about the disease that is killing them. Had they taken their case
to the public that high taxes, irresponsible spending and big government
are killing the jobs that create wealth, I could stand with them, but
they haven’t and I won’t.