Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The War on Job Creation

Back in the Dark Ages, doctors were known for bleeding patients to reduce fever and cracking skulls to relieve headaches. Everything old is new again as the Obama Administration pursues excessive taxes on job creators on both Wall Street and Main Street in order to create new jobs.

Elizabeth MacDonald brings the Administration's current efforts to light in a column at FoxBusiness.com. She points out that "A House bill now being drafted would raise $150 billion each year to pay for new manufacturing jobs by taxing securities transactions such as stocks, options, derivatives and futures...But the effect here would be the polar opposite-it would hurt job creation and even though Congress says they'll exempt trades made for retirement savings, chances are slim that will happen, and the fees will get passed along. And jobs in the finance sector, already flattened, will fly overseas if the US is the only country with this taxing regime."

MacDonald's article points out the obvious. Politicians develop and implement policies as if we were trees. They believe we will take a tax, regulation, or other cost of doing business without blinking. Unfortunately for government, we are not trees. I do not know about you, but if someone attacks me with an axe I am either going to fight or take flight. That is the same thing that happens in public policy. When government attacks with a tax on job creation, that job creator is either going to fight (which in this country requires a long term strategy that includes changing the people in power) or they are going to run (which is much easier to do in our current political environment and our abilities thanks to technology).

Where and how do people run? We have many examples of this in recent years and the Internet makes it very easy for people to move their money and the rest of their lives, wherever they need to go to do business.

For example, A recent study from the Empire Center for New York State Policy is showing that the state is suffering from a similar fate. The authors of the studies -- E.J. McMahon and Wendell Cox -- point out that between the years 2000 and 2008 and following massive tax increases for those with higher incomes, the families that have been leaving have income levels that were 13 percent higher than those arriving to the Empire State. In Manhattan and the New York County area, the impact was even more profound. Those leaving the Big Apple had an average income of $93,264, which was approximately 28 percent higher than those who were arriving (which made $72,726 on average).

What is most ironic about these type of policies is that they not only fail to create jobs, but also fail to generate new revenues. They simply do not work. The old saying remains true, "the more you tax something, the less you get of it." If you heavily tax job creators, you will lose them and the jobs they create. MacDonald believes that the bill being argued in this Congress will actually force some job creators out of the country. They, in turn would likely take the jobs with them. It is time to abandon ancient practices that do not work and pursue policies that simply make sense.
Kevin Price is a syndicated columnist whose articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media. Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at PriceofBusiness.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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