The non-existent jobs bill. The one we were supposed to pass “right now”. The one that still has not been put on paper. The upside to the strategy of not putting the bill on paper is that no matter what an opponent says about this non-existent bill, its proponents can claim: “no, you are exaggerating” or “the bill will solve that problem”. Are we insane to even listen to this for one minute?
I just sat down to run the numbers on this bill. Since the bill does not actually exist, I cannot even estimate what the cost will be. From best estimates I am going to say the cost of this bill is $450 billion. It could be a bit less than that, but, in all likelihood, it will be more.
What do we get for our money? Well, jobs! The administration’s official estimate is 1.9 million jobs. So if they get, say 1.6 million, they will claim a success. Lets face it, if they got half a million, it would be a shock, and they would claim a success. No way are we going to see 1.9 million jobs if we spend that money.
Lets assume for a moment, though, that we can trust the brilliance of the Obama economists and we actually would get 1.9 million jobs. That just cost us more than $235,ooo dollars per job. That is a terrible deal. I could try to explain why, but the average salary in the US is less than $40,000, and I am going to just stop there. I cannot imagine what kind of economist would think that $235,000 per job is good for the economy.
Looking at the other side of this bad penny, how much does it cost? How does $1450 per US resident grab you? $3350 per taxpayer sound any better? Okay, if you consider that half of those taxpayers do not actually pay any taxes, it comes to about seven grand for you. Your share of that jobs bill. Seven thousand dollars. Of course, you will not actually have to pay that. At least not directly. The Republicans will probably not let the government raise your taxes right now, but unless somebody actually starts to cut spending (don’t hold your breath) all that money that gets spent against the deficit will eventually have to be repaid. Alternately, the government will just devaluate the currency so your house and investments lose value equal to the amount you did not get taxed. Whoopee! I saved money on my taxes.
So do you think that your share–the seven thousand dollars–which equates to about 3% of a new job–was a good way to invest your money in the economy? I am thinking that seven thousand dollars would fix a whole lot of the flooring in my house, and replace those ruined carpets in my kids rooms. That would be a better jobs bill.