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How to create jobs without adding debt

Zero. That was the net gain in jobs nationally in August. This news must be distressing for the president after he "focused like a laser on jobs" in August, just as he has promised to do in the 30 other months of his presidency.

On Thursday, President Obama will present his jobs plan at a joint session of Congress.

My guess is that his jobs plan will be to blame Republicans for the lack of them.

After that $787 billion bust he called a stimulus, which resulted in a net loss of another 1.5 million jobs, we do not have the time or the money for any more political gamesmanship in Washington.

A jobs plan that would work would require no new spending, and in fact it would dump some old spending.

n First, the president needs to keep his word on ending regulation. Friday's announcement that new ozone rules would be suspended until 2013 — after the election — was a start.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposal would have cost local and state governments and private enterprise $90 billion to reduce the ozone by 0.010 parts per million. That is one part per 100 million.

Are they nuts?

The president should suspend the rule change permanently.

There are plenty of other regulations where that came from that are worth dumping. A one- year moratorium on all federal rule changes might encourage business to start hiring again.

While the president is at it, he can reverse the National Labor Relations Board's edict that Boeing build a plant in Washington state to appease a union.

The time has come to eliminate the NLRB entirely. It is a relic of the 1930s. Let the unions and management settle their differences in court like any other contract dispute.

n Another relic of the 1930s, the minimum wage, needs to be rolled back to $5.15 an hour. Since we began raising it in 2007, overall employment has dropped by more than 6 million.

Putting people back to work would help shore up the Social Security and Medicare funds that are fed by payroll taxes.

n To get people off their cans and looking for work, the federal government should end that unemployment extension, because really that is all it did: extend unemployment.

The Los Angeles Times coined "funemployment" a few years ago. While the word applies only to young and foolish people with no responsibilities, anything longer than six months without work deteriorates the employability of a worker.

n Every tax credit and tax deduction also should be reviewed. No more tax loopholes.

For example, the government gives $7,500 to every person who buys a Chevy Volt.

Why? The Chevy Volt is a crappy automobile that few people want to buy. GM sold only 302 Chevy Volts in August. Even the Edsel did better.

The federal government now gives away more than $250 billion a year in tax credits to companies and individuals.

This is a large reason why nearly half of Americans (and 25 of the largest 100 businesses) pay no federal income taxes.

We should end them all

We cannot afford these cash giveaways.

What this nation needs is not more people on welfare but more jobs. We now have as many people without jobs as we have working in manufacturing.

The way to get more jobs is to encourage greedy little people to develop quality products that people want that can be sold for windfall profits — that the government can then tax.

There is a pent-up demand for business expansion and there is a pent-up demand to purchase goods.

n What holds people back is Obamacare (if you have to grant 2,500 waivers to your friends, you really have a bad law) and the uncertainty of federal regulations and taxes.

In making his case for a nearly trillion-dollar stimulus in January 2009, President-elect Obama said that if we do nothing, unemployment would be stuck at 8 percent.

But he did something and we're up to 9.1 percent.

If we are to save the economy, Obama needs to reassure businesses and consumers that he will do nothing this time.

Surber may be reached at His blog is at


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