Guest commentary: We need fewer government jobs, more U.S.-produced products

The just-proposed White House budget cuts NASA and defense programs (which fund important private-sector jobs) while increasing funds for government bureaucracies/employees (jobs funded by taxes from private-sector workers).

Sadly, the public sector now provides significantly higher compensation and benefits than the private sector. Soon a new “jobs” bill will fund more government “make-work” instead of much-needed private-sector stimulation. And we see threats of additional government jobs with the bizarre State of the Union proposal to fund college education for those choosing government over private-sector careers.

Then when the “Bush tax cuts” expire for our most productive workers, we’ll see increased barriers to vital free-enterprise investments — an unconscionable move in today’s troubled economy.

Every American citizen must understand: 1. the government has no money unless it taxes some wealth-producing enterprise; 2. every government job puts increased pressure on private-sector taxpayers to pay for such employment; 3. using taxpayer money for more government bureaucrats and/or additional entitlements merely redistributes wealth without increasing the tax base; 4. we cannot possibly tax, spend, borrow or “print” our way back to prosperity; 5. the only path to new wealth creation and new tax revenues rests in private-sector growth.

Insanity is repeating the same mistake. A second government-only stimulus masquerading as a “jobs” bill is insane!

We must stimulate the private sector rather than bigger government! We must produce more consumer products at home! We must assign energy-independence challenges to innovative, profitable companies!

Instead of accepting Economics 101, our government seems consumed with replacing portions of the private sector with bigger government. Across the planet and throughout history, this has always resulted in catastrophe. Socialism leads to sagging productivity, death to innovation, increased capital flight, unsustainable debt, a shrinking currency and tragedy for future generations.

It’s possible that the White House advisers don’t grasp this. Only 8 percent of the White House team bring any private sector experience. The previous lowest was 57 percent during the Clinton administration.

We have a 70 percent consumer economy. Today’s consumers have little money and even less confidence in spending — due to record-high unemployment and underemployment. Stagnation in small-business investments and hiring has led to home construction declines and increasing mortgage foreclosures. There’s great fear of expanded government intervention; a real “bummer” for entrepreneurs.

Then there’s an almost phantom reason: capital flight to nations with lower business taxes, fewer regulations, fewer union restrictions, lower litigation risks and an increasing job shift overseas, where U.S. companies can produce goods more competitively.

But instead of enabling the private sector with business-friendly policies, political progressives attribute our problems to “evil profits.” They demonize 3.3 percent health-insurance profits (ranking 86th amongst U.S. industries) as “gouging” Americans. They label 8.1 percent oil company profits (average for Fortune 500 companies) as immoral. They stereotype all business executives as greedy.

They try to control the money supply, health insurance, doctors’ fees, corporate salaries, the automobile industry and energy decisions.

The U.S. Constitution prohibits all of this!

Our politicians are confirming Ronald Reagan’s admonition: “Government is not the solution; government is the problem.”

Our politicians must terminate attempts to control the entire U.S. economy. Instead, they must once again unleash America’s entrepreneurial spirit — with new incentives for private-sector investment and job creation.

Why not lower all corporate tax rates? How about reducing capital gains tax rates to zero? Why not leave estate taxes alone? These steps would encourage innovation, enable new business start-ups, open up equity markets, allow wealth transfer to younger generations and create millions of new jobs.

Instead of spending $100 billion of our money on government jobs, why not forgo $100 billion in business taxes, enabling U.S. corporations to become more competitive versus foreign entities. This would shrink U.S. capital flight into nations such as Ireland with a 12 percent business tax rate (ours is 38 percent). A $100 billion private equity injection today would have a 15-times multiplier effect, shortly creating $1.5 trillion of economic growth and then $100 billion in new tax revenues — every year!

Where might we find $100 billion? Well, $100 billion represents only 3 percent of the just-proposed federal budget (which adds $1.3 trillion to our deficit). Let’s freeze discretionary spending now — instead of the bogus State of the Union limited freeze that would wait another year and then reduce the budget by only 0.8 percent. Let’s apply TARP refunds somehow toward private-sector recovery. Let’s find another $18 billion by eliminating typical annual earmarks, as has been repeatedly promised.

In an election year launched with the Massachusetts Miracle, lots of incumbents just might support this approach.

Tymann is retired as president of Westinghouse International, where he led business development in 75 nations. Today he is chairman of Naples-based First Florida Biofuels LLC. In the 1990s he chaired the Middle East-U.S. Presidents’ Council (appointed by President Bill Clinton and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak), meeting regularly with Arab and Israeli leaders and speaking at various world economic forums. He is a regular contributor to the Daily News, a commentator on Naples WGUF Talk Radio and a frequent guest lecturer in Southwest Florida.

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