Early Acts Show Republicans Can’t Create Jobs

Republicans officially take over House leadership today after campaigns promising job creation and a check on the expanding reach of the federal government.  In states like Ohio and Wisconsin, new Governors took office after campaigning on these populist coattails and have provided an early peek into just how successful the Republican platform will be at creating jobs. The early indicators suggest the platform is a colossal failure.

On the campaign trail now-Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) promised to help the private sector create jobs by helping “meet the needs of businesses to overcome governmental snafus.”  His first order of business to fulfill that campaign pledge was to kill Ohio’s high-speed rail project.  The project was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and according to Kasich “one of the dumbest ideas” he’s ever heard.

Now that the project is dead, so are many private-sector economic development plans that were hoping and planning on the project moving forward.  And along with the death of those development plans is the loss of badly-needed jobs for Ohio.

The decision is so unpopular, particularly in the private sector, that the president and chief executive officer of the Columbus-based US Railcar Co. has called it “mind-boggling.”  Had the project moved forward, then, at a minimum, one bit of ancillary development would have led to the creation of 200 full-time permanent new jobs.  Another Cleveland developer, Forest City Enterprises, was planning projects that would create $180 million of taxable property.  The city of Dayton anticipated around $250 million worth of downtown development around the rail station.

Many have rightly compared the high speed passenger lines to the creation of the interstate highway program from the 1960s.  What states like Ohio and Wisconsin have essentially done is to opt-out of this expansion, and in doing so, turned down approximately $400 to $800 million in free money from the federal government to create the lines.

So, here’s what we can expect from Republican leadership–job killing in the private sector and efforts at keeping our nations infrastructure in near collapse.  At what point will voters buyers-remorse set in?  Lets hope soon, for all our sakes.

photo courtesy of LWY via Flickr


Michael Cunningham

"Worse, the country's economy is in such a bad state, that any backsliding will have hurt us badly by 2012, when we should have been making progress during Obama's time. "

Only he hasn't been all that concerned with the economy.
Considering the title of this thread what happened to all that talk about giving the poor man a chance! Y'all gave the new kids in Congress less time than was already granted to BHO.
What happened to "fairness"?

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle7 years ago

Gov. Kasich is one stupid dude, in ending jobs for his state AND the dream of high-speed rail. Way to go, schmuck! And don't let me leave out the voters of Ohio -- way to go!!

I sure hope that by 2012 the voters of the U.S. will have realized their folly. You can't elect Repubs and expect forward progress. Worse, the country's economy is in such a bad state, that any backsliding will have hurt us badly by 2012, when we should have been making progress during Obama's time.

I'm not a mensa, but it's tough living among stupid people.

Michael Cunningham

"There are times and instances when the Federal Government can and must do things beyond the power of any one state or one corporate entity."
Makes sense!

"Hi Speed rail is one such instance."
Here I think I may have to disagree.

"The infrastructure must be INTERstate as opposed to being confined to any ONE state."
True! But there are significant problems.

"interstate system"
It took 35 years plus $425 billion.

"The same methods would have been used to build the high speed rail system, providing millions of dollars and jobs to each section of the country as the build out took place."
Jobs that disappear as soon as the project is complete! And what will we get. Estimates are that a true national HSR would cost 1/2 trillion $ @ some $82 mill a mile. That means for an expense 18% higher than the interstate we get 13% of the coverage of the interstate! Plus operations and Maintenance!

"A high speed rail system can move freight across the United States at 10% of the cost of trucking. That same system would reduce the necessity of building out more Interstate Highway systems by reducing the truck traffic necessary to move that freight.
I, for one, would be very happy to drive up I-75 with 90% of the trucks removed."
Actually you would see no reduction in truck traffic. Merely a redistribution of operations. Material still needs to get to & from trains. Add to that HSR is not appropriate for freight operations due to weight issues!

Michael Cunningham

"Now it is again an opportunity to learn that looking closely at unemployment until your eyes cross does not produce jobs, but it does produce the comment “ Well, of course I could create jobs if I had a magic wand, but I don’t”.Now Americans get to see how many jobs will be created by “the investment class”, the hard working folks that will use their tax cut renewal to create as many jobs as they did from the original tax cut. Zero."

Unfortunately, your position does not match the facts. During the Bush years, under that "Zero" effect tax cut there were between 6.9 & 7.6 million jobs created with a net gain of 3.6 - 4.9 million. How do Obama's figures compare? Since unemployment '01 - '09 ran around 4 - 5% and Obama is averaging 9% I'd say not so good.

But the bigger issue is that you somehow thing that the Government can create jobs. They can't! Yeah, I'm sure you could say something about paying somebody to do something, but Government jobs are not the jobs that count. Government jobs do not produce revenue they consume it. For the market to create jobs they need a stable future, Obama is not providing that!

Doug D.
Doug D7 years ago

@Rubywahini --what is proving to be unconstitutional about ACA? Providing health care to multinational megabanks is what is unconstitutional! We need to stop saving these criminal businesses and subsidizing them. We should have let these criminal institutions fail! Sounds to me that you, like these corporations worship the Almighty Dollar, and do not human or any other life. Unions are what helped make this country great. We are now living in glorified slavery as workers have little to no rights. All our laws appear to be set up to protect companies, not employees.

Helen Douglas
Helen D7 years ago

As an Ohioan who did NOT vote for Kasich, I am outraged that he has pulled the plug on the high speed rail project!
Time magazine has an interesting article this week explaining that the unemployment problem is essentially caused by technological innovations that enable companies to produce more with fewer workers, and global market forces that result in lower paid workers in foreign countries getting the manufacturing jobs American companies have outsourced. This seems true for me, and I believe that all the bipartisan arguing and posturing will not change the situation!

Brian M.
Brian M7 years ago

Anyone that believes that only the private sector, as opposed governement, can create jobs should do a bit of studying up on history.

Does anyone remember the WPA projects, financed by the government, that put thousands of people back to work on public works projects following the Great Depression?

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley7 years ago

They can't create jobs? There's a surprise.

William Y.
William Y7 years ago

Rubywahini B. says "The republicans are coming in on damage control after two years of our inexperienced, experimental unqualified President."

After 8 years of a more unqualified President. Who do you think got us into this mess in the first place?

Ernie Miller
william Miller7 years ago

the only people who can creat jobs are the consumers. when we find a product that fits out needs we can afford to buy. SO if you spend you money where you want investment than that is where the jobs will be created. this is where ecology comes in spend your money wisely