Blocking Shovel Ready Projects

A lot has been written recently about how the Obama administration is giving up on white working class voters in favor of a coalition of the elite plus very low income Americans.

Jobs: The president says that extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut will create more jobs than an oil pipeline from Canada. There are at least 20,000 members of the 99% who would disagree.

You can see why the economy is in trouble. Vice President Joe Biden, the stimulus sheriff, says he turned first to MF Global’s Jon Corzine for economic advice and President Obama thinks 20,000 people getting extended unemployment benefits does more for the economy than 20,000 people getting paychecks to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.

In the president’s view, extending the payroll tax cuts is more important than adding more people to the payrolls, unless they are making electric cars that catch fire or work for solar-panel makers that go bankrupt.

Any attempt to link the pipeline to a payroll tax cut extension will be vetoed, Obama said Wednesday as he stood next to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

President Obama has dropped any pretense that delaying the pipeline that would bring Canadian tar-sands oil to American refineries is really related to environmental safety concerns.

He knows it would create jobs, at least 20,000 directly and many more indirectly thanks to the multiplier effect he dismisses now but touted when he still believed in “shovel-ready” jobs that needed federal funding.

“However many jobs might be generated by a Keystone pipeline,” he said, “they’re going to be a lot fewer than the jobs that are created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance.”

He forget the stimulus effect of food stamps, something touted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

When it comes to payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits and food stamps, Democrats and liberals believe in the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

You get back much more than you spend. In their skewed view, joblessness can create jobs.

While adding $250 billion to the deficit, according to Alex Brill of the American Enterprise Institute, extending the payroll tax holiday would provide up to $1,500 per family.

But, Brill notes, researchers Matt Shapiro and Joel Slemrod found that among recipients of tax rebates in 2001, only 22% spent the rebate, while the rest saved it or used it to pay off debt. A similar study of 2008 tax rebate recipients found only 20% spent it.

Contrast this with the 20,000 paychecks that would be added if the $7 billion Keystone XL project is completed. These workers would pay federal taxes. States along the route are projected to receive an additional $5.2 billion in property tax revenue.

Doesn’t matter. The environmentalists don’t want it and Obama wants their votes. And he has written off the votes of the sorts that would be working those projects.

The really terrifying part of all of this silliness is that people who don’t want to live in a Liberal Fascist State have nowhere to go. Even Canada has more sense than the US under this clown.

- Aggie

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