The “Washington’s attack on job creators” talking point in Abel Maldonado’s op-ed in the Aug. 17 issue of the Business Times is patently wrong on several levels. It’s a disservice to voters to use it.
By the repeated and well-coordinated use of this phrase, Republicans have tried to portray large corporations and wealthy individuals as “job creators.” Like other myths, they utilize the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater’s time-tested method of repeating a lie often enough that people actually believe it’s true.
But, to the facts, the middle class actually spends money in the economy on goods and services, thus generating demand that companies then spend money on employees and capital goods to fulfill. Large corporations are literally sitting on trillions of dollars available to invest but demand in the marketplace is lacking.
By blind unthinking and, more importantly, uncompromising adherence to a “pledge,” 279 Republicans have signed with Grover Norquist, there is a vacuum in Washington of an ability or willingness to compromise. Even a modicum of working together is necessary in a legislative environment where virtually every bill has riders or clauses that fund it. So, by blindly following an 18-year-old pledge that should have been abrogated by at least a war and at best a war and an economic collapse, the American public is denied functional representation in Congress by the Republicans.
If “Washington” has waged a war on job creators, why isn’t Washington winning? As Warren Buffett famously said, “There is a class war and my side is winning.” While Republicans may be leading the fight against the best interests of America, the Democrats seem only too willing to follow suit. I would strongly recommend the book, “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class.” It addresses the sins of both parties at the altar of big-money interests (while Republicans are famous for pushing the repeal of Glass-Steagall and turning our banks into casinos where the only winner is the house, it was President Clinton who signed it into law and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin who supported it).
Similarly, while former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman fanned the flames of an “adverse business climate” in the state, eBay prospered under the huge tax advantages offered to large businesses in California at the expense of small businesses who had to bear the tax burden given away to the large corporate donors. And who was Lt. Governor at the time?
Although never addressing who “Washington” is or any details on who the “job creators” are, Maldonado’s letter seems focused on opportunity and jobs. Again, he cites “Washington,” believing that people don’t build their own companies and that private enterprise creates jobs, without noting who “Washington” is nor how private enterprise creates jobs in the absence of demand.
If Maldonado is elected to Congress, if he has not already he will be expected to sign the pledge and will become a card-carrying member of the Washington obstructionists he decries. Keep in mind that 81 of the 92 of recent new Republican members of Congress have signed the pledge.
— Stephen Wolfe
Small business consultant