During the campaign, Barack Obama said he wants to give employers a $3,000-per-person tax credit for new jobs created domestically. That was several months ago, when the economy looked far better than it did today. Might he be willing to offer a $5,000-per-job credit today? We’ll find out when once he gets into office and the Democrats start the business of “rescuing the economy” (thank you Congress!).
In the meantime, if you’re an employer, why hire anyone today? Who knows what untold goodies lie ahead for you if you wait a few months. Unless any benefit for new hires is applied retro-actively — and how would we know today whether it will be or not — it makes the most sense to can the “Help Wanted” ad, fill only the most vital positions and hold off.
Of course, the employee tax credit is just a small part of Obama’s plan to jobs millions and millions of jobs. Infrastructure spending is one big one, as well as, suspicously, new regulation.
Jacob Sullum at Reason notes in a piece on “Obama’s Job fetish”:
Obama also sees regulation as an engine of economic growth. He says requiring that “25 per cent of American electricity be derived from renewable sources by 2025…has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.” Even if true, that projection tells us nothing about the advisability of such a mandate. If the government required that 25 per cent of cars be replaced by horse-drawn carriages, that also would create certain jobs (in buggy whip production, for example), while destroying or forestalling others.
Sullum’s (and our’s) scepticism aside, we think the coming torrent of cash from the government will indeed “boost” the economy and perhaps the market, as it usually does. Of course, the comedown and the rebalancing from all the perverse incentives and mis-directed investment will be a real bitch.