Shock Therapy for Jobs
Pro-growth incentives will fix this dismal unemployment picture.


Larry Kudlow

Unemployment jumped to 9.8 percent in a very disappointing November jobs report. Nonfarm payrolls increased by only 39,000 and private jobs expanded by just 50,000. This is way below what the economy needs. Most discouraging, the smaller-business household employment number fell for the second time in a row, down 173,000 in November after a 330,000 drop in October. This is the nineteenth straight month with unemployment above 9 percent.

Now, after the severe financial panic of two years ago, it seems clear that too many tax and regulatory obstacles are blocking satisfactory job creation. And it also seems clear that a number of fresh new incentives will be necessary to spur the kind of prosperity that Americans desire. Following the deep recession, we need shock-therapy, pro-growth, tax-cut and deregulatory incentives.

Post-election, is the Washington war on business really over? Has the war on successful earners and investors truly ended? Is the class war against capital still being waged by the White House?

Will Obama bring senior business people into his inner circle? Are we going to get pro-growth tax reform for individuals and corporations? Are we truly going to limit government spending in order to reduce the onerous budget deficit? Is King Dollar currency stability on the table?

These are all key questions for the economy’s future and the murky unemployment outlook.

Perhaps the only saving grace from the poor jobs report is that it will spur a quick resolution to extend all the Bush tax cuts.

Democrats keep shilly-shallying with all these silly class-warfare amendments, like a $250,000 limit, or a $1 million limit. This has everything to do with left-wing redistributionist social policy and nothing to do with economic growth. The fact is, passing the bill to freeze the tax rates will help business confidence. Why don’t Democrats understand this?

But there’s more.

Large and small companies remain worried about the high regulatory and tax costs of Obamacare, which is the number-one jobs-stopper. How expensive will it be over the next five to ten years for the new hire? Companies also have to deal with a crazy quilt of new financial regulations that may block access to new bank loans when private credit demand kicks up.

But the Bush tax cuts will not do the job alone. Full-fledged flat-tax reform — of the sort embodied in the best of the Bowles-Simpson fiscal recommendations — will be necessary for full-fledged economic recovery.


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