Before Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination in 2008, Joe Biden was widely acknowledged as the Gaffemaster of his party. And if one defines a gaffe as the accidental disclosure of an embarrassing political truth, then the Vice President managed to maintain his reputation this weekend. When addressing a fundraiser for embattled incumbent Senator Russ Feingold in Milwaukee, Biden told an audience to get used to high unemployment, because the jobs lost in the recession aren’t coming back:
Vice President Joe Biden gave a stark assessment of the economy today, telling an audience of supporters, “there’s no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession.”
Appearing at a fundraiser with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) in Milwaukee, the vice president remarked that by the time he and President Obama took office in 2008, the gross domestic product had shrunk and hundreds of thousands of jobs had been lost.
“We inherited a godawful mess,” he said, adding there was “no way to regenerate $3 trillion that was lost. Not misplaced, lost.”
That’s certainly true — as long as we follow the policies Democrats insist in putting in place. Their high spending and expansion of regulation has capital sitting on the sidelines, or worse, fleeing for other jurisdictions. As government soaks up more capital, both present and future, less of it gets put to work in creating new and expanded business opportunities. Government spending, as Porkulus has proven, does not create permanent jobs, and only saves the jobs of bureaucrats for a temporary period.
What could work? We could go back to the policies that created wealth, starting at the beginning of the 25-year boom that preceded the Great Recession. Instead of hiking taxes, we could cut them, especially those that discourage risk-taking at high levels, like capital-gains taxes. Instead of having government intervene in markets to conduct populist social engineering — which is what caused the Great Recession in the first place — government could return to its rightful role as a purely regulatory agency. Instead of burdening American firms in the global market with the highest tax rates and threats to tax foreign income, which would put American firms at a tremendous competitive disadvantage in international markets, we could slim down and streamline the tax burden to enhance competitiveness. Finally, instead of looking for ways to make energy more expensive and therefore make a recovery less likely, we could unleash American ingenuity in getting our own energy resources into play and create hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs while keeping more of our money here at home.
The US could certainly get those jobs back. Biden is right when he admits that the Obama administration hasn’t got the first clue as to how to do it. Biden and Obama have combined to give Americans the second Malaise Administration.