If only conceit could create jobs.

Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM & FM, Friday, January 29, 2010.

Two weeks ago, a friend of mine in Tyler, whom I’m going to call Bill, a good vendor to my company and a good businessman, called to tell me that he was shutting his doors. A lifetime’s work was wiped out and 20 employees hit the street. It was a dagger to my heart.

To spare this good man, I’m not going to tell you who he is nor am I going to tell you what line of business he was in. Suffice to say, his company sold goods and services to business owners like me.

As recently as 2007, he was expanding. He was investing in what he believed to be a strong local economy, a core of quality employees and some strategic opportunities to buy expanded capacity on favorable terms.

In other words, he was a small business owner — the very heart of American success.

That’s why this portion of President Obama’s State of the Union address on Wednesday night was so galling.

“But I realize that for every success story, there are other stories, of men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from; who send out resumes week after week and hear nothing in response.  That is why jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that’s why I’m calling for a new jobs bill tonight. “

A jobs bill.  Now why didn’t I think of that? All we need is an enlightened act from the 535 men and women of the Congress and the benediction thereon by our messianic president and all will be well. How reassuring.

Mr. President, the country began shedding jobs in April 2008 and has lost millions of jobs in the year since you took office. If a “jobs bill” will do the trick, why have you waited until now? If the federal government can truly help those people who are “waking up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from,” why are you just now proposing a jobs bill?

The 20 employees who once worked for my friend Bill can’t wait.

In fairness, the president went on to say that he would propose elimination of some capital gains taxes for small businesses. Well if that’s a good idea, and it is, what have you been waiting for Mr. President?

But he also went down the list of tired Democrat clichés about investing in clean energy jobs and giving rebates to homeowners who make their homes more green and building high-speed rail systems and taxing companies that outsource work overseas.

Mr. President, borrowing money from the Chinese in order to create trains that will lose money every day they are operated won’t help Bill or his 20 former employees.

Appropriating (read: borrowing) money to dig holes so that workers can be hired to fill them is not job creation.

What galls me the most, though, is the conceit. The very idea that Congress and the president – 536 privileged but largely clueless parasites – constitute the engine of job creation in America is preposterous. A country of 310 million awaits the munificence of 536 politicians? Somebody please give me a word better than preposterous.

Mr. President, forget your jobs bill. If you want to help my friend Bill, instead of promising to do something, promise instead not to do anything. Trace any of our problems, from the housing meltdown to dysfunctional schools to the dissolution of nuclear families and in almost all cases, you’ll find at the root an overweening government program proposed by somebody with a mindset like yours.

As for jobs, if you want to give Bill and me and the few million other business owners who actually make the decisions and spend the money to hire employees the confidence to do so, raise your right hand and say, “I promise to enact as few laws as possible and none that are not related to defending the peace, supporting the currency or acting as impartial referee in the conduct of commerce.”

In other words, just get out of the way and let the American miracle unfold.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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3 Responses

  1. Mike Rios says:

    I have lived in East Texas for 25 years. I moved here in the early ’80’s during the big oil bust. I came here to go to college, and at that time, finding a decent paying job was nearly impossible.
    But, I stuck it out. My wife and I raised 4 kids, putting them through private school and living on two and three part time jobs at a time to eat. It was hard to put it lightly.
    I have always believed that I was to make it on my own. Thus, I wouldn’t take state or Federal aid to raise the kids or eat or any other thing. If I couldn’t do on my own it didn’t get done.

    After the kids graduated and went off to college and marriage I was finally able to get a decent job that gave us a livable wage. This was in 2005, amazingly while Bush was President and the economy that Obama cries about inheriting was actually allowing me to get a part of the American dream.

    In comes the Pied Piper, with his song of “Change.” What astounded me the most was that the American public did not see through Obama’s blatant falsehoods and ran after him like Germany swooned over Adolf.

    Any one in business saw what was coming. Needless to say, the management in our company felt the uneasiness among the rank and file. In response to that, one of the company bigwigs came down and promised us that our jobs were secure, this was a month after the election of Obama. I believed them.

    I lost my job in Dec. because of the wonderful Obama economy. In my simple, down to earth math, while Bush was President, my job was secure and business was booming. When Obama became President, business got bad and now I’m 54 years old without a job and no hope of any kind of future. I just wish that Obama had inherited Bush’s economy, I’d still have a career.

    As you said, “just get out of the way and let the American miracle unfold.” If not, this nation is doomed.

  2. Lee Howell says:

    AMEN !! not only does the Federal Government need to get out of the way, we need a wall of Seperation of Government and the Economy! Do not commit Fraud, Do not break your Agreements(contracts), Do not encroach upon other people or their Property, are the Regulations I support! As long as your business does not violate one of the laws above, then leave our Peaceful, Honest, and Voluntary entrepeuners alone PLEASE !!!

  3. Tom King says:

    When the president of the U.S. points to a man they gave 92 million dollars to as an example of how the project is working because he created 52 jobs.

    That’s almost 1.8 million dollars per JOB!

    Man! Obama could just give me the 92 million and I could put it in the bank for me and 51 other people and we could live comfortably for the rest of our lives on the interest alone.

    I think the problem is that the folks in Washington have begun leaving off the zeroes in their heads whenever they talk about millions of dollars. They talk about 92 million the way I talk about 92 hundred or, lately, about 92 dollars!

    More frightening than that, they’ve started to leave off more and more zeroes in their beady little brains, tossing around words like billion and trillion like it was all just monopoly money without any real concept of how much those numbers represent.

    Time to install a big flush lever on the side of the capitol and the White House. We could have a silent auction for the right to pull the handle and probably cut in half the national debt. I know I’d bid on the privilege, just to say I did….

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