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Busting GOP myths

guest commentary by Michael Cook, a political writer for Talk Business (Cook can be reached at michael@cooksoutlook.com)

Editor's note: Opinions, commentary and other essays posted in this space are wholly the view of the author(s). They may not represent the opinion of the owners of The City Wire.

“Government Doesn’t Create Jobs”

“Arkansas is not a good jobs magnet.”

The above phrases are among the top GOP mythologies parroted often by Republicans, with the first phrase even recited by Mitt Romney in the second presidential debate last fall. The second phrase is more often said by Arkansas Republicans in their desire to cut income taxes with the mistaken belief that Arkansas’ tax rates are keeping companies from locating to our state.

The Republican mythology of “government doesn’t create jobs” is particularly jarring since it’s simply not true. Teachers, police officers, soldiers, fire-fighters are jobs funded by government spending and held by actual people, not mythological creatures.

When spouting the “government doesn’t create jobs” myth, Republicans conveniently overlook the roughly $695 billion a year in military spending that has a significant impact on the U.S. economy.

We feel that economic impact of government job creation here in Arkansas. The Jacksonville Air Force Base is one perfect example and if the base were to close it would economically cripple, if not destroy Jacksonville.

Another example is Belleville Shoe Manufacturing Company, the largest manufacturer of military boots, which has factories in Forrest City and DeWitt. This company would likely not exist if it were not for government spending. Hundreds of Arkansans wouldn’t have jobs without the business.

We could cover dozens of other examples of government creating jobs: new roads, government buildings, NASA, etc.

But to further dispel the top GOP myth one need only look to the Arkansas General Assembly. Numerous Republican state legislators do not have a job, other than being a full-time legislator and other Republican state legislators receive tens of thousands of dollars per year in direct government funds to run their businesses. Government creates jobs for Arkansas Republicans.

The second myth espoused by Arkansas Republicans is that Arkansas is not a good jobs magnet and they believe income and corporate taxes must be cut to attract new companies to our state. Many Arkansas Republicans believe our tax rate is keeping companies from locating here, even though professional economic developers say that is not the case.

Last week, both GOP myths were busted wide-open.

The announcement last week of two companies moving their operations to Arkansas proved that government does create jobs and our state is already a good jobs magnet.
First, the superproject was made possible by government – meaning government is creating jobs.

Last week, Big River Steel announced a $1.1 billion new steel mill in Mississippi County, which would employ 525 people full-time and another 2,000 people to build the mill. The project is coming to Arkansas because our state is putting up $125 million in government funds to help cover start-up costs.

These new jobs would likely not exist unless government stepped in to help. A perfect example of government creating jobs. The State Legislature must first approve the funds and, while legislators will ask relevant questions and raise valid concerns on this project, there is almost no way the funds will not be approved. No one wants to be seen as standing in the way of job creation – even if it is by government.

The other announcement last week was the news that Internet marketer and technology firm Inuvo Inc. is moving its corporate headquarters from New York to Conway and adding 50 new jobs over the next four years.

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Arkansas is already a good jobs magnet and the news of Inuvo’s headquarters relocation is a strong piece of evidence in dispelling a GOP myth.

With these companies moving to Arkansas, hopefully Republicans will stop spreading their myths and start believing that government does create jobs and our state is already a jobs magnet.

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Comments

GOP myths

Our government is funded by our tax dollars. So we, american workers, are the ones that "create" jobs. Not government. I think it's great that the state is getting the steel mill. It has everything to do with location on the Mississippi and nothing to do with corporate tax rates. Can you really debunk a myth when one corporation comes to town and not mention all the corporations that have left or passed on us?

Government does not create jobs.

A basic fact our liberal friends cannot seem to understand is the govt has no money, other than what it takes from it's citizens. Using a boot factory as an example of government creating jobs is short-sighted at best, an outright lie at worst. The money is simply redistributed from taxes to boot-makers. The govt does not create these jobs, it simply moves money around. It is like a village taking in each others laundry. Government does nothing well, not social security, medicaid, medicare, transportation, education, border security, and the list goes on and on. It may make payroll by taxing others, but it does not create jobs.

agree with cecil

you are 100% right when you say "government does not create jobs" but local government can be like a world class chef that can provide the recipe and friendly business environment for the private sector to be attracted to a community that offers the path and assistance for an uncomplicated business expansion of its goods and services. arrogant and misguided city leaders along with unnecessary regulations laced with complicated policies can drive the private sector job creators away to other communities that reflect a more business friendly attitude and have comprehensive plans in place to assist business in expansion by adding the perfect ingredients for the private sector to create jobs. we need that great chef to manage the kitchen of job creation by reaching out to the business community to get it done!
you are 100% right when you say "government does not create jobs" but local government can be like a world class chef that can provide the recipe and friendly business environment for the private sector to be attracted to a community that offers the path and assistance for an uncomplicated business expansion of its goods and services. arrogant and misguided city leaders along with unnecessary regulations laced with complicated policies can drive the private sector job creators away to other communities that reflect a more business friendly attitude and have comprehensive plans in place to assist business in expansion by adding the perfect ingredients for the ...>> Read the entire comment.

Corporate Serfdom

So you are saying that corporations are creating more jobs with corporate money than the government?

Todays free lesson on determining writer bias..

In reference to the GOP the first buzzword is MYTHOLOGY. Depending on the readers perspective they are now way up in the clouds with the thunder or are being tempted by beautiful women singing and likely to fall for it even though it is a really bad idea. Next we are looking for crackers because of the next buzzword PARROTED. Pretty boy! Ever wonder why Warsaw had PACTS while we OTOH had TREATIES? Which one does the devil do? BUSTED WIDE OPEN Like a gooey vegetable in the hot sun? Might as well read it anyway I guess. Maybe someday the writer with figure out where the money came from.