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Another 'jobs' pitch: Blind on business

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Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009

The Obama administration insists that the government can still spend its way to better times with a new jobs package for which the House this week approved $154 billion.

But the more government spends, the more it crowds out private investment, business growth and job creation, as documented in a new Heritage Foundation analysis.

Despite Mr. Obama's $787 billion stimulus to "create or save jobs," unemployment has grown worse. The jobless rate has doubled since the onset of the recession two years ago. And private businesses remain skittish over what the president's plans are going to cost them.

"As long as entrepreneurs and investors have reduced opportunities to create wealth, unemployment will remain high," writes James Sherk, a Heritage fellow in labor policy.

Private businesses are not investing and expanding. They're retrenching .

As Mr. Sherk notes, business borrowing, for expansion and start-ups, has dropped off dramatically in recent quarters. Expansion becomes even less likely if big-ticket bills, such as government-run health care and cap-and-trade regulations, make adding new jobs more expensive.

What's needed is not more government tinkering but less spending and interference. That and the reassurance to businesses and entrepreneurs that they won't be penalized for growing their enterprises.

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