Businesses are the job creators, not the Federal government

by Gary Coe

I would like to address the three points made in the Sunday Oregonian editorial by Eric Schuck, professor of Economics at Linfield College.

Dr. Schuck’s first claim is that businesses are not job creators, and that the jobs are just a “cost of production”. He then goes on to claim that creating jobs is the Federal government’s task. Two of my businesses have been severely damaged by the recession. In many ways it might make the most economic sense to close them. However those jobs provide for 25 families. I have a responsibility to cut the costs and somehow stay afloat during this longer than usual recession, and keep those valuable people employed. Neither business pays me one cent currently. However because of Measure 67, my annual fee to the Secretary of State has doubled.

It is not the Federal government’s task to create jobs. What state government and the Federal government need to do is to get out of the way. The continually growing piles of regulation are, in fact, strangling business. In the Feb 2012 legislative session, there were 7 jobs bills introduced by the House Republicans, designed to create 50,000 jobs over the next 5 years. Only one of those bills passed. I am certain some of those bills will resurface in the 2013 session, and we must make sure that we have the right mix of Senators and Representatives to get those bills passed.

Dr. Schuck goes on to claim that when state revenues fall, states “have no choice but to slash employment”, referring to public sector jobs. But in fact total state employees on our payroll is up, partially from using Federal stimulus money, and partially new programs such as the Education Investment Board and the new Oregon Education Czar. Dr. Schuck believes the answer is to “raise taxes on a local level”. I believe that would result in less buying power for working families, further damaging the economy.

Finally, Dr. Schuck’s third claim is that since the federal government is only paying 1.5% on their (actually our) debt, and that inflation is running 2%, that “the real interest rate is less than zero”. Dr. Schuck may know more about water resource management than economics, because when you are paying out interest expense every month, that is cash that a government does not have to provide services, like paying for education.

Gary Coe, candidate for State Senate District 14