11.03.2011 0

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Fort MonroeBy Rebekah Rast — Desperate times call for desperate measures.

And in these desperate times in America — plagued by high unemployment and a never-ending housing crisis — President Obama is seeking desperate measures.

His latest:  Calling the naming of a national monument a jobs creation act.

This new monument in Virginia, Fort Monroe, was once one of the nation’s largest Army posts.  During the 17th century it played a key role in the history of slavery and during the Civil War housed escaped slaves.

President Obama ensures Virginians that this monument, “will help create nearly 3,000 jobs,” in a White House press release.

Of course he left out the part where once the landscaping is up to par and the buildings restored on this national monument that many of those 3,000 jobs will cease to exist.  He also left out the small detail that these are government-created jobs.  They were not spawned from the private-sector market, so therefore your tax dollars will be used to create and sustain this land and many of the jobs needed to maintain it.

“All the government does is take money out of one pocket and put it in another,” says Don Todd, senior research director at Americans for Limited Government (ALG).  “The government does not create wealth, it just moves money around.”

A National Parks and Conservation Association study in 2006 claims that the park system generates at least four dollars in value to the public for every tax dollar invested in its annual budget, making a strong statement in support of the parks system.  Yet, in the very next sentence it states, “every year the parks suffer an operating shortfall of $800 million, in addition to a massive multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog.” With almost 400 national parks in America today already, how can we afford one more?

This doesn’t sound like much a jobs plan.

“I’m sure that if you took a survey right now, most Americans would agree that refurbishing a building is pretty low on their priority list and not what they have in mind as far as job creation,” Todd says.  “This isn’t an amusement park.  It won’t create sustainable jobs.”

Regardless, President Obama is holding strong to his idea that naming this national monument will indeed stimulate the local economy and create jobs.  The White House press release went on to say that this monument, “…isn’t just about preserving a national landmark—it’s about helping to create jobs and grow the local economy.  Steps like these won’t replace the bold action we need from Congress to get our economy moving and strengthen middle-class families, but they will make a difference.”

To this, a spokesman for U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said that the Obama administration is “officially out of ideas to create jobs.”

This so-called jobs creation act makes clear at least one thing.  “Obama is so desperate anything he does he’s going to say it will create jobs,” says ALG’s Todd.  “When it’s pretty clear the only job he’s worried about is his own.”

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) and NetRightDaily.com.  You can follow her on twitter at @RebekahRast.

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