03.26.2012 0

Rising veteran unemployment just a symptom of the Obama economy

By Rebecca DiFede — On Tuesday, the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate for U.S. veterans who’ve served during the wars in the Middle East increased last year to 12.1 percent, up from 11.5 percent in 2010.

President Obama has pledged to bring home from Afghanistan 123,900 troops by fiscal year 2017, and this will likely only exacerbate the problem as these brave men and women return home to a disheveled economy.

Over the past four years, Obama has had a reputation for throwing money at problems to try and make them go away, rather than analyzing them and figuring out a solution. That, apparently, is too much to ask from our illustrious president.

Last year, in an attempt to make up for his lack of competence, Obama instituted a “National Day of Honor” to commemorate the return of U.S. forces from Iraq and passed legislation giving tax incentives to employers in order to get them to hire more veterans.

Employers can receive up to $5,600 in tax credits for hiring a veteran, and up to $9,600 if that veteran is disabled. It must say something really terrible about the state of our economy if there has to be an incentive to coax businesses to hire more members of the armed services.

In addition, Obama is requesting $1 billion dollars over five years to assist in funding a Veteran Job Corps, which will work to hire more veterans and reduce their unemployment rate.

And while this seems like a proactive approach, and we should do more as a nation to help those who have fought for their country, this is simply a band-aid for a gaping wound in the entire economy.

Let us look back and remember whose fault it is that we’re in this mess in the first place. It’s certainly not the fault of our veterans, and they have already fought for the freedom of this nation, only to come home without the ability to take care of their families.

The blame for this massive and tragic injustice towards our men and women in arms (as well as non-veterans, whose unemployment rate is soaring at 8.7 percent) rests squarely on the shoulders of the Obama Administration, and their inability to turn the economy around with mountains of spending.

Instead of using a supply-side approach that would have reduced the cost of doing business in America — which incentivizes job creation — Obama has simply spent, borrowed, and printed trillions of dollars.

He could have reduced the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, rolled back the harsh regulatory environment in health care, energy and the environment, and labor, made it easier to raise capital, and strengthened the dollar to keep inflation at bay.

But now, when the veteran unemployment rate is climbing higher and higher by the day, he has come to save the day once again with a nice big check. A better solution would be to get off the “stimulus” spending kick, and to instead address the high costs associated with doing business and improve overall economic conditions.

Rebecca DiFede is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government.

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