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Riding a Bus to Save One Job

President Obama just concluded his three-day, three-state campaign bus tour across battleground states where he desperately needs to win re-election.  While White House Communication Director Dan Pfeiffer called it a "rural economic bus tour," a more accurate name would be the “One Job Saved or Created Tour.” 

Our unpopular president, who faces an all-time low approval rating of 39 percent, came off the road show looking particularly desperate to save his own job regardless of the cost to overburdened taxpayers.  

Americans everywhere are struggling to make ends meet while the Spender In Chief is burning our hard-earned cash promoting the same failed economic policies. 

A Secret Service Spokesman confirms that just two of the Obama campaign buses cost taxpayers $1.1 million each, which means that at least $2.2 million of your money was spent to save or create just one job.  As ridiculous as this price tag seems, it is emblematic of the Obama administration’s consistent track record of Keynesian fiscal malfeasance. 

A report recently released by the president’s Council of Economic Advisers estimates that the Obama “stimulus” saved or created between 2.4 million and 3.6 million jobs by the end of March 2011. The Obama administration is infamous for its fuzzy math but let’s just assume these numbers are correct.  “Shovel ready” spending equaled $666 billion by this time.  If we divide this spending by the number of jobs supposedly created or saved, we find that the “stimulus” has cost taxpayers $278,000 per job. 

Lucky you: you will never find one of these $278,000 per year salaries.  If you did, you would be viciously demagogued by the Obama administration as “rich,” and taxed of your earnings to pay for more government-funded job “stimulus.”

Of course the president’s bus tour wasn’t without its roadblocks. At a stop in Iowa, local Tea Party leader Ryan Rhodes bravely called President Obama out on Vice President Biden’s latest gaffe where he reportedly labeled Tea Party Americans “terrorists.”  

Since when was it acceptable to call decent men and women “terrorists” simply for having the audacity to demand that our government stop spending money it does not have?  

Another man asked why the president is letting big companies and labor unions opt out of ObamaCare.  President Obama dodged both questions, proving once again that he is unwilling to listen to anyone who just might have a different, better idea.

Instead, Obama announced his latest “new” jobs plan, which amounts to more “stimulus” spending and tax increases.  These tired policies have been repeatedly tried and they fail miserably every time. The federal government has attempted at least sixteen kinds of economic “stimulus” over the past decade.

Why should Americans believe what the president has to say about jobs anyway? We have lost 2.5 million jobs since Obama became president. Obama’s “stimulus” package which passed in February 2009 has failed by its own measure of keeping the unemployment rate below 8 percent. The official unemployment rate has soared from 7.6 percent in January 2009 to 9.1 percent in July 2011.

Politicians, of course, do not create jobs.  Entrepreneurs are the ones doing the hiring.  Lawmakers, on their best behavior, merely create a friendly environment for job creation by getting out of the way.  Otherwise, their solutions are destructive. From ObamaCare to the Environmental Protection Agency’s unilateral implementation of job-killing limits on the production of American energy, to the Dodd-Frank “Too Big To Fail” law, the president has created an environment that punishes new investment, entrepreneurship and job creation. 

Candidate Obama promised to change course but his presidential bus tour is accelerating down the same path to fiscal ruin. 

Despite all evidence to the contrary, especially in the past three years, the president believes that government can spend your money better than you would.  But politicians have a terrible track record of redistributing money in any efficient manner.  In truth, government officials will always lack both the knowledge and the incentive to be as efficient as free people making choices and allocating their hard-earned money among competing ends. That’s why each “saved or created” job costs $278,000. 

Rather than using taxpayer dollars to “stimulate” the economy, why don’t we try to “stimulate” freedom in America for a change?  Taxpayers should be free to keep more of their money, which would stimulate the economy by saving, investing, or purchasing goods and services that they personally value.  All individuals get to decide on what to buy or produce or create instead of would-be central planners in Washington.  

Judging from his record, President Obama probably wouldn’t embrace this type of real stimulus package. But by failing to do so, he may well succeed in creating one new job for a qualified Republican in November 2012.

Matt Kibbe is the president and CEO of FreedomWorks and co-author of "Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto."

Matt Kibbe is the president of FreedomWorks and author of the "Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government's Stranglehold on America" (William Morrow 2012) Follow him on Twitter at @MKibbe.