Jobs logjam

To the editor:

I suggest the food fight between Democrats and Republicans over job creation is in fact a strawman struggle being waged to avoid coming to grips with the main issue creating the logjam.

Both sides want to get credit for creating jobs. But the Republicans block all proposals from Democrat Obama or the Democratic-majority Senate, not because they wouldn’t create jobs — they would — but because those jobs programs would be paid for at least in part by raising taxes on the top 2 percent of the population. Of course, the Democrats reciprocate, blocking all jobs proposals from the Republican-majority House, not because they wouldn’t create jobs — they would or at least might — but because they refuse to raise taxes on the aforesaid 2 percent. Thus the real issue is not jobs per se, but rather whether to increase taxes on the super-rich, or not. All the rest is camouflage.

Instead of avoiding the problem, why not face it squarely by introducing a tax reform bill whose only function would be to raise taxes on the 2 percent, without raising tax rates on anyone? The extra revenue would come from closing some of the zillion exclusions, exemptions, deferments, write-downs and other examples of the tax lawyer’s art now comprising the bulk of the entire IRS code. If the Democrats win on the 2 percent issue, it would open the way to create jobs while continuing to support funding for other important functions. And if the Republicans win, it would open the way to create jobs by cutting other spending. True, this would cancel out some of the economic benefit of the new jobs created, but it would also have the upside of strengthening the sorry fiscal position of the country. Either way, the logjam would be broken and jobs created.