In lieu of their embarrassing defeat by Scott Brown in Massachusetts, Democrats have begun a slow retreat from their radical liberal agenda. Desperately seeking to reconnect with voters, President Obama has shifted his focus from nationalizing healthcare to “creating jobs,” so long as creating those jobs doesn’t require reducing the deficit, lowering taxes, eliminating regulations or otherwise promoting the free market, the only system that can truly foster economic growth. Obama believes that by refocusing on economic issues he can regain the support of disenchanted voters, but when it comes to domestic policy, he has already lost the public’s trust. His reckless government spending failed to lower unemployment and burdened future, unborn generations with incalculable debt. Just as his policies have done nothing to grow the productive sectors of our economy, his latest attempt to create jobs will only further engorge a massive central government.

Obama’s track record on economic recovery is dismal at best. He claims that his $700 billion stimulus “saved or created” around 640,000 jobs, but if that number is accurate, it would mean the government spent approximately $160,000 on every new job. Such an extraordinary waste of money would have never occurred had those jobs been created by private businesses. Furthermore, there is no possible way for the Obama administration to measure how many jobs were “saved” by government stimulus. As the New York Times reported, Obama’s job numbers are “based on macroeconomic estimates, not an actual counting of jobs.” The alleged 640,000 “saved or created” jobs is pure fiction, a number meant to conceal just how many billions of dollars have been wasted on failed government stimulus projects.

In addition to being an enormous loss for the American taxpayer, the president’s spending projects are counterintuitive to the goal of achieving economic prosperity. The government cannot create wealth, because it is not productive. It doesn’t make money; it can only spend money it taxes from private individuals. Expanding bureaucratic employment destroys private sector wealth, either through immediate taxation or long term debt, and it reduces the number of jobs that would have been created had that money been left in the hands of individuals and businesses. Stimulating the economy through government jobs is equivalent to pouring water from the deep end of a pool into the shallow end. Nothing is created, and because money is confiscated from the naturally expanding private sector, potential growth is lost.

Nancy Pelosi defended her party’s big government policies by insisting, “the jobs issue has permeated everything, [every] major initiative that we have [proposed].” Indeed, the billions of stimulus dollars spent last year were intended to, among other things, massively expand government payrolls to solve the problem of unemployment, and Obama’s latest jobs bill is no different. The state of the economy, as well as the popularity of the Democratic Party, will continue to decline so long as the president tries to create jobs through the government. Obama must embrace an unfettered free market if he truly wishes to facilitate economic growth.