Yet if President Barack Obama’s ‘‘jobs program’’ is approved by Congress, West Virginia will receive $162 million to pay teachers, police officers and firefighters. Other states, including some like ours where prudent fiscal management prevented layoffs of public employees, will get money, too. Some will receive billions of dollars.
All told, West Virginia will receive $594 million if Obama’s proposal is adopted. Some is earmarked for highway work and school improvements.
But the bottom line — as was the case with Obama’s previous ‘‘stimulus’’ program — is that West Virginia doesn’t need money to avoid laying off public-sector workers.
If we get the money and use it as the White House is likely to insist, hundreds of new educators, law enforcement officers and firefighters may be hired. Then, in a year or two when the federal funding runs out, local and state entities will have the choice of laying them off or raising our taxes to keep them on the payroll.
As we recommended during the ‘‘stimulus’’ program, West Virginia shouldn’t take money with expensive strings attached.
The White House plan, spending billions of dollars states don’t need to create jobs that will disappear in, at most, a couple of years, is absurd. The earmark for public sector jobs in West Virginia demonstrates the Obama administration simply doesn’t know what it is doing.
If the president is determined to spend money on bigger government, a better idea would have been block grants the states could use as they see fit. But neither that nor job creation ever was Obama’s plan.
The $457 billion ‘‘jobs plan’’ is nothing more than a political scheme to grow federal government and please Obama’s supporters. Congress should reject it.