Who knows what this Michael Steele guy is trying to say. Obviously government spending can create a job simply by directly employing people. Maybe he means government doesn't create new private sector jobs. But the government can create new private sector jobs by awarding contracts to private firms, which it does everyday in the Defense industry. Maybe he means the government cannot create self-sustaining new jobs in the private sector. But again, here he is wrong. Government can spend money on infrastructure which allow businesses to operate more efficiently, open new markets, and offer new products which all in turn create new jobs. Examples of this are the interstate highway system, massive water and dam projects in the west (which allowed cities like Phoenix, LA, Las Vegas to grow), and investment in medical research.
Mr. Steele's claim to "the history of mankind" should also be questioned. The idea of government as an investor and catalyst for economic growth goes back to the origins of human civilization. The first governments in Egypt and Mesopotamia were created to organize citizens and resources to build irrigation canals. This gave people more reliable and abundant harvests, freed them from subsistence farming, and gave them time to pursue other skills (e.g., tool making). These skills created new products or services (e.g., better tools). Jobs were then created to support the demand for these new services.
So I don't really know what he means by "government has never created a job in the history of mankind." I once had a conservative fanatic stop me in a bar because I wore a political t-shirt. He proceeded to pour out stories of liberal oppression and ended it by proclaiming: "government does not create economic wealth!" If this is what Mr. Steele is suggesting, then I say he is wrong.
Also, not related, but good news...Obama: Caterpillar will rehire if stimulus passes
President Barack Obama says Caterpillar's chief executive has told him the company will rehire some laid-off workers if the stimulus bill passes.
The heavy equipment maker announced more than 22,000 job cuts last month as it scales back production amid the economic slowdown.
During a visit to a transportation construction site just outside Washington in Springfield, Va., on Wednesday, Obama urged Congress to pass the bill.
The House and Senate are working out differences between competing versions of the legislation.
Obama said Caterpillar's CEO has told him that if the stimulus bill passes he would be able to rehire some of those employees.
Obama is to speak with some of those workers on Thursday when he visits a Caterpillar manufacturing plant in Peoria, Ill.
Stimulate, baby, stimulate.