According to multiple polls, the top priority of American voters in the coming election is to elect a president that will "create jobs."It is no coincidence that"job creation" is currently the single most important phrase in Mitt Romney's lexicon. He talks about himself as a job creator; his surrogates routinely refer to the "creation of jobs," and prominent conservative commentators, including the normally-hard-to-please Ann Coulter, tell us to "forget the blather. Romney will create jobs."
I would like to inject a slightly tasteless note into the proceedings. Our nation's biggest economic problem is the lack of growth that nurtures unemployment. It is well and good that 'jobs' is our top concern. But bragging contests about who personally created and will create more jobs are unsettling, mostly because no president has ever created a job, other than in the federal government. Presidents can take steps to push policies that foster growth and innovation, reward job creators, and incentivize hard work. But that's really about it.
And it's not just linguistic sleight of hand. The choice between "understanding what promotes growth" and being the "world's best job creator" is actually pretty significant. One would refer to a president, the other to a multinational corporate CEO. When candidates focus the language of the debate on a personal ability to generate jobs, they are essentially focusing on themselves and their willingness to exercise power to deliver on promises. Perhaps we now may understand why the federal government grows under Democrats and Republicans alike. They're "job creators," you know.