Such economic illiteracy is unusual, even for a labor union chief:
What's the best way to get Americans back to work?
Raise taxes, according to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Specifically, he wants to raise the federal gas tax as a means to fund infrastructure spending. "We need a dedicated source of revenue to create infrastructure in this country," he tells Aaron Task in the accompanying clip.
"We need to create jobs. The best way to do that is through infrastructure development." Simply maintaining the existing infrastructure in this country will cost $2.2 trillion over five years, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. That doesn't include Obama's objective of high-speed rails and green energy projects.
Trumka didn't say specifically how much he would raise the gas tax, but mentioned he's shown the President a $256 billion plan to improve infrastructure. If every billion spent on infrastructure creates 35,000 jobs, as he claims, this package would create close to 9 million jobs over the next five years.
The idea would also improve America's fiscal and competitive future, says Trumka. "There's also a downstream effect, you put people back to work, they pay taxes, they don't use services, they're contributing, other jobs are created along the way as well," he explains.
Only the most liberal of Democrats - by definition, the least knowledgeable of how our economy works - believes that raising taxes will create jobs. And considering that the price of a gallon of gas is about to go through the roof because of the turmoil in Libya, raising the gas tax would probably force many Americans to quit their jobs because their commutes would become so expensive, it wouldn't be worth it.
Someone send Trumka a copy of "Wealth of Nations."