Saturday, September 08, 2012

A Not Very Happy Anniversary Today For The American Jobs Act


I assume Boehner has the same flunky tweeting for him on each of his Twitter accounts. Whomever it was, was busy after the convention in Charlotte attempting to change the subject as fast as possible to the disappointing jobs numbers. Although Paul Krugman termed the report unremarkable-- "the US economy this past year and more is that it has been steadily adding jobs at a pace roughly fast enough to keep up with but not get ahead of population growth"-- the right-wing propaganda machine is on full throttle about how it proves Obama has been horrible for the economy. And it's rare that the mass media-- outside of, say, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Lawrence O'Donnell and Ed Schultz-- ever mentions anything about the Republican efforts to obstruct President Obama's job creation plans and the efforts of the GOP governors in Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, New Jersey, Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas and several other states going on a destructive binge of firing public service employees (teachers, foremen, policemen, etc).

It was on September 8, 2011 that Obama went before Congress (see video above) to explain the American Jobs Act and ask for bipartisan support to put the country back to work again. His plan called for the creation of something like 2 million new jobs and the American public was firmly behind it. But Boehner, Cantor and Ryan killed the proposal immediately and without proposing anything to take its place except their long discredited snake oil-- more tax cuts for the rich and fewer regulations for the corporate greed hogs. Obama's plan emphasized investing in desperately needed infrastructure, aid to states to shore up collapsing budgets that were pointing towards more layoffs for teachers, policemen and firemen and tax credits for employers that would encourage domestic job growth. All this is not just anathema to Republicans ideologically, this flies in the face of their decision to sabotage President Obama (and, incidentally, the American economy and the American people).

So yesterday we had an anemic jobs report and a twittering Speaker of the House. And a pathetic Republican presidential nominee who pulled a number out of his ass-- 11.5 million-- and claimed that's how many jobs he would (magically) create in his first term. Needless to say, he's being as cagey about how he would do it as he is about what he's hiding in his tax forms. Hounded by the media to get a little more specific-- even the Wall Street Journal was laughing at him-- he finally offered six specific ideas:
He said he would tap our energy resources to “put a lot of people to work in the energy sector.” He said he’d repeal Obamacare, which is “scaring small businesses from hiring.” He said he’d balance the budget so people know “investing in America is going to yield a return in dollars worth something.” He vowed to “open up new markets in American trade.” He said he’d revamp the National Labor Relations Board and lower tax rates on employers, both of which would make it easier to hire people.

[Greg] Sargent asked a few top economists whether Romney’s ideas would actually create jobs. “On net, all of these policies would do more harm in the short term,” responded Mark Hopkins, a senior adviser at Moody’s Analytics. “If we implemented all of his policies, it would push us deeper into recession and make the recovery slower.”

The American Jobs Act (H.R. 12) was officially introduced in the House by John Larson (D-CT) on September 21 with 105 cosponsors. It was referred to the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity, where it was shelved by 10 Republicans acting on orders from Eric Cantor-- Judy Biggert (R-IL), the subcommittee chair, Robert Hurt (R-VA), Gary Miller (R-CA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Robert Dold (R-IL), and Steve Stivers (R-OH). But clownish Texan Louie Gohmert introduced his own bizarro-world "American Jobs Act" (H.R. 2911) that abolishes corporate income taxes entirely. Embarrassed, Boehner also buried that in committee.

McHenry's independent-minded opponent this year, Rep. Patsy Keever, was dismayed when she saw the role McHenry had played in killing the American Jobs Act. "People in North Carolina are hurting economically," she told us last night. "We are just coming out of the worst recession since the great depression. Workers in this state need a representative in Congress who will work with both sides of the aisle to help them. Just getting a job is the goal of too many North Carolinians! Not only do they need a job, they need a chance to earn a living wage. Part of what helps women in our state secure a living wage is receiving equal pay for equal work. Too often women are paid less than men. My opponent thinks there is nothing wrong with that, that being a women is reason enough for wage discrimination. I ask voters to stand with me this fall in recognition of the fact that their current representative doesn't actually represent them and that equal pay is not just about equality, it's about economics."

Working to kill the Jobs Act with McHenry was one of the Wall Street banksters favorite congressional shills, Steve Stivers. This year he's in a tough reelection battle with Democratic populist Pat Lang. And Lang isn't mincing any words about Stivers' malfeasance. "Every American," he told us this morning, "should be appalled that the 112th Congress has failed to pass a single piece of comprehensive jobs legislation. Steve Stivers and House Republicans refused to even consider President Obama's American Jobs Act, which would have put a million people to work, immediately. Steve Stivers and House Republicans are more concerned with denying President Obama a legislative 'victory' than they are with strengthening our economic recovery."

On October 11, Harry Reid attempted to block the filibuster of the bill in the Senate but his cloture move only got 50 votes. Every single Republican-- even fake moderates like Scott Brown R-MA), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME)-- voted NO, as did 2 conservative Democrats, Ben Nelson (R-NE) and Jon Tester (D-MT). And now we have almost half the voters in the country seriously contemplating the alternative to letting Obama finish his modest agenda for cleaning up after Bush and his GOP allies in Congress whose policies tanked the economy in the first place. I don't expect most voters in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Utah and Idaho to grasp why this is important-- nor in any way alter their self-destructive behavior at the polls. But what about in Massachusetts. Independent voters in the Bay State could hold the future well-being of our country in their hands. Elizabeth Warren is very different from Wall Street construct Scott Brown. In fact... this is something you can do.

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At 9:34 PM, Anonymous themadlefty said...

Republicans have blocked 19 jobs bills in the past 2 years, but somehow that sucky "jobs report" every month gets laid at Obama's feet. It's like some weird alternate universe, where logic doesn't exist and the media doesn't give a shit.


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