FiredUp! recently posted a video of Senator Roy Blunt telling us that nothing would probably get done about jobs until after the election. This prediction, thanks to the obstructionism of Senator Blunt and his GOP congressional buddies, who saw fit to hold the line against the President’s jobs bill, is probably all too true.
Of course, freshman Senator Blunt, who may already be going after a GOP leadership position in the Senate, is not just guessing about what we’ll see – at least from the Republicans – in the coming months. Remember the jobs plan he was metaphorically waving around during his senatorial campaign? He claimed, falsely, that it had a hundred pages, but the gist can be summed up in a trio of brief phrases – cut taxes for the wealthy, cut social programs, and gut the regulations that protect the little guy from big business.
Now, back to the present. Yesterday, a few GOP pols, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), gathered together the faithful media to announce the details of the “Jobs Through Growth Act,” a purported GOP jobs plan, an entity which up to now had been conspicuous only by its absence.
Guess what? The “Jobs Through Growth Act” can also be summed up in a trio of brief phrases: cut taxes for the wealthy, cut social programs, and gut the regulations that protect the little guy from big business. It’s specifics, as reported by Steve Benen, include:
Cut taxes, approve a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, eliminate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, eliminate the entirety of Wall Street reform safeguards, blocking EPA enforcement of clean air measures, and a tax repatriation holiday for international corporations.
Isn’t this the same kind of stuff the GOP did during the eight years of the Bush regime? Shouldn’t we be trying to clean up the mess they created then, not adding to it? As Jonathan Chait observes:
There is zero chance that any independent agency or macroeconomic forecaster scores this proposal as either reducing the deficit or increasing employment over the next year. On the deficit, they may propose to cut tax rates, offset by spending cuts or closing tax deductions, but the latter will be totally unspecified. On jobs, the GOP simply will not engage with the premise of the entire macroeconomic forecasting field that the economy is suffering from a lack of demand. The purpose of this bill is to straddle that awkward divide, and provide a sound bite to answer Obama when he says he has a jobs plan.
I guess Blunt really does know what he’s talking about when he says there’ll be nothing done about jobs over the next months; he and his fellow GOPers, along with their corporate generals in the war on the middle class will see to that.
UPDATE: In the video, Blunt hits the anti-regulation drum yet again, calling them, if I remember correctly, “job-strangling” regulations. CNN offers a few facts he ought to consider:
In the first two quarters of this year, only 2,085 new unemployment claims were attributed to government regulation, while 55,759 were tied to insufficient demand, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data on mass layoffs.
Furthermore, less than 20% of small business owners cite government regulations as their most important problem, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business.
Poor sales, for example, were a much bigger worry.