During the past few weeks, Roy Blunt has managed to mention his “jobs plan” in just about every other sentence, and like that fish story where the fish gets bigger and bigger with each retelling, it seems the job plan also gets bigger and bigger with each retelling. He’s so proud of it that last night, during his debate with Robin Carnahan, he inflated his 20 page plan to 100 pages, comparing it with what he called Carnahan’s “500 word plan.”
Not only was he mistaken about the size of his plan, but he also misspoke about Carnahan’s “jobs plan.” Rather than a detailed blueprint for jobs creation, you will find on Carnahan’s campaign Webpage a list of general “commonsense” principles that she would use to guide her efforts as a legislator charged with creating jobs, a principled, intelligent approach to a complex issue that will be only be resolved as part of a cooperative, congressional effort.
When I try to reduce Blunt’s plan to similar principles, I come up with three sentences that left me with a serious (and not very pleasant) case of deja vu:
1. Cut social spending, some administrative government expenses, and privatize wherever possible in order to cut the deficit.
2. Cut taxes
3. Gut industrial and business regulation.
Bearing in mind the “500 word” jibe, I tried, just for fun, to list each more or less substantive proposal listed in his plan in order to count the words. After cutting out the standard GOP talking points and the empty whinging about the Obama administration and the Democratic congress, I was left with about 280 words.
You will notice if you read the shorter Blunt jobs plan below, that it is seriously uneven and often duplicative. There are big, vague proposals combined with extremely specific and often rather trivial proposals. Many would have a questionable or even a negative effect on either job creation or deficit reduction, which is one of the legs of his plan, others would probably have some small effect, while still others reference future issues (e.g., cap-and-trade, which is already probably dead for the near term). What they all have in common is that, taken together, they could be mistaken for a wish-list prepared by Blunt’s corporate donors and lobbyist pals.
If you want to read Blunt’s six point jobs plan in the 280 word version, jump below the fold. (There’s also an excellent analysis of the deficit cutting claims Blunt makes about his proposed spending cuts over at FiredUP Missouri if Blunt’s jobs mania interests you.)
Roy Blunt’s job plan in 280 words:
Cut spending : Take back unspent stimulus; “reform” entitlements (i.e., privatize Social Security, slash welfare?) ; cut welfare; reform Fannie and Freddie Mac, sell Excess government property; cut subsidies to unions (i.e., prohibit public employees from doing union business at work ); cut memberships to funny sounding international organizations; and slash duplicative government agencies; and freeze domestic discretionary spending at 2008 levels.
Stabilize marketplace: Let industry call all the shots (i.e., cut business taxes and gut regulations); repeal the Affordable Care Act; extend the homeowners tax credit; lower the tax depreciation schedule; enact tort reform
Promote American energy through American Energy Act (H.R. 2846) which promotes coal, oil, nuclear energy and has a nodding relationship to alternative fuel development; repeals prohibition on government purchase of fuels from dirty sources like oil shale, tar sands and coal-to liquid technology; encourages “clean” coal-to-liquid technology; gives tax credits for producing renewable electricity and investment tax credits for solar energy and fuel cell properties; extends the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credits; permits deep water drilling.
Create access to credit for business: Repeal the Financial Reform Bill and deep-six the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); reduce the business tax depreciation schedule
Expand U.S. Exports: Enact pending NAFTA-like trade agreements with Columbia, Korea and Panama.
“Creative” new policies to promote business growth by getting government out of the way of businesses so that they can do by themselves what they haven’t been able to do by themselves to date:: extend Bush tax cuts, cut taxes that haven’t been enacted such as taxes on certain partnership profit interests.; squash Cap-and-trade; kill ergonomics regulations, repeal drilling moratorium, end small business reporting mandates, repeal Affordable Care Act.