Thursday, September 08, 2011

President Obama's Jobs Bill Failure Would be a Success For Republicans

This plan is the plan that dare not speak it's name. It's real name is stimulus, but that word has been banned from politics in Washington ~ Lawrence O'Donnell (b. 11/7/1951) on the 9/8/2011 broadcast of his MSNBC program "The Last Word".

Note: The following discussion is an excerpt from the The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 9/8/2011, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Lawrence asks Representative Barney Frank of MA if the President's proposed American Jobs Act has a chance of passing the House.

Lawrence O'Donnell: What are the prospects in the House of Representatives for this bill?

Rep Barney Frank: I'm afraid they're not very good. As I'm standing here I'm hearing one of the younger Republicans proclaim loudly that government can't do anything. These are people who believe we have no capacity to come together to do anything. I am afraid that the [radical] Right-wing that has the Republican Party by the throat is going to block anything. I think the president did a very good job of making it clear that he was compromising. This isn't everything I would like him to do. It isn't everything he would like to do.

But I think he correctly said, look, I want to get results. And the only chance of getting results is to say to Republicans, I'm giving you some of the things you want. I am afraid that it is not going to be helpful. I credit the president for trying. I don't know what more he could have done. You are dealing with people who... let's be very clear about the Tea Party and their patron Grover Norquist who's made them all sign these pledges... these are people who do not understand that government has an important role. That there are things that we can only do if we come together to do them. To build bridges... to provide for the elderly in their retirement if they aren't otherwise wealthy.

These are people who don't believe in that. Frankly, sadly I have to say, and I've had to conclude this... they don't want the economy to get better. Because if the economy gets better, Barack Obama's chances to win get better. These are people for whom the major goal is to defeat Barack Obama. Secondarily to discredit government. They don't want people to think there are things we can do. They are ideologically committed to the idea that there shouldn't be any government, so they are not trying for success. They don't want Obama to succeed and they don't want us to show that government can work in the public interest.

My Commentary: The Republicans won't agree to another 447 billion dollar stimulus bill regardless of whether or not it is "paid for". President Obama proposes paying for this bill by increasing the cuts the so-called "Super Congress" will be making. Does this mean that if no agreement can be reached and the automatic cuts are triggered... the jobs bill is dead? I agree with Barney Frank, I do not see this legislation going anywhere.

Further Reading
[1] Obama Jobs Plan: $447 Billion, More Than Half In Tax Cuts, To Be Paid For By Super Committee by Sam Stein, The Huffington Post 9/8/2011.
[2] Text: Obama's Jobs Speech: There are Steps We Can Take Right Now by National Journal staff, The National Journal 9/8/2011.

Video: Obama's 9/8/2011 Jobs Speech To Congress, Full Video (32:58).

SWTD #95

6 comments:

  1. Frank is most likely correct. The only way to get this passed is through arm twisting of republicans in lleft leaning districts.

    That might not be as difficult as it would have been a few months ago. The republican elite that created the monster known as the tea party is close to having had enough. Jim DeMint holds huge power with his threat to tea bag republicans out that don't suck up in primaries.

    It looks gloomy WD. But all is not lost.


    And of course, a treat for you for your outstanding blog.

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  2. President Obama proposes paying for this bill by increasing the cuts the so-called "Super Congress" will be making.

    I don't think that is all he said. I heard crumbs, so I could easily be mistaken, but I think what he said he would increase taxes on the rich and close tax loopholes.

    I also read where a commenter on some site said that Cantor seemed to be endorsing the plan on twitter. No confirmation on that. It seems like an incredible statement, and it's very hard to believe or imagine, but that is what they said.

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  3. So, a young republican gets elected to congress and then claims that government does not work? Well, actually "government" can work, its just there are too many "young republicans" in it!

    The young republican that Barney Frank refers to is being illogical, to be more factual he should have said, its young republicans that do not work.

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  4. John Myste: I think what he said he would increase taxes on the rich and close tax loopholes.

    From the transcript of the president's speech:

    "The agreement we passed in July will cut government spending by about $1 trillion over the next ten years. It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas. Tonight, I'm asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act".

    The president mentioned increasing taxes on the rich and closing loopholes, but he left it up to the super committee as to how the jobs bill (if passed) would be paid for. I doubt the thing will be passed... if it passed I think it will be [1] significantly modified [2] paid for by cuts to the big three (and other social programs).

    The Republicans have already said (firmly) that increasing taxes (on the wealthy) or closing loopholes (utilized by the wealthy) is a non-starter.

    Every Republican appointed to the super committee is on record as holding the same opinion. Absolutely no new taxes or loophole closures.

    Technically the super committee COULD realize "savings" by doing either of these things, but it ain't gonna happen.

    Taxes on the wealthy won't be raised. Loopholes the wealthy use to reduce their tax burden won't be closed.

    That would impact the ability of the job creators to create jobs. They aren't currently creating jobs... but that's because of the uncertainty... either of these things MIGHT happen... and if they committed to creating jobs and then their taxes were raised, then where would they be?

    Clearly the only option is to wait for president Perry to take office. Even though the president (correctly) said, "they [the American people] don't have the luxury of waiting fourteen months".

    They are going to have to. Hopefully they'll be smart enough to realize that they need to vote Democratic... but I'm afraid that they won't be.

    John Myste: I also read where a commenter on some site said that Cantor seemed to be endorsing the plan on twitter.

    Both Cantor and Boehner made non-committal vague statements about the plan containing some good ideas and possibly being able to work with the president. The only reason they said those things was because it would look bad for them not to appear to at least be willing to make an effort.

    John Boehner: The president's ideas "merit consideration".

    Eric Cantor: The president's bill includes "A lot that we can agree on" (this is what he said initially)

    Eric Cantor (after his initial positive-sounding response): Obama's all or nothing approach to jobs bill not the way to go.

    According to Politico, "...the GOP is not outright dismissing all of Obama's ideas, but certainly is not going to pass the entire $450 billion package in one fell swoop".

    In other words they'll pick out the Republican ideas and pass those. Even though the reason why (or one of the major reasons, at least) the president included the Republican ideas was so the Democratic ones would be accepted. In other words the Republicans are saying NO COMPROMISE.

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  5. I guess the only answer Democrats and Republicans have to solve our problems, is tax cuts. A Republican philosophy that has been a proven failure for 30 years.
    Big, bold? In an economy as large as ours a half a trillion won't make a scratch.
    Where is the leadership that tells the American people, that we have overspent for decades, and we need to raise taxes, to pay for our selfishness?
    Good luck getting companies (even if you pay them) to hire new employees when they don't need them.
    Where was this bill years ago? Why now, because it's election time? Tell them what they want to hear, we need their vote again.
    I've never heard a Democrat President sound so Republican. I grant, he is smarter than the rest of the Republicans running for President.
    Where is the Democratic debate on his ideas? Where is another Democratic nominee running for President?
    I guess Democrats have to be like Republicans now, and speak with one, goose-step voice.
    I wrote on MY blog for the President to get off his fat ass, and I was banned from two lefty echo chamber blogs and had my blog comment section and my email box filled with hate mail.
    Way to go Democrats.

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  6. I wrote on MY blog for the President to get off his fat ass, and I was banned from two lefty echo chamber blogs and had my blog comment section and my email box filled with hate mail.
    Way to go Democrats.
    I get a lot of that too. Obama has taken THIS message to the people yet he couldn't be bothered to do that for the HCR bill or any of his other pet projects...but it wasn't election time back then. He is first and foremost a politician..we can't forget that folks.

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