Friday, October 14, 2011

Chait: "The Republicans' Real American Jobs Act Is Neither Real nor a Jobs Act. It Is American, Though"

Posted By on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM

New York magazine's Jonathan Chait laughs at Sen. John McCain's "Real American Jobs Act"":

The premise of Obama's proposal was that the two parties couldn't agree on their long-term vision of government, but the economic emergency was too severe to wait until the election to settle it, so they should act immediately on short-term ideas that have bipartisan support. The GOP response is to issue a series of exclusively long-term proposals lacking any bipartisan support. There's not much pretense of intending to address the current crisis when your plan has as its cornerstone the passage of a Constitutional amendment.

Politico dryly notes, "Senate Republicans are taking on a risk by putting their ideas in legislative language. They could open themselves up to criticism from Democrats if official budget scorekeepers show that the price tag could drive up the deficit and if economists are dubious on whether it would actually create jobs."

Let me put this a bit more clearly. 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.

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