Republicans Unveil Fall Jobs AgendaAugust 29, 2011 - by Donny Shaw
Since Congress has been on August recess, the U.S. has lost its prime credit rating for the first time in history, the Congressional Budget Office has dramatically lowered their unemployment recovery expectations, and more economists have come out with predictions of a double-dip recession. Given all that, it seems reasonable to think that Congress might come back from recess ready to put aside the partisanship and forge a compromise to create jobs and begin stabilizing the economy. The Republicans in the House of Representatives today unveiled their fall agenda — let’s take a look at what kinds of fresh ideas they’ve come up with over the past month (via The Hill):
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday laid out an ambitious anti-tax and regulations agenda for the fall.
In a memo to rank-and-file Republicans, Cantor said the House will target 10 major regulations for elimination, and will also seek to enact one major tax cut for businesses.
Republicans are offering the agenda as a contrast to President Obama’s jobs plan which is to be formally announced next week and is expected to include stimulus spending.
Cutting taxes and killing regulations. Now there’s the kind of fresh thinking that’s bound make taxpayers proud to have financed a month-long vacation for their members of Congress.
Seriously, this is not legislating, it’s partisan politicking. And yes, the Democrats are doing it too. As the New York Times reported recently, the White House is beginning to shift towards supporting economic policies that will be good to use on the campaign trail, even if they know they can’t pass Congress. That’s why, for example, you’re seeing so many headlines about Republican hypocrisy over extending payroll tax cuts. Yes, it’s hypocritical of them, but the White House only pushed for the idea so heavily because they knew it would make for great headlines when the Republicans came out against it.
Point is, both sides are completely dug in and are fighting for one thing at this point — victory in 2012. It doesn’t have to be that way — divided Congress’ and governments can always find a way to agree when they care. For example, they came together with a bipartisan deal in 2008 to rescue the banks by passing TARP, and they just recently they came together to prevent default (and rescue the banks) with the debt deal. But, apparently, the jobs situation isn’t a big enough crisis to Congress for them to drop the partisan grandstanding. Or maybe the long-term unemployed just aren’t donating enough to their local Super PAC. Silly long-term unemployed.
By the way, the Republicans’ memo can be found here.