9/08/2011

Obama: "Pass this bill," "Pass this bill right now"



UPDATE for September 8, 2011. The president demands that the bill be passed when he doesn't even yet know what is in it. Valerie Jarrett: No Jobs Bill Yet; "The President Is Going To Draft The Legislation"

Back to post. No discussion about where the money comes from and what jobs are lost because of that. A copy of Obama's speech is available here. From Michael Barone:

He called for further cuts in the payroll tax (which if continued indefinitely would undermine the case of Social Security as something people have earned rather than a form of welfare) and for a further extension of unemployment insurance (perhaps justifiable on humanitarian grounds, but sure to at least marginally raise the unemployment rate over what it would otherwise be). He called for a tax credit for hiring the long-term unemployed (unfortunately, these things can be gamed). He gave a veiled plug for his pet project of high-speed rail (a real dud) and for infrastructure spending generally (but didn’t he learn that there aren’t really any shovel-ready projects?). He called for a school modernization program (will it result in more jobs than the Seattle weatherization program that cost $22 million and produced 14 jobs?) and for funding more teacher jobs (a political payoff to the teacher unions which together with other unions gave Democrats $400 million in the 2008 campaign cycle). “We’ll set up an independent fund to attract private dollars and issue loans based on two criteria: how badly a construction project is needed and how much good it would do for the country.” Yeah, sure. Like the screening process that produced that $535,000,000 loan guarantee to now-bankrupt Solyndra. And Congress should pass the free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea. Except that Congress can’t, because Obama hasn’t sent them up there yet in his 961 days as president. . . .


If the administration was serious about paying for the debt, they wouldn't put off the budget cuts for so many years after Obama will no longer be in office. From Politico:

. . . “Is it at the cost of our deficit? Is this another stimulus?” Gene Sperling, one of Obama’s top advisers, was asked on Fox News Friday morning.

“As we said, this is going to be paid for, every single penny,” Sperling answered. “Those of us who work on the president’s economic team have worked at the same time and are working on the details right now on how exactly we will pay for this and still have the additional deficit reduction to hit the commitment of Congress, the congressional bipartisan agreement, and, most importantly, to get our debt stabilized.”

He also added that while Obama’s plan includes asking the rich to pay more, this is “not out of class warfare,” but rather “just to make sure we have a shared sacrifice.” . . .


Dems still pushing for increased taxes. A week from this coming Monday Obama will explain how he is going to raise taxes to pay for his programs.


Temporary tax cuts may cause people to temporarily work harder, but they don’t lead to much investment and the claim is that it doesn't do much for job creation. Government spending doesn't create new wealth. But even if you believe that this creates new spending and jobs, the long lead times involved, infrastructure spending is an odd way to combat a double dip that might be starting right now. Much of the job subsidies often go to companies that would have hired the people anyway. The plurality of the people hired under the last stimulus package already had jobs and, as I have predicted since February 2009, they were just switching from one to another.

Obama administration floods reporters' inboxes after Obama's jobs speech (available here).

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