"Where Are The Jobs?" Republicans Cut Them
After pushing through a debt-ceiling increase deal comprised entirely of spending cuts, Republicans have returned to their "Where are the jobs?" messaging campaign. It is an ironic message given that Republicans have spent the 112th Congress insisting on spending cuts that will further undermine job creation. Following in the tradition of putting ideology ahead of the economy, Republicans threatened to let the United States default until they got a debt deal that included only spending cuts. The cuts in the bill could cost Americans another 1.8 million jobs next year and continue to hurt economic growth. Ultimately, when Republicans ask, "Where are the jobs?" they should ask themselves first.
Republicans Have Returned To Asking "Where Are The Jobs?"
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy Released A Video Entitled "Where Are The Jobs?" From Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), via YouTube.com:
[Rep. Kevin McCarthy, 8/3/11, via YouTube.com]
NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions Put Out Memo Asking "Where Are The Jobs?" According to Politico: "'The American people have realized that Democrat [sic] policies are having a negative impact on the economy and job creation,' he writes in the memo. 'Unless a Democrat-controlled Washington starts embracing policies for marketplace certainty and job creation, Democrats will be surprised how many Americans ask them next election: Where are the jobs?'" [Politico, 8/4/11]
Speaker Boehner's Blog Asks "Where Are The Jobs?" From a post by Don Seymour, Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) deputy communications director, on the House Speaker's website:
The American people are still asking, "where are the jobs?" But more than two years after the spectacular failure of the "stimulus" spending binge and one year after Secretary Geithner proclaimed, "Welcome to the Recovery," Democrats' never-ending series of jobs "pivots" never get beyond their job-crushing agenda of more government spending, higher taxes, and scores of new regulations and red tape.
While Republicans are focused on jobs, Politico reports that the "story of the Administration is ... one of a constant attempt to pivot formally to jobs." And the never-ending pivot is only needed because, National Review points out, jobs "have taken a back seat" under this White House. [Speaker.gov, 8/3/11, emphasis original]
Republicans Held Up The Debt Ceiling Deal For Spending Cuts
Speaker John Boehner Vowed Not To Increase The Debt Limit "Without Significant Spending Cuts." In an address to the Economic Club of New York, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said: "Without significant spending cuts and changes to the way we spend the American people's money, there will be no debt limit increase." [Speaker.gov, 5/9/11]
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Said His Caucus Wouldn't Vote For A Debt Limit Increase "Unless There Are Serious Spending Cuts And Reforms. According to a press release by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA):
House Republicans are working in good faith to find a middle ground to prevent default and meet the President's request for a debt limit increase in a manner that achieves serious spending cuts and puts in place binding reforms to address our debt crisis and get our economy back on track. We have worked for months to back the President and Congressional Democrats away from their demand for a blank check to keep spending. We have fought to ensure that any increase is accompanied by equal spending cuts and reforms that change the way Washington works - and, most importantly, we will not raise taxes in this tough economy.[...]
The two-step framework that the Speaker and I laid out to our members today is not perfect - as we've said for months, we would have much preferred to vote to increase the debt limit only once, but the President and his party continued to make demands which we cannot meet - namely tax increases. In this new framework, we will achieve spending cuts that exceed the amount of the debt limit increase, cap spending for the next ten years and offer a path to achieve serious reforms through a bipartisan, bicameral commission. Our plan will responsibly prevent default and meet the President's full request for a debt limit increase over time. The President's reason for opposing this common sense plan is to avoid an election year fight on spending and taxes. Though he has warned Congress not to call his bluff, I remain hopeful that he and his party will work with us to move forward on this common sense plan and won't leave the strength of the economy and millions of American jobs hanging in the balance for election year political posturing. [Rep. Eric Cantor Press Release, 7/25/11]
Spending Cuts Included In Debt Ceiling Increase Will Undermine Job Creation
Economic Policy Institute: Spending Cuts This Year "Could Lead To Roughly 1.8 Fewer Jobs In 2012." According to the Economic Policy Institute:
The spending cuts in 2012 and the failure to continue two key supports to the economy (the payroll tax holiday and emergency unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed) could lead to roughly 1.8 million fewer jobs in 2012, relative to current budget policy.
Brookings Institution Economist: "The Budget Agreement Was Not Very Good News." According to The Scranton Times Tribune:
Gary Burtless, Ph.D., an economist with the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution, said he expects government jobs will be shed for a while. By adding these workers to the ranks of the unemployed, that means fewer people will buy cars and shop in stores, hurting industries and merchants who will hire fewer people, he said.
"Clearly, the budget agreement was not very good news at the moment," Dr. Burtless said. "Most of the job losses will be at the state and local levels." [The Scranton Times Tribune, 8/4/11]
CAP: Debt Deal "Goes Straight In The Wrong Direction" Because Of "Dramatic Spending Cuts." According to the Center for American Progress:
The debt deal struck this weekend does nothing to help with the biggest problem facing our nation: anemic job growth and a faltering economy. In fact, by putting a noose on public investments and tightening the squeeze on the middle class, the deal goes straight in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, conservatives put the country on the precipice of an economic calamity that would have ensued had Congress not raised the debt limit. Precisely because of conservative willingness to carry through on that irresponsible threat, this agreement skews toward conservative priorities. [...]
It's especially important for the committee to produce a plan that creates jobs and spurs growth because the committee's proposals will come on top of a set of already-dramatic spending cuts that will have adverse economic consequences. The deal starts out with caps on discretionary spending that are much tighter for domestic, nondefense programs than they are for the Pentagon. As a category, nondefense discretionary is home to the most important public investments our federal government makes, including education, highway building and repair, scientific research and development, clean energy projects, and health care research. It also houses some areas of support for the vulnerable and those hardest hit by the economic downturn. This category also includes all of the nuts and bolts of everyday government operations such as food inspections, air traffic control, border security, and law enforcement. The caps on this category of spending would amount to cuts of more than 11 percent, compared to the current baseline. [Center for American Progress, 8/1/11]
CEO Of PIMCO: "Unemployment Will Be Higher Than It Would Have Been" Because Of Deal: From an ABC News article about an appearance on This Week by Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, a global investment firm and one of the world's largest bond investors:
"The rest of the world is watching, and this will do very little to reduce the concern that the rest of the world has about the role of the U.S. in the global economy," El-Erian said.
The potential budget agreement "does nothing to restore household and corporate confidence. So unemployment will be higher than it would have been otherwise, growth will be lower than it would be otherwise, and inequality will be worse than it would be otherwise."
El-Erian questioned the impact of discretionary spending cuts that will likely make up the short-term budget savings in any final agreement.
"We have a very weak economy, so withdrawing more spending at this stage will make it even weaker," El-Erian said. [ABC News, 7/31/11]
Economist Paul Krugman: "These Spending Cuts Are Going To Worsen Unemployment." From an interview with Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman on ABC's This Week:
KRUGMAN: No. The first thing is, we shouldn't -- you know, from -- from the perspective of a rational person -- in other words, a progressive on this stuff -- we shouldn't be even talking about spending cuts at all now. We have 9 percent unemployment. These spending cuts are going to worsen unemployment. That's not even -- it's even going to hurt the long-run fiscal picture, because we have a situation where more and more people are becoming permanent long-term unemployed. And if you have a situation in which you're going to permanently raise the unemployment rate, which is what this is going to do, that's actually going to reduce future revenues.
So this -- this thing -- these spending cuts are even going to hurt the long-run fiscal position, let alone cause lots of misery. And then on top of that--
CHRISTINE AMANPOUR (HOST): Well, you--
KRUGMAN: --we've got these budget cuts, which are entirely -- basically the Republicans said we'll blow up the world economy unless you give us exactly what we want, and the president said, OK. That's what happened.
AMANPOUR: You know, you've been consistent about this, saying that there should be no cuts at a time of recession and weak recovery. What is your scenario, though, once this goes through and there are significant spending cuts and no revenues?
KRUGMAN: We're looking. I mean, we used to talk about the Japanese and their lost decade. We're going to look to them as a role model. They did better than we're doing. We're -- this is going to go on -- I have nobody I know who thinks that the unemployment rate is going to be below 8 percent at the end of next year.
With the spending cuts, it might well be above 9 percent at the end of next year. There is no light at the end of this tunnel. And all the -- we're having a debate in Washington which is all about, gee, we're going to make this economy worse, but are we going to make it worse on 90 percent the Republicans' terms or 100 percent the Republicans' terms? And the answer is 100 percent. [ABC News, 7/31/11, emphasis added]