Jobs

It is now time for the Tea Party and Republicans to take ownership for the economic impact of their policies.  They’ve introduced the term “job killing” to the political lexicon and feel free to attach it to whatever progressive policy that they disagree with.  But I think that REAL job killers here ARE the Republican Party and here’s my proof.

  1. A decade of low taxes has failed to produce jobs.  We are in a net negative position regarding jobs since the Bush tax cuts were passed (2001 and 2003).  In every decade since the Great Depression employment has grown at least 20% regardless of who was in the White House.  Middle Class income, when adjusted for inflation, dropped in the last decade for the first time since statistics first started being kept in the 60’s.  The combined net worth of American households declined in the last ten years when adjusted for inflation for the first time since the 50’s when statistics were first kept.  There are plenty of reasons why we’ve experienced a “lost” economic decade, and both parties share the blame.  But CLEARLY lower taxes were not the effective method conservatives claim it is.  Historically low taxes that have remained low for more than a decade did not spur robust economic growth OR create jobs.  The only thing that lower taxes did is make the rich richer and everybody else including the government poorer.
  2. Smaller government at every level is putting hundreds of thousands of people out of work.  At a time when the US economy seems to be teetering on the brink of a second recession, modest growth in private sector employment is almost completely swamped by massive layoffs in public sector driven almost entirely by Tea Party-led fiscal austerity programs.  Fears about slow economic growth have caused the private sector to hire temporary and contract workers instead of full-time employees.  Temporary and contract workers do not receive benefits and can be terminated quickly.  Those workers, as a result, remain as cautious about spending as they did when they were unemployed.  All this contributes to uncertainty and slow economic growth.  Temporary and contract work also swells the rolls of the uninsured which adds more stress to individual budgets, hospitals who have to cover emergency room costs, and Medicaid.
  3. When faced with a choice between ideology and jobs, the Tea Party led Republicans consistently choose ideology.  The FAA debacle is the most recent example. The FAA was effectively defunded because Tea Party Republicans saw an opportunity to weaken the union voting rules that currently protect FAA workers.   They put 4,000 FAA employees on unpaid furlough, sent tens of thousands of construction workers home without a paycheck, and prevented the government from collecting more than $300M in ticket taxes.  The furloughed FAA employees included inspectors who are vital to aviation safety.  It was only the willingness of those inspectors to continue working without pay that prevented this from also becoming a public safety issue.The Tea Party controlled House used the same tactics that were successful in the debt ceiling debate.  The only difference was instead of holding the financial standing of the country hostage; they held the jobs of these workers, the tax revenue coming from the airlines, and potentially the safety of the airline passengers as hostage in an attempt to weaken the FAA employees union.

    Want to know where that $300M in lost taxes went?  Right into the pockets of the airlines who immediately raised their fares to cover the uncollected taxes as soon as the shutdown occurred.

So it is time to hold these people accountable.

American voters handed these guys a majority in the House in the last election because they promised a more fiscally responsible government that would create more jobs.  It hasn’t happened.  Instead what we are seeing is “terrorist” politics which effectively caused the gears of government to seize up.  We see a party that is willing to hold the economy and jobs hostage to maintaining a purist ideology that only a small minority of the country even cares about.  They are hell bend on pursuing an economic policy that would slow even a good economy down.  Investors have already shown that they are terrified of the potential damage the Tea Party is inflicting on our weak economy.   Here’s what Standard and Poors said caused their recent downgrade of US debt.

“The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.”

Donna Brazile had a good summary in a recent CNN article.

“Could there be a clearer illustration of the difference in tone between congressional Democrats and Republicans? Democrats understand the difficult state of our economy but also understand that Washington can’t throw in the towel on protecting and creating jobs. Just as on the debt deal, Democrats have been willing to compromise, to tackle sacred cows and to put the American economy first.”

The Tea Party has between now and next November to meet the Democrats somewhere in the middle on a series of job enhancement legislation.  If they continue to stonewall and employ the hostage tactics that we’ve seen them use, the American voters will punish them in November.  Hopefully the Tea Party won’t take the economy down with them in the meantime.

17 Responses to “Jobs”

  1. Keith says:

    Jeff,
    Obama’s been in office 2 1/2 years. The Tea party has been there six months. Who’s responsible?

    If tax cuts haven’t work in the last decade, which you ponted out, then what say you about the following; Spending has dubled and the debt Tripled in the past ten years. IS greater spend, which we’ve done is the answer then why hasn’t it worked.

    The problem short term is Mr. Obama. He came out yesterday and faced the nation and said nothing. He has the thinest resume of any President and it clearly shows….He has no ability to lead…all he seems to say is “I inheritied this mess.” That in itself is poor leadership.

    I am intersted in how the republicans and dems have reacted to the s&p message. The dems say exactly what you’ve said above plus “it proves we need to raise taxes” and says s&p supports there position. The repubs say it proves we need to cut spending. NEITHER completely what the statement by S&P really says on;y how it helps them. I think thats called “political brinksmenship” which or post above engages in. Jeff you need to be more objective.

    IF you really thing 2 1/2 years after Obama was given responsibilty of the country the nation as a whole is going to determine the Tea Party is to blame and they’ve been there two years you’ve got another thought coming. Obama may very well win again as I have yet to see the Repub would hands down will beat him in a populaity contest, but he certainly has failded to provide any leadship on any issue….the DEMS were even all over him lsast night. Ed Randell simply was at a loss for words while trying to discribe Obamas comments yesterday afternoon….

  2. Keith says:

    Jeff,
    Do your friend, me, a favor, just read this. I know you won’t
    agree with it but it will help you understand the other side better.
    He can be over the top…..

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_080811/content/01125106.guest.html

    I’d add this, all the financial problems we have, which is nothing new, and Obama chose to create the health care thing. No one believes it won’t cost anything. How do we add that to all the things we currently do and cant afford….. again you don’t agree with that I know but its where the other side is coming from.

  3. Keith says:

    Jeff,
    And now finally. For all the hooppin’ and hollarn’

    YS

    The Tea Party has between now and next November to meet the Democrats somewhere in the middle on a series of job enhancement legislation. If they continue to stonewall and employ the hostage tactics that we’ve seen them use, the American voters will punish them in November. Hopefully the Tea Party won’t take the economy down with them in the meantime.

    Here’s what happened in Wisc where the unions got vocall….seems the people were just fine with what happened.

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/article_0eab6966-c2a9-11e0-a206-001cc4c03286.html

    And you think the Tea Party has problems…….

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    The purpose of this post was to point out that jobs are the problem and that the Republican solution of cutting taxes and spending makes things worse.

    As I’ve mentioned numerous times, the $5T that Bush policies added to the debt did very little to stimulate jobs. Tax cuts didn’t create jobs or stimulate the economy. The give away to the Pharma companies may have had some small affect, but clearly nothing that you can track in the numbers. War spending also had some small affect with domestic defense contractors, but we spent a lot that money outside this country. Imagine just for a minute where we would be now if that $2T had been spent on infrastructure improvements instead of on tax cuts and Medicare. I suspect that a lot more people would have been working at the end of the Bush administration and that foundation may have allowed us to weather the financial meltdown without the degree of economic destruction we suffered. Certainly many fewer people would have lost their homes because a lot fewer people would have lost their jobs. Those jobs would have clearly generated more tax revenue which meant that Bush would have left office with less than $5T in added debt too.

    As far as leadership, Obama has the impossible task of governing a deeply divided country. He can’t say or do anything that isn’t immediately the target of the right wing echo chamber. His response to the crash wasn’t one of his better moments, but at the end of the day, what can he say that wouldn’t sound partisan and simply re-enforce the impression in the financial community that this is a dysfunctional government? As it turns out it wasn’t his response that was important but the Fed’s response. He knew what the Fed was going to do but couldn’t talk about it. So honestly what was left to talk about? The market recovered and is over the US devaluation, but still quite jittery because of Euro debt and China inflation. The reality is that the whole global financial system is still quite weak because the US recovery has been so weak. The financial markets are looking for leadership too and this has to come from better growth from the US, the EU, and Asia.

    The problem is that people are looking to him to somehow resolve the differences that we can’t resolve ourselves. If you just look at his legislative accomplishments, he has done more in one term than many Presidents managed to accomplish in two. I agree that he has picked a difficult path in attempting to find a center between two warring factions. That creates the situation you described, both extremes find fault with him about something.

    At this point there is probably somewhere around 20% of the country that think he is the anti-Christ and detest everything that he touches even down to the clothes his wife wears. What are you going to do with something like that? Bush has similar issues and chose to simply ignore the opinions of those who disagreed with him. He played to his own base and essentially told everyone else to go screw themselves (Cheney literally said it). That made things worse. Obama has tried to walk a path between the extremes and hasn’t fared much better. I think that this is a deeper problem than leadership and likely won’t get resolved until our generation dies and the next one has a chance to take over.

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Rush rant.

    Are you serious?

    The credit rating tanked because our creditors saw that crazy people had enough power to force the country into default if their demands weren’t met. As long as those crazy people are in the position to repeat this performance, our bonds are a risky investment. Tell me how this is Obama fault.

    Obama took office in the middle of the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression. Over the objections of the Republicans he kept the financial system from going over the cliff and he saved the domestic auto industry. Now Rush is saying it’s his fault that unemployment went from 5.7% to 10%? You and he are insane if either of you really believe that.

    Obama is responsible, at least in part, for unemployment remaining at unacceptable levels – but only because he attempted to find a centrist position between Democrats and Republicans. So the stimulus spending that got passed when he had a majority wasn’t aggressive enough. It had too much in tax cuts and too little in infrastructure spending.

    He did also make the choice of spending all of his political capital on healthcare reform. As far as “nobody believes it won’t cost anything”, I’m sorry but that is your conservative bias speaking. I’m standing by the CBO and their projections. I know it KILLS the Republicans that they haven’t been able to come up with anything that scores better. Obama was right to identify healthcare costs as the single biggest threat to our long-term economic viability. He has paid a high price for taking it on and getting something passed. History will ultimately decide whether it was a foolish or courageous choice.

    The rest of Rush’s rant is the same ration of conservative crap that Rush feeds to his dimwitted audiences every day. If I spent time addressing every inaccuracy and misrepresentation, I’d fill several pages and it probably wouldn’t change your opinion. Whether Rush believes this stuff or not, at this point I really don’t care. He has built an empire on this sort of Big Lie reporting and my only comfort is that karma will ultimately even it all out.

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    The fact that Wisconsin voters were able to recall anyone was impressive. Across the country there have only been 13 elected officials recalled since 1913. I was hopeful that they would get to three, but honestly the recall process is not the best way to affect the change that some Wisconsin voters are looking for. What it DID do is mobilize a lot of people for the 2012 election. We’ll see how that mobilization AND the rancor over conservative Republican policies in the upper Midwest will play out.

    The Democrats would love for the 2012 election to be a referendum on the whole Tea Party agenda. I suspect that the Tea Party will likely take that bait.

    BTW, speaking of wimps, did you follow Romney’s response to the politico article quoting Democratic sources as saying that were starting their campaign against Romney now? Here’s a guy who has been spending all of time on the campaign trail bashing Obama and now complains that the Obama campaign is returning a little of his fire?

    Paleeze.

    The 2012 election is likely to be a very down and dirty affair.

    Under the cover of that campaign, I think we will finally get a chance to see the Obama that Democrats have been hoping for. Someone providing a full-throated defense of his policies and a no holds barred attack on the qualifications, credibility, and policies of the Republican nominee.

  7. keith says:

    but where’s the “change we can believe in” and the “this is a different politican.” Jeff just watch MSNBC and CNN and you’ll see and hear that MANY DEM’s very dissapointed in Obama. The critisizum is growing louder. He’s M.I.A my friend…

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You can’t compel change. Even the prospect of change created a huge opportunity for a backlash. Fox took advantage of that opportunity, organized the backlash, and it turned into the Tea Party.

    Obama did effect significant change in his first two years when he had the majority to do so. His quick actions on the economy also prevented the global meltdown of financial system and the demise of the domestic auto industry.

    As I’ve said, Obama has chosen to walk a middle road between two extremes. That is different from the last occupant of the White House. Only history will determine whether this strategy was wise or foolish. But this path is not going to satisfy either those on the right or those on the left. So that’s why you are hearing so much grumbling. Come election time, however, I don’t think you will see many democrats staying home. At least for democrats, Obama is way better than any of the Republican candidates.

    I also think that you are going to see a much more partisan Obama during the upcoming campaign.

  9. keith says:

    Jeff,
    Absolutly agree, He better get partisan or he might as well go home.

  10. keith says:

    however, you are wrong about who started the “tea party.” the guy on CNBC did it in a live interview. He yelled in a rant during the bail out talks/fed window/stimulas time frame, “lets all meet here on sat and throw the tea into the water.” He was in Chicago.

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Here’s what Wikipedia says.

    New York Times journalist Kate Zernike reported that leaders within the Tea Party credit Seattle blogger and conservative activist Keli Carender with organizing the first Tea Party in February 2009, although the term “Tea Party” was not used. Other articles, written by Chris Good of The Atlantic and NPR’s Martin Kaste, credit Carender as “one of the first” Tea Party organizers and state that she “organized some of the earliest Tea Party-style protests”.

    Carender first organized what she called a “Porkulus Protest” in Seattle on Presidents Day, February 16, the day before President Barack Obama signed the stimulus bill into law. Carender said she did it without support from outside groups or city officials. “I just got fed up and planned it.” Carender said 120 people participated. “Which is amazing for the bluest of blue cities I live in, and on only four days notice! This was due to me spending the entire four days calling and emailing every person, think tank, policy center, university professors (that were sympathetic), etc. in town, and not stopping until the day came.”

    Carender also contacted conservative author and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin, and asked her to publicize the rally on her blog.

    Here’s what Wikipedia says about your reference.

    On February 19, 2009, in a broadcast from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CNBC Business News editor Rick Santelli criticized the government plan to refinance mortgages, which had just been announced the day before. He said that those plans were “promoting bad behavior” by “subsidizing losers’ mortgages”. He suggested holding a tea party for traders to gather and dump the derivatives in the Chicago River on July 1. A number of the floor traders around him cheered on his proposal, to the amusement of the hosts in the studio. Santelli’s “rant” became a viral video after being featured on the Drudge Report.

    In response to Santelli, websites such as ChicagoTeaParty.com (registered in August 2008 by Chicago radio producer Zack Christenson) were live within 12 hours. About 10 hours after Santelli’s remarks, reTeaParty.com was bought to coordinate Tea Parties scheduled for Independence Day and, as of March 4, was reported to be receiving 11,000 visitors a day.

    According to The New Yorker writer Ben McGrath and New York Times reporter Kate Zernike, this is where the movement was first inspired to coalesce under the collective banner of “Tea Party”. By the next day, guests on Fox News had already begun to mention this new “Tea Party”.

    Finally a summary from Media Matters regarding Fox and the Tea Party from April 8, 2009

    Despite its repeated insistence that its coverage is “fair and balanced” and its invitation to viewers to “say ‘no’ to biased media,” Fox News has frequently aired segments encouraging viewers to get involved with “tea party” protests across the country, which the channel has described as primarily a response to President Obama’s fiscal policies. Media Matters has compiled an analysis of Fox News’ promotion of these events.

  12. keith says:

    so….santelli did started it/made it happen

    fox is fair and balanced, mostly…(if any of them can be called fair and balanced.)

  13. keith says:

    Jeff,
    This isn’t Fox, this isn’t right wing…etc…this is Byron YORK reporting!!!!
    Take out Obamas name and you’d think they were talkng about a child.

    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/black-caucus-tired-making-excuses-obama

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You are going to need to bring more than a simple assertion if you are seriously trying to make a case for Fox News as an unbiased source.
    Here are a couple of criteria that I think can be applied objectively to any news source to determine if it is free from bias.

    1. Financial Structure – A “for profit” business is more likely to have a bias if nothing else than to those who help pay the bills. A “not for profit” business, particularly those that disclose all of their sources of funding are more likely to align their political position with their charter.
    2. Board of Directors – Those committed to an unbiased view will often have a broad political spectrum represented on their board to make sure the organization follows their charter
    3. Peer Review – Those that claim to be unbiased often regularly test that claim through a peer review process to make sure they don’t wander
    4. Political Contributions – Don’t make political contributions.

    Now let’s look at Fox News.

    1. For Profit
    2. Owned by Rupurt Murdoc. Run by Roger Ailes. Not a liberal in sight in board or management.
    3. No peer review
    4. Parent company contributed $1M to the Chamber of Commerce and The Republican Governors Association in the last election.

  15. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I’ve said before that I don’t have a lot of respect for the Washington Examiner.

    1. For Profit.
    2. Owned by conservative Denver billionaire Peter Anschutz. writers are all conservative luminaries (Byron York, Michael Baronne, and David Freddoso)
    3. no peer review
    4. Parent company also owns the Weekly Standard and sponsored one of the Republican Presidential Candidate Debates in Iowa.

    Familiar with Maxine Waters. She’s right. Obama has been trying to find a middle path and that means he has been disappointing both the right and the left. Pretty clear, though, that as the campaign starts to crank up, that is going to change.

  16. keith says:

    Your test is silly.

    My test? I watch and determine. Fact verse fiction.
    Hyperboly verse resonable. BOTH sides presented fairly.
    Both sides allowed to speak to completion, One side not
    summing up for the reader or the audiance what the other
    just said after they have finished….the story isn’t editied for the
    other side leading to a conclusion….

    EVERYONE fails your test.

  17. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Keith,

    My test is objective. Your test is subjective. If you are looking for silly, you perhaps should look in the mirror first.

    As far as a couple of news sources that meet this test.

    1. Christian Science Monitor
    2. FactCheck.org

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