Source: Calculated Risk
Here’s the situation: Recovery from Bush’s Great Recession has been very slow and painful. America’s unemployment rate is stuck at 9.1% and almost 14 million Americans are unemployed. The alternate measure of unemployment (U-6) is at 16.2%, with 6 million workers unemployed for more than 6 months. There are 6.9 million fewer payroll jobs than at the beginning of the recession in 2007.
Tonight, President Obama will unveil “The American Jobs Act,” which consists primarily of extending the current payroll tax cuts, unemployment insurance, and tax breaks for business. Only about $100-$200 billion of the proposal goes beyond the status quo. Assuming the Republicans agree to this bill, it might be enough to narrowly avoid a double-dip recession. But there is no way Obama’s plan is going to fix the 6.9 million jobs deficit in time for the next election.
Will the emergency jobs bill introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) get a mention tonight? Don’t bet on it. Only a Democrat would propose something like that.
The Bush-Obama Tax Cuts For The Rich are causing an ongoing a budget crisis that Obama wants to solve by cutting Social Security and Medicare. The SuperCongress is meeting right now to plan these cuts. Why is this administration pushing Republican policies?
We don’t need, and the country cannot survive, two Tea Parties or two wings of the Corporate Party. The age we live in demands just the opposite of the austerity delusions the Democratic leaders and the President have ignorantly, recklessly embraced. And come 2012, voters will have every reason to show them all what the phrase “you’re fired” means.
A commenter adds:
At least one choice is becoming more clear. If we’re going to get Republican policies straight down the line it’s far better to have the results labelled Republican. The lesser evil argument really is falling away. Maybe there will be something to build out of the rubble. Maybe not.
From another comment:
If America is going to fail based on these policies, let them be correctly named: GOP, conservative, teabagger. The best way for that to happen is to have a GOP president who’s elected under their banner, not the Democrats’.
UPDATE: From the advance text of the President’s speech tonight. He actually thinks that proposing Republican policies is a good thing.
“I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It’s called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans – including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.”
UPDATE: Robert Reich:
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell scoffs “This isn’t a job plan. It’s a reelection plan.” That’s precisely the problem. McConnell and company have stated publicly that their number-one objective is to unseat Obama and regain the presidency in 2012. They don’t want to give the President anything he could possibly claim as a victory. And they’re not terribly worried if the economy stays awful through Election Day because that’s the best way to fulfill their number-one objective.
UPDATE: Obama is Coming to Cut Medicare