One week after the President admonished Republicans for lacking a serious alternative to his American Jobs Act, Senate Republicans introduced what they call a “jobs” bill yesterday. ABC News, the Washington Post and others reported on this development as if this meant Republicans have satisfied the President’s call.
Furthermore, several media outlets reported — upon prompting by Speaker John Boehner’s office — that Boehner complained to the President in a private phone call that he was falsely stating that House Republicans lack a jobs proposal.
But the President did not call for just any bill with a “jobs” label slapped on it.
President Obama called for Republicans to propose a jobs bill and have it “assessed by the same independent economists that have assessed our jobs plan,” so there would be some objective evidence that it would actually create jobs.
And the President urged the media to hold Republicans to that standard.
So far, both the Republicans and the media have failed that test.
There have never been assessments done on past proposals from House Republicans. As The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn recently reported, the House plan is so vague that even when asked professional economists are unable to score it.
Yesterday, GOP Sen. Rand Paul asserted — without any backup — that their bill would create 5 million jobs … during an undefined period of time.
But as New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait noted: “There is zero chance that any independent agency or macroeconomic forecaster scores this proposal as either reducing the deficit or increasing employment over the next year. On the deficit, they may propose to cut tax rates, offset by spending cuts or closing tax deductions, but the latter will be totally unspecified. On jobs, the GOP simply will not engage with the premise of the entire macroeconomic forecasting field that the economy is suffering from a lack of demand.”
So the President and the public continue to wait for Republicans to propose something — anything — that an objective economist can say is expected to create a job.
And we continue to wait for the media to report that fact.