fresh voices from the front lines of change







On the day before Congress reconvened in Washington, in the middle of a continuing job crisis, Republicans took to the Sunday talk show airwaves and … had no ideas what to do about creating jobs.

This is not terribly shocking. There have been no actual job creation proposals from the Republicans since their congressional election victories gave them a larger governing responsibility.

Now, if you want empty platitudes, Republicans got that covered.

Sen.-elect Rand Paul said on CBS’ Face The Nation, “I want to expand the private sector because we have a– a serious recession so I want to leave more money in the private sector. I want to shrink the ineffective sector of the economy which is the government.”

Do I really have to state that there is no set size of the public and private sectors, and when you shrink one sector the other one does not magically get bigger?

Sen. Jim DeMint tried to argue on Fox News Sunday that an extension of the Bush tax cuts for multimillionaires was somehow a jobs program: “I hope we can get a permanent extension. But if the president wants to compromise on a two- or three-year extension, what’s important here, Chris, is that businesses know what their tax rates are going to be over the next few years so they can plan growth and plan to add people.”

Is DeMint seriously arguing that we need a Bush-era tax policy to create jobs?

Businesses knew what their tax rates were going to be for 10 years when the Bush tax cuts were passed in the first place, and President Bush had “the worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records” according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

DeMint also took a cheap shot at funding public projects through earmarks: “we’re not working on important national issues when we’re trying to pave a local parking lot.”

That’s not exactly what most earmarks fund, but even so, you do actually have to hire someone to pave a parking lot.

Newt Gingrich, ignoring the atrocious Bush jobs record, and the already superior Obama record, has this to offer on NBC’s Meet The Press: “the problems in this economy are problems of fiscal policy, they’re problems of taxation, and they’re problems of an anti-business, anti-jobs bureaucracy that this president encourages.”

But no actual ideas for job creation from himself.

Sen. John Cornyn, on CNN, expressed hope that the President would back pending “free trade” deals and lamenting that “the administration hasn’t gotten behind them yet.” Apparently, Sen. Cornyn learned nothing from the failure of NAFTA. A trade agreement is not automatically good for jobs. There are good deals and bad deals.

I still hold out hope that the President’s delay means he is driving a hard bargain, whereas Sen. Cornyn suggests the terms do not matter.

More importantly, Sen. Cornyn was just pointing to the President, but, like the rest of his party, he is not offering any of his own specific ideas what to do about jobs.

Republicans were able to stick to empty platitudes and channel dissatisfaction with the slow pace of progress to Election Day success. Fair enough, it worked.

But now they are about control half of Congress. Isn’t it way past time they are relentlessly asked the question: what exactly are you going to do about jobs?

And can you explain, after all the failures of your ideas in the last decades, how your ideas will actually work?

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