fresh voices from the front lines of change







Today, Politico reported that congressional Republicans are actually aware that they are failing to convince the electorate that they have a strategy to create jobs.

But they appear to think they only have a communication problem:

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn said there was concern that Republicans weren’t emphasizing the jobs issue in their rhetoric. “People tend to get focused on cuts and spending, but really the ultimate goal is to encourage the private sector to invest and create new jobs.”

Um, congressional Republicans say all the time that cutting spending will create jobs. Their communication problem is that they are trying to communicate something that doesn’t make any sense.

And sometimes the facts are just too hard to ignore, so you’re stuck with saying “So be it” to the prospect of cutting hundreds of thousands of jobs.

They might have an easier time if they had a proposal which independent experts found would actually create jobs.

In fact, the House Republican leaders held a Wednesday “jobs forum” designed to identify exactly those ideas. Republicans said they weren’t going to propose their own ideas. They were going to listen to the ideas of business leaders. But somehow, their handpicked guests simply parroted the usual conservative talking points and falsehoods.

But instead of then quickly declaring a “jobs emergency,” and rushing to the House floor with a bunch of fantastic new jobs ideas, House Republicans on Thursday instead declared a “NPR emergency,” suspended the normal rules and rushed to the floor to pass a bill preventing local radio stations from purchasing NPR content with taxpayer funds.

If Republicans want to be serious about creating jobs, they have a bipartisan proposal staring them right in the face, a bill to create an “infrastructure bank” providing government loans to private companies so we can modernize our infrastructure.

It was drafted by a Republican and Democratic senator. It is backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. It establishes a role for government to create jobs without violating conservative principles of limited government. It is a proposal squarely in line with the historic bipartisan support for infrastructure investment.

Yet, when the bill was introduced this week, there was silence from the Republican leadership and the broader Republican caucus. The only conclusion I can draw is that opposing the President and the Democrats is more important than getting serious about jobs.

We just spent a decade under conservative Republican rule that produced the worst record on jobs in modern American history. Simply recycling the most simplistic of conservative rhetoric is not going solve the Republican “communications” problem.

The only way Republicans will solve their problem is to treat the jobs crisis as the emergency, and show they are willing to compromise to do something about it.

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