Skip to comments.Do more on jobs, Dems tell Obama (aims to make it easier, cheaper to create private sector jobs)
Posted on 06/10/2011 8:26:27 AM PDT by Libloather
Do more on jobs, Dems tell Obama
By Alexander Bolton - 06/10/11 06:00 AM ET
Senior Senate Democrats are growing frustrated by what they see as President Obamas passivity on the economy, and are beginning to discuss a large infrastructure package funded by tax increases.
Some Democrats, such as Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who serves as chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, think such a package could lower the unemployment rate by as much as two percentage points.
But the plan is not without political risk Republicans would be quick to slap Democrats with the old tax-and-spend liberals label. And the prospect of passing such a plan through the GOP-led House of Representatives where conservative freshmen hold significant clout is slim.
I am concerned about the Obama administrations approach on this, Harkin said. It always has been about jobs. I think the administration kind of got snookered talking about the deficit and the debt after the last election.
The last election was about jobs and the economy, and now were in a position where we really do need some economic pump-priming by the federal government, he said.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, endorsed Harkins argument for more infrastructure spending, and said it is gaining support in the broader caucus.
Theres very broad support, Rockefeller said. Theres no other way to get at this problem.
Rockefeller said a spending package was discussed at several meetings Wednesday and that theres a recognition Democrats need to be tougher in negotiations with Republicans.
We have to be much more aggressive about all this, because as soon as they say Were not going to do that, as theyve been saying for so long about so many things, you just kind of say oh. Weve got to stop saying oh, he said, referring to the hard line Republicans have taken for Medicare cuts and against tax increases.
Even centrists like Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) say a major infrastructure package funded by tax revenue-generating measures is whats needed to strengthen the economy. But Conrad wants a smaller package than some of his more liberal colleagues. He has suggested $100 billion in infrastructure spending.
Conrad estimates the Treasury loses about $1.1 trillion in revenue a year in special tax breaks or what some Democrats call tax expenditures. Some of these tax breaks subsidies for oil companies and breaks for companies that relocate factories overseas, for example could be ended to fund infrastructure projects.
We have a significant shortfall in the trust fund to pay for transportation. How do you pay for it? You got to pay for it with other spending cuts or additional revenue, Conrad said. I would prefer to go after offshore tax havens to pay for it.
Conrad, citing data from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said closing these offshore tax havens could generate up to a $100 billion a year.
Senior Democrats discussed the prospect of a major infrastructure package at meetings Wednesday, and several endorsed the idea, according to Democratic sources.
Jared Bernstein, former chief economist to Vice President Biden, said Democrats should not shy away from spending money to energize the economy.
There are some things you can do without spending money, but thats obviously a very tough constraint and not one that politicians should accept, he said.
Bernstein, who met with the Democratic Caucus Thursday, said it would be ambitious to hope that more infrastructure spending could reduce unemployment by 2 points, but nevertheless said its a smart idea.
Given the realities and politics around it, any package that would create some jobs through infrastructure investment, I would support, he said.
Even if Democrats can move a significant infrastructure-spending package paid for by closing tax subsidies through the Senate, pushing it through the House would be much tougher.
It would never get through the House of Representatives, Conrad said.
But it might have a better chance if it were added to a massive deficit-reduction package that saves $4 trillion or more over the next decade.
Democrats are concerned about a report released last week by the Labor Department showing the economy added only 54,000 jobs in May and that the unemployment rate increased to 9.1 percent.
Democratic leaders have felt their hands tied by the $1.6 trillion federal deficit and a constant barrage of Republican criticism over spending.
Centrist Senate Democrats facing tough reelections are even reluctant to raise the national debt ceiling if a plan is not accompanied by spending cuts. This has underscored the political reality that jobs legislation cannot pass if its costs are not offset by tax increases or other cuts.
The tight budget picture has forced Democrats to advance relatively modest jobs bills, such as the reauthorization of the Economic Development Administration, now pending on the Senate floor. Democrats want to boost the agencys budget to $500 million a year, a small increase compared to the roughly $15 trillion national economy.
Its small but its helpful, its in the area where unemployment is, which is largely unskilled people who need a manufacturing-type job, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
Without ending tax breaks to fund new stimulus legislation, jobs bills will have to remain modest.
The political, fiscal situation combined almost puts handcuffs on governmental actions. Its frustrating, she said.
RE: Do more on jobs, Dems tell Obama
The Dems ought to look at themselves in the mirror.
How about repealing Obamacare, one of the biggest inhibitors of hiring in the country. Start with that.
Do more on jobs? Just get out of the way. It’s all of their “doing” that has created this mess. Undo your doing then get out of the way.
So Porkulus at $787 billion wasn’t enough?
I understand that not all of the original Porkulus money has even been spent. Yet now they want more. But this one will be a special infrastructure Porkulus.
But we were told that Porkulus was aimed at roads and other infrastructure in the first place.
What the heck????? Are these Democrats being less than truthful, less than open about all the facts? I would be shocked, just shocked, if that were the case.
Dems have always had just one idea: tax-and-spend. They ought to just get out of the way.
Obie couldn’t run a flipping lemonade stand. Why the Sam Hill anyone believes he has any idea about economics, job creation, wealth creation, cause and effect relationships relative to human behavior is beyond me.
That was exactly my thought when I read the headline. Anyone who has read a basic book on economics understands that government is seen as a negative influence on prosperity and job creation. Obama can help us by resigning with Joe Biden and putting some adults in office.
Cheaper to hire today but how about the down the road costs? Since that is as clear as zeros past I and others will not hire.
They want to grow the economy by raising taxes, increasing government spending, and by regulating private business. But due to the disastrous economy, they are having a difficult time getting these "solutions" enacted. But they're still trying!
With the economic malaise we’re in, and if Obama is defeated for re-election, Obama could well become Jimmy Carter II, as far as history is concerned. Carter will go down in history as an utterly ineffective president, and Obama could join Jimmy in that club.
Jimmy likes to brag about how much he has accomplished in his years after leaving the White House. I wonder what Barack plans to do when his term is up. Probably he will rake in millions making speeches, as Bill Clinton did. That way, Michelle can still afford to take planeloads of hangers-on with her on vacations to Spain and wherever else she wants to go.
Anybody else notice that Michelle seems to take a lot of trips without Barack? The MSM hardly mentions that.
Infrastructure jobs would mean more deficit spending and more TAXES.
Get rid of Obamacare, the regulations that strangle businesses, Dodd-Frank which is a gift to the financial class, and a host of other bureaucratic nightmares, get banks to get off their duffs holding trillions to cover the inevitable default on the debt swaps and hedges and free up capital and the private sector will grow.
Oh, and stop giving foreign aid all over the world,and pull out bases from Europe.
I read last night that it actually was the overvalued stock market that created this mess. And that buy and hold strategy stock market analysts are too embarrassed to admit it.
Democrats have no idea what they are doing. They want a tax increase to fund a "large infrastructure package". This does not create JOBS, it creates WORK. Which then ENDS when it's over.
The dems are totally out to lunch. Their first infrastructure heavy stimulus plan did nothing to help the economy as you can see here (http://libertarian-neocon.blogspot.com/2011/06/visual-proof-of-failed-stimulus.html) and now they actually think doing more will help anything? I dont remember hiring union labor to fix bridges and roads actually creates wealth, only cutting taxes and regulations does that.
Create more private sector jobs? Simple. Get the [expletive deleted] out of the way.
Wow. Talk about just not getting it. These guys aren't just ordinary stupid, they're extra special stupid.
Yeah, like AGGRESSIVELY cutting spending and reducing the tax burden on business. Douchebag.
Fact: POTUS Obama is never going to lift a finger to create private sector jobs. Bottom line is: Obama is at heart and soul, a communist, anti-American and...he wants to take down the USA economy. Now, whether it’s his socialist dogma, or threats from the Soros, Wright, Farrakhan, Ayres, types, we probably will never know. Harken better ante up real quick, along with the rest of the Democrat caucus, to force Obama to resign or impeach this un-American failure of a POTUS. The American business community, the American people have Obama’s number and....they want him out of office right now!!!
“Why the Sam Hill anyone believes he has any idea about economics, job creation, wealth creation, cause and effect relationships relative to human behavior is beyond me.”
But...but...but...he’s managed to make *himself* quite wealthy.
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