The Washington Post

Calling BS on GOP ideas for job creation

As you regulars know, I’ve been stamping my feet for some time now about big news orgs that amplify the GOP’s claim to having a “jobs plan” without asking independent experts whether Republican fiscal prescriptions would actually ... create jobs.

So kudos to the Associated Press for weighing in with a bracing analysis that calls BS on the GOP’s ideas for job creation, though this one is focused on the 2012 GOP presidential candidates:

Key proposals from the Republican presidential candidates might make for good campaign fodder. But independent analyses raise serious questions about those plans and their ability to cure the nation’s ills in two vital areas, the economy and housing.

Consider proposed cuts in taxes and regulation, which nearly every GOP candidate is pushing in the name of creating jobs. The initiatives seem to ignore surveys in which employers cite far bigger impediments to increased hiring, chiefly slack consumer demand...

Mainstream economic theory says governments can spur demand, at least somewhat, through stimulus spending. The Republican candidates, however, have labeled President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus efforts a failure. Instead, most are calling for tax cuts that would primarily benefit high-income people, who are seen as the likeliest job creators.

“I don’t care about that,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry told The New York Times and CNBC, referring to tax breaks for the rich. “What I care about is them having the dollars to invest in their companies.”

Many existing businesses, however, have plenty of unspent cash. The 500 companies that comprise the S&P index have about $800 billion in cash and cash equivalents, the most ever, according to the research firm Birinyi Associates.

What’s striking about this kind of analysis is how rare it is. As Jed Lewison joked the other day: “Imagine if GOP jobs bill claims were covered with the same fervor as Biden gaffes?”

I know I’m repeating myself here, but I continue to insist that the following question is absolutely central to understanding what’s happening in our politics right now: In the view of experts, are both parties making a serious and legitimate contribution to the debate over what to do about a severe national crisis that’s causing suffering among millions and millions of Americans? Or is only one party making a real contribution to that debate?

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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