Senator Jeff Merkley’s demand that the deficit supercommittee submit its proposals for a CBO evaluation of their impact on jobs has just picked up its first lefty institutional endorsement. MoveOn sends over a statement strongly backing the plan:
“Americans can’t afford for the Super Committee to come up with a proposal that cuts spending by destroying jobs. In recent days, Senator Jeff Merkley has been encouraging members of the Super Committee to have the non-partisan CBO score their deficit reduction proposal to ensure that it doesn’t put more Americans out of work. This is a responsible way to ensure that any proposal out of the Super Committee takes into account the impact it will have on the nation’s economy. While millions of Americans can’t find a job, and are increasingly losing hope in the promise of the American Dream, it’s imperative that the Super Committee’s proposal is not a job-killer.”
Note the appropriation of the GOP “job-killer” talking point to describe any supercommittee spending-cut proposals that risk, well, killing jobs.
As I noted below, the odds are still very much against this idea being adopted. Republicans are all but certain to oppose it, since they’re not too interested in what the CBO has to say about the relationship between austerity and jobs right now, and the Dems on the supercommittee have not reached any consensus on it. But the supercommittee Dems are privately discussing it, and it’s not inconceivable that they will conclude that having the CBO score individual proposals for jobs impact could actually strengthen their leverage in supercommittee negotiations. They may also decide that challenging Republicans to submit their ideas for evaluation on jobs impact might be good politics.
One key tell will be whether labor comes out for the plan, which seems very possible. If so, the media may start covering the story. And supercommittee Dems (and perhaps Republicans) will be asked to explain why they aren’t supporting a no-brainer of a measure that does nothing more than give supercommittee members more information to evaluate the impact the committee’s proposals have on not just the deficit, but on unemployment and the economy.
Even if the odds are very long against this happening, it’s still a valuable thing to push for, because it may be the last remaining way to get the supercommittee to even think about how their deficit reduction proposals impact the labor market.
Of course, there’s always the risk that rising liberal enthusiasm for the idea will make it less likely that centrist Dems, not to say Republicans, support it.