Want jobs? Get Congress to end sequestration.
Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, requested an analysis of the costs of the sequester cuts – something I’ve been asking around for since they took place to no avail.
Guess what? The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reiterated their projections about the sequester slowing growth, and estimated that the Republican inflicted spending cuts would cost up to 1.6 million jobs if left in place through fiscal 2014.
The CBO determined that canceling sequester cuts would create between 300,000 (.3 million) to 1.6 million new jobs. Gee, we’ll take it! Sounds pretty good to us.
Their break down:
Those figures represent CBO’s central estimates, which correspond to the assumption that key parameters of economic behavior (in particular, the extent to which higher federal spending boosts aggregate demand in the short term) equal the midpoints of the ranges used by CBO. The full ranges CBO uses for those parameters suggest that, in the third quarter of calendar year 2014, real GDP could be between 0.2 percent and 1.2 percent higher, and employment 0.3 million to 1.6 million higher, under the proposal than under current law. Because those estimates indicate the effects of a prospective change in law, they do not encompass the full impact of the sequestration that has already occurred.
The sequester was always a Republican dream, and Republican Budget God Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been championing it since 2004.
On August 1, 2011, Paul Ryan went on Fox News to crow that he finally got his way when sequestration was put into place via the 2011 congressional debt ceiling deal. Yes, that’s right. We got there because House Republicans were holding the economy hostage over raising the debt ceiling because they didn’t want to pay for the things they’d already bought.
Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor (R-VA) admitted that they were the force behind sequestration when they admitted that they got House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to walk away from the Grand Bargain because they were unwilling to give on any revenue at all. Their way or the highway. (Caving to Ryan and Cantor was the beginning of the end for John Boehner’s legacy as Speaker.)
So, Paul Ryan and House Republicans believed that sequestration was the Holy Randian Grail of austerity gold — the economy would trickle down once they got their way! They got their way, and nonpartisans are saying their way sucks for jobs, which are the driving force of the purchasing power of middle America, which is also known as the market; aka, consumers.
Thanks to House Republicans, we could lose up to 1.6 million jobs by fiscal 2014. Gosh, that’s a heck of a campaign slogan to hand to Democrats, but luckily for Republicans, they are gerrymandered into districts where their base doesn’t trust anyone but Fox News.
Meanwhile the rest of the nation suffers due to Republicans catering to pockets of low information voters while they line their pockets and enjoy the healthcare we provide for them.
The fiscal year ends September 30, so this could really give Republicans something to do for once when they come home from the appropriately named “recess”. But we all know that House Republicans aren’t thinking about how to reconcile the budget, because they’ve got extortion on their minds. They’ve already announced their plans to hold our economy hostage again over ObamaCare. Republicans won’t pay off our debts for money they already spent until the law of the land is defunded because they don’t like it.
It looks like there’s no time out long enough to help House Republicans learn how to play appropriately with others.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.