Americans have had very little good news to celebrate over the past two years due to declining wages, unpunished racial killings, a rush toward theocracy, and most recently, the prospect of the most extremist right-wing Congress in the nation’s history. There has been steady good news on the economic front in consistent Wall Street gains, record corporate profits, world-leading oil exports, falling gas prices, and job growth numbers as a result of the Obama Administration’s rejection of Republican economic policies. However, now that Republicans will have control of both houses of Congress, they will start, immediately, passing legislation to revert back to Bush-era economics and undo the economic progress of the past six years.
Republicans campaigned on, and have lied perpetually about their storied “40 bills” on job creation such as opening up our world leading oil production for American jobs, building Canadian corporation TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline, reducing tax rates for the rich and corporations, balancing the budget, and abolishing environmental regulations. Boehner and Paul Ryan have complained bitterly “that all 40 jobs bills are dying over there in the United States Senate.” The problem for Americans is that beginning in January the 40 jobs bills, all gifts to corporations, will be brought to life and instead of creating jobs, will create more wealth for the one-percent at the expense of the poor, the middle class, Americans’ health, and of course jobs; typical Republican economics.
None of the House jobs bills were designed to create even one job. It is difficult, indeed, to imagine any American believes that abolishing overtime pay, giving tax breaks and credits to corporations outsourcing Americans’ jobs, or providing tax incentives for the rich and corporations to conceal their wealth offshore will create jobs; but many are stupid enough to believe lying Republicans and probably think they did pass 46 jobs bills. But for any American capable of a 6-year old’s cognitive ability, or noted economic experts, the GOP’s jobs bills are a joke.
According to five noted economists who reviewed the storied jobs bills, three decades of trickle-down economics, current economic disasters in Republican states, and current economic successes in blue Democratic states, not one of the Republicans’ so-called “jobs bills” will have any measurable impact on job growth. In fact, as history proves, and Republicans intend, the bills serve to kill jobs and economic growth while promoting the Koch, Wall Street, and Republicans’ agenda; enrich the oil industry and corporations at the middle class and poor’s expense.
Some of the more absurd “jobs bills” are worth noting including four of Boehner’s so-called education bills purported to be monumental job creators. According to Cecilia Rouse, the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, “not one of them would affect job growth like Republicans claim.” Two of the bills require colleges to offer loan counseling and push the Department of Education to provide information for potential college attendees. Rouse said all colleges already have dedicated loan or financial aid counselors, and like the second bill, will not create any jobs.
The other two education “job creation” bills “seize control of primary education from the federal government by allowing states to transfer public school funding to underperforming private and religious charter schools; something the Obama Education Department champions as part of its (not so stealthy) anti-union school privatization crusade. Much more on this in another article.
Republicans claim that cutting social programs is a sure-fire job creator, and they cite two special bills they claim boosts economic growth and creates an explosion of new jobs. One is Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget that every economist not with the Heritage Foundation said would “not only harm poor Americans, but also hinder job creation by depressing demand in the economy.” The other proposal is a harsh work requirement to qualify for food stamps that will not create jobs for the majority of recipients who already work; including active-duty service members.
An economist at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Strain, questioned exactly how imposing work requirements will create employment opportunities in a slow economy; particularly for the elderly and children who make up a substantial number of food stamp recipients. Strain said, “The problem with talking about these things is in a depressed economy, the jobs need to be there. If the jobs aren’t there, you can’t impose work requirements.” A Brookings economist, Gary Burtless, said that “pulling people’s fingernails out in order to get them to take a job does not add to the total stock of jobs in the economy.” It is important to note that Republicans are not interested in adding jobs, just cutting food stamp funding to give the wealthy tax cuts.
The largest number of bills are aimed at deregulating the dirty energy sector (oil, coal, and mining) that Republicans claim will create jobs by “saving companies a lot of money.” But according to University of Michigan public policy professor specializing in environmental policy, Barry Rabe, “It’s sort of a classic argument” from Republicans to claim that any these bills would help Americans who are looking for more jobs. Rabe said that the bills are a response to Obama’s environmental goals that will put a damper on the Republican goal of “saving energy companies a lot of money.” For example, one “jobs” bill bans the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing emissions standards, and another “job creation bill” requires the EPA to give its authority to Republicans in Congress. The total number of jobs created from both bills is absolutely zero, but the total profit for the Kochs to decimate the environment, like the other bills enriching corporations, is immeasurable; but that is the whole point of every one of the Republicans’ so-called jobs bills.
The only reason there has been consistent job and economic growth since Republicans crashed the economy during the Bush era is because President Obama has rejected their disastrous economic policies. In fact, the Obama Administration has presided over the best job creation streak since 1939, and so far 2014 has been the strongest year for job growth since 1999; all in spite of Republicans’ Herculean attempts to kill jobs, thwart economic growth, and basically do nothing but bitch and moan about immigration, Obamacare, Ebola, Benghazi, and something about a WTF war on religion.
The President is certainly going to be busy using his veto over the next two years, because as is their wont, Republicans will do everything in their power to decimate the economic gains in jobs, GDP growth, revenue, and debt reduction as a result of a Democrat in the White House. It too bad the Americans who voted for Republicans according to their promise of enacting the 46 jobs bills that do not create jobs were too racist, too religious, and too incredibly stupid to notice that the only reason there has been record job growth is because Republicans did not control Congress. Next month that changes and for the next two years they will do everything in their power to reverse the past few years impressive job growth numbers, give the rich more tax breaks, kill regulations, and keep Americans’ wages from growing.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.