"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Jobs Numbers Remind That Dem Stimulus Is More Of The Same Failed Policies

November 5th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

The Washington Post writes today, “The Senate shot down another piece of President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill Thursday, as a stalemated Congress goes through the motions of attempting legislation to spur economic growth largely as a mechanism to allow each party to blame the other for the failure to act. The chamber failed to advance a measure to spend $50 billion on highway, rail, transit and airport improvements and another $10 billion as seed money for an infrastructure bank designed to spark private investment in construction.”

Politico reported yesterday, “The widely anticipated defeat of the Democrats’ Rebuild America Jobs Act, which would have provided $60 billion for transportation infrastructure projects, marked the third blow to President Barack Obama’s jobs agenda. His sweeping $447 billion jobs package was blocked by all Republicans and two Democrats last month, while a smaller piece of that legislation — $35 billion to pay the salaries of teachers, cops and firefighters — suffered the same fate. Senate Democrats on Thursday came up nine votes short of the 60 needed to advance their infrastructure bill past a key procedural hurdle. The vote was 51-49, with all Republicans and two members of the Democratic caucus — Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) — voting no.”

Democrats’ latest stimulus bill was more of the same government spending that has failed to improve the economy paired with a job-killing tax hike. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained earlier this week, “There is no denying the fact that the policies of the past two and a half years have made a bad situation worse. For two and a half years, Democrats dominated this town. They got everything they wanted.  And what happened? Unemployment has hovered above eight percent for 32 months. The so-called misery index is the worst it’s been in more than 25 years. Consumer confidence is at levels last seen during the height of the financial crisis. But if there’s one number that really stands out, it’s this: 1.5 million. That’s the number of fewer jobs we now have in this country since the day that President Obama signed his signature ‘jobs bill’ into law. . . . And what Republicans have been saying is that if we truly want to help improve the situation we’re in, if we really want to turn this ship around, then we need to learn from our mistakes and take a different approach. We know what policies haven’t worked. What sense does it make to try those same policies again? None.”

Those facts were only reinforced by today’s jobs report. CNBC writes, “The U.S. jobs market remained stuck in neutral during October, with the economy creating just 80,000 new jobs as the stubbornly high unemployment rate nudged lower. Amid few expectations that the employment picture has improved, government numbers Friday confirmed the obvious: The unemployment rate is stuck at 9.0 percent where it likely will be for many months to come. . . . The so-called real unemployment rate, which counts discouraged and underemployed workers, dropped to 16.2 percent from 16.5 percent. That’s the same rate as in August. They were tepid gains, though, for a jobs market that remains a far cry from indicating growth.”

Next week, though, the Senate will have an opportunity to try something different. Instead of advancing the same stimulus spending bills designed for political messaging that attract bipartisan opposition, on Monday, the Senate will vote on a bill to help job creators that has bipartisan support. The bill, which would eliminate a burdensome requirement that government contractors have 3% of their payments withheld for taxes, passed the House with over 400 votes, and has support from President Obama. The bill is being sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA).

So next week, Senate Democrats will have the opportunity to take ‘yes’ for an answer, and support a bipartisan jobs bill. Will Democrats vote for it or decide again that politics is more important.

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