Jobs Bill Comes Up Short

Feb 12, 10 Jobs Bill Comes Up Short
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The Senate Finance Committee has issued a supposed bipartisan jobs bill designed to get Americans back to work.  Unfortunately, very little in the bill will have a practical effect on lowing unemployment.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid removed many of tax breaks in the bill and is advancing a bill that contains a payroll tax holiday for businesses that hire previously unemployed workers and modest tax breaks for states and businesses.

The new version will cost approximately $15 billion over the next ten years.  This pathetic jobs bill will do next to nothing to address the now systemic unemployment plaguing this country.

With the huge tax breaks for corporations stripped out, many Republicans are saying that they might not be able to support even this piddling bill.

Lately, I have been reading about the Welfare Reform Bill passed during the 1990s and the affect it has had on the poor and working poor.  Despite confirming my worst suspicions about the bill’s efficacy, what I was reminded that the climate for this bill was very intense.

The Republicans swept into power and passed the bill on the backs of Democrats and with the approval of President Clinton.  According to most analysts, this was the largest restructuring of the social safety net since social security was passed.

The measures were mean-spirited and punitive.  Clinton signed it into law and subsequently ran on its successful passage.

Now, in the face of record unemployment and a dismal economic outlook, the Democrats are pushing a $15 billion jobs bill.  Are they serious?  Whom is this supposed to help?

The Democrats do not have the stones to pass legislation through reconciliation or the political will to limit the filibuster.  Meanwhile a Republican Congress rammed welfare reform and forced and a Democratic president to sign it into law.

Then a Republican president proposed a massive tax cut, two wars, and a trillion dollar prescription drug benefit and force a Democratic Congress to pass it.  The gridlock comes from a lack of political will on all sides.

True, Republicans have obstructed many bills in the Senate.  However, the Democrats have proved unwilling to use many of the tools at their disposal.  This sorry jobs bill is another example of their ineptitude at work.

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