Reaching Across the Aisle
The American Jobs Act
President Obama came out swinging. His first punch thrown was directly aimed at the Congressional stalemate. In a speech many viewed as the beginning of his re-election campaign, the President called for Congress to end the “political circus.” There was a passion in the eyes of the President which we have not seen since his first campaign. The details of the President’s plan are not yet clear, but the design was a clear challenge to Republicans. Most of these proposals coming from the President have been supported, and some even created by Republicans. The challenge was to give up the gridlock, and do what is right for the country. Michelle Bachmann has already decided she will not. In the very first line of her rebuttal, one which was not even sponsored by Republicans, she attacked the President again, though not even being present for the greater portion of the speech. The speech by the President was aimed to create jobs; nobody can argue that, even if his re-election campaign was a latent purpose, on this night, our Commander in Chief was all about placing Americans back into functioning jobs. The speech Rep. Bachmann countered with seemed aimed at attacking the President; aiding her failing campaign was more important to her than aiding the failing economy. The President proposed numerous plans to create more jobs now. To her credit, Miss Bachmann had a proposal which would help stabilize American industry in the long run; however, right now, we need jobs for right now. When American citizens get back to work, then is the time to focus on long term fixes; that will be when Miss Bachmann’s input will be a valuable asset.
Admittedly, in the days leading up to the speech, I must be honest by saying that I did not feel the American Jobs Act should be passed; the policies by President Obama had failed. Stimulus bailouts hurt more than helped, unemployment rose, and the citizens of this great nation had confidence only described as wavering by the most optimistic of people. Why did our nation need a second round with that same struggle? However, after hearing to proposal I am much more optimistic. The details are yet to be known, but at least for now, we have a reason to hope. The policies announced by our president are anything but left wing, and can hardly even be described as left of center. In this case however, credit needs to be given where it is due. President Obama has realized that his previous economic strategy has failed, and he has not tried to shift blame, or insist it will work. Quite the contrary, to his credit, President Obama has taken a very different approach from the normal Democrat policy of stimulus and gamble. Many, if not most of these ideas are largely implemented from the Republican playbook. In his speech the President mentioned numerous tax cuts, while only pushing for one tax increase–one for the six plus figure income range. Republicans have hardly anything from President Obama’s speech to pick apart. This makes too much sense not to pass, and fix our infrastructure with American employment.
This is not simply another irresponsible financial cash dump by our current administration; the American Jobs Act will actually put people back to work. Both sides of the political spectrum can—and have previously—agreed that our national infrastructure is falling well below acceptable standard. They have both agreed that our education system needs help. Many of our students are still behind. No child left behind helped immensely, but now has reached its apex, and our national education level is beginning to plateau. Teachers are being laid off, and school buildings are in need of maintenance. These are opportunities for immediate government jobs, the United States of America has a chance to be a great employer in the time its people need it most. These are jobs that will put money back into the economy right away.
The policy presented by President Obama last night is not a bottom line answer to the American economic crises; it is impossible for government to create private sector jobs, however, the American Jobs Act is a good start. Tax subsidies for hiring new employees are a good incentive, but it will not create jobs. If a new business is going to hire an employee, the opportunity costs must pan out financially. If a worker is hired at an entry level position of $35-$40 thousand per year and a tax subsidy is provided for $4000, this means the overall cost on the business it still in the range of $30-$35 thousand per year. We cannot expect a business to make a new hire if the returns are not profitable. This means that a new employee, hired at that the aforementioned salary will need to produce close to fifty thousand dollars in revenue to become profitable. If people are not spending money, a new employee cannot possibly generate that much revenue. This is a solid Republican counterargument; however, if we follow the Republican logic, we see all the more reason to support president Obama’s bill. There first needs to be money flowing to and from businesses before it would be reasonable to expect the private sector to begin hiring, and renewing the economy. Is there any better way to do this than by putting money in the hands of consumers through public works projects, the form of which we are in need of anyway? The government will pay for workers to fix our infrastructure, and these workers will in turn have money to spend, growing our economy. The additional cash flow will then make it a profitable investment for these private sector businesses to hire new employees, right as the public works projects are wrapping up. This cannot happen if we do not first put the nation to work. I agree with the GOP that we need to make business regulation reform. According to the speech last night, the president has already found over 500 reforms, but that is not the point. Republicans have a valid argument which Democrats need to listen to: the regulation is hurting economic growth. So if we push Congress to put people back to work now, we will have economic flow which will create the need for the major reform the right wingers demand. Republicans can and should support this deal. A compromise can be made that if the GOP supports this bill, a year from now when money is flowing into workers pockets, the left wingers will agree to look at major regulation reform. The President has admitted he was wrong on regulation reform also, already repealing an EPA mandate which would have cut thousands of coal jobs. If Washington can unite, each side can get what they feel they need; furthermore, our nation can get the economic growth it needs.
I understand that this will take money we simply do not have, in a time of wildfire government spending. I also understand the argument that Republicans are making, telling Democrats that as long as our Congress keeps spending, we will see no recovery. Again, reforms are needed; however, we need to consider the alternative to passing this bill. Let us suppose the American Jobs Act is rejected. Passing market reforms will not put money in the pockets of workers for the near future. This means that we will wait for market reforms to take place, and people will still be unemployed in the meantime. I also, like most Americans, hate the idea of more spending, especially if it is not completely covered by budget cuts as the President has promised. So is there another option of Congress? Do we wait until we have a budget surplus to fix our infrastructure? That may be a decade or two away, possibly more, by which time it is very plausible that many citizens will literally be driving on crumbling roads, and dangerous bridges. Right now we have the workers available, and the need to act for the good of our citizens.
We have a President who has effectively admitted he was wrong; realized his economic policies have not provided the growth which was intended, and is now doing all Congress will allow him to do in order to really push economic growth. Unfortunately, Republicans are already lining up with their ballets checked “absolutely not”, despite the fact that many of these proposals are strait out of the GOP playbook. Republicans have supported much of the aspects of the American Jobs Act in the recent past, so the question begs to be answered: why oppose them now? To their credit, not all Republicans have decided to reject the proposal before it is debated, but too many have, and that should worry voters. Too many are opposing the bill now for the sole purpose of political gamesmanship. We are seeing another depressing example of politicians putting politics before the good of the nation, it happens in both parties. We need to see Republican support for this act, or we need to see logical reasons for opposing it; not just the war cry that stimulus will not work. If this were simple pump and inflate stimulus, that would make sense, but it is not. Widespread Republican opposition to the new American Jobs Act, without a legitimate concern focused on policy—not just the election next November—but for the actual logistics of the proposal will only show millions of voters that the Republican Party cares about power more than principal. They will take all necessary measures to stifle any political opposition, and stiff the voters who hired them: all to win prestige. Please Congress; show us you still care about our livelihood.
Posted on September 10, 2011, in Patriotslog Articles, Politics and tagged American Jobs Act, Barack Obama, bipartisan, democrat, economy, employment, jobs, money, poverty, President Obama, regulatory reform, republican, stimulus, unemployment. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.