“Just a reminder: if you vote GOP today or sit it out, you are voting for a tax cut FOR ME and none FOR YOU.”
- Keith Olbermann on the Tea Party (newstatesman.com)
- Keith Olbermann stops “Worst Person in the World” segment (for now) (shortformblog.com)
- Keith Olbermann did an amazing Special Comment this evening… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
…picked up from John Case’s socialist-economics mailing group:
People before Profits: Sound bites about jobs
In my home state of Connecticut, I am bombarded with ads from businesswoman Linda McMahon. She has already spent over $24 million of her huge fortune in an effort to capture Connecticut’s open Senate seat. McMahon’s rhetoric echoes fellow Republicans around the country who say: “Government doesn’t create jobs. Small business creates jobs. Cut job-killing government spending. And Cancel the stimulus.”
This article will examine some of these sound bytes.
When does small business creates jobs?
The Republicans are fond of saying that small business creates 70 percent of all jobs. They don’t tell you that small business is also responsible for 70 percent of all layoffs. That’s the nature of small
business. They start up and go out of business all the time.
When businesses, small or large, hire more workers they have more customers. If customers are cutting back, business cuts back. It’s that simple.
Don’t take my word for it. The National Federation of Independent Business asked its members, “What is your single most important problem?” The answer was not taxes, not unions, not labor, not government red tape. The biggest problem for small business is poor sales — not enough customers! And there are no customers because we are all broke, unemployed, drowning in mortgage and credit card debt.
When union’s workers are able to win higher wages, their income flows back into the local economy. Yes, unions are good for small, local business!
But the fastest way to create jobs in the private sector is to increase government spending.
Unemployment compensation, food stamps and other safety net programs are immediately spent at the local supermarket, gas station, and other businesses. A study by the Congressional Budget Office found this kind of government spending among the most effective in creating jobs!
Government spending on infrastructure, education, and medical care helps the businesses that supply these industries. And government workers’ paychecks are also spent supporting businesses in the local and national economy.
McMahon and Republicans are against government spending and against unions. So they are really against small business and small business job creation.
Is government spending evil?
McMahon’s TV ads say, “Cut job-killing government spending.” This makes no sense at all. Almost every dollar spent by the government creates jobs.
The federal, state or local governments directly employ more than one of every six workers at 17 percent. And for every worker with a government paycheck, another worker is employed by a private business selling supplies or services to the government, or providing the things the workers buy with their paychecks.
Since January 2009, the economic crisis has caused state and local governments to cut employment by 397,000. Without the federal funds provided by the stimulus, those job losses would have been more than double. McMahon and the Republicans want to cut the stimulus, throwing hundreds of thousands of teachers, police and firefighters out of work, and forcing states and cities to raise taxes or cut services.
The final piece of economic nonsense is the claim that eliminating the federal deficit is the biggest priority, and that deep spending cuts will somehow help the economy. Most of the media accept this as self-evident. But it is wrong.
Linda McMahon, like most Republican candidates, refuses to say what programs she would cut to eliminate the deficit. But The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that the Republican plan to cut the Federal budget to 2008 levels would force a 20 percent reduction in
non-defense discretionary spending. Biomedical research would be crippled. Local schools, already hard hit, would see federal funds disappear. Local taxes would rise. Hundreds of thousands of jobs would disappear. The Republican plan could easily throw the economy back into the free fall that President Obama inherited in January 2009.
Deficits don’t kill jobs. Spending cuts kill jobs.
McMahon actually supports two big budget-busters: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Bush tax cuts for the rich. But the biggest cause of the deficit is the recession itself — unemployed workers and closed businesses don’t pay taxes. Spending for necessary, productive purposes today will help revive the economy and make it possible to cut deficits in the future.
Between two and five million people have jobs or increased hours today because of the stimulus bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But stimulus funds are running out, and those jobs will start to disappear in the next months. The best hope for jobs, both public and private sector, is extending and increasing stimulus measures. Enacting President Obama’s $50 billion infrastructure proposal, and the Local Jobs for America Act which funds state and local governments, would be important first steps. That won’t be possible if Republicans like Linda McMahon, with their job-killing priorities, win in November.
- Blumenthal, McMahon Debate Again; Voters Turned Off (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Connecticut’s Senate Race: McMahon vs. Blumenthal (time.com)
- Conn. Senate debate focus: trust, jobs, wrestling (sfgate.com)
Now I wonder if we’ll ever really put the money back that the Bush Administration sucked out of the budget.
- Lincoln: May propose compromise on Bush tax cuts (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Vulnerable Ark. senator hints support for tax cuts (sfgate.com)
- New option: Don’t tax the rich. Tax the really rich (money.cnn.com)
Introducing White House Whiteboard
In this first edition, Austan Goolsbee, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers at the White House, tackles the tax cut fight and what it means that Congressional Republicans are “holding middle class tax cuts hostage” as the President has said:
That makes it pretty clear, doesn’t it. While the candidates are off now running for their seats, please remember to bring this up to the Republicans who are saying that Obama’s Administration is doing nothing to fix our economy.
- Austan Goolsbee, tax cuts and “big red balls” (salon.com)
- Think Nobody in the White House Knows How to Explain Economic Policy? (theatlantic.com)
Anyone who spends a couple of hours switching around between CSpan and CSpan2 in an afternoon gets a real feeling of despair watching political parties working against each other instead of for the rest of us. For the last couple of days I’ve been watching both Houses debate trade issues (always coming back to how China screws us by devaluing the Yuan), Federal spending on things that are not making our economy any better, and both sides claiming they are addressing the things the American people want them to.
To tell the truth, everything is going to get worse. While the Republicans are working as hard as they can to make sure the Democrats accomplish as close to nothing as possible, thus getting their party’s numbers up in the coming election and perhaps getting control of the HofR or the Senate, they don’t seem to realize that if they gain power the Democrats will pull the same crap on them. If one says, as an American, I’d like both sides to work together, it is pretty much ignored.
So what do these politicians do? They spend most of their speeches on the floor complaining about each other. They don’t do the easiest things… the things that would increase employment (for which we would gladly pay necessary taxes), things that would get us out of military overexpenditures as the last international empire builders, things that would rebuild our infrastructure which the last 25 years of tax cuts have allowed to crumble. What are we able to do about it?
Do we turn into something like the Tea Party which is manipulated by the Republicans and based on white greed and racist contradictions? Do we try to convert our existing parties to be actual representatives of our concerns and needs and not those of extremely wealthy and manipulative international corporations? How do we do it?
This is so depressing I can hardly breathe.
After putting this post up this afternoon, I was looking at some videos of Rachel Maddow and found one commenting on the Republican hypocrisy related to the Recovery Act that she did last February. Amazing how this relates to the same garbage going on between parties… and how serious this problem will get if the Republicans take over either (or both) Houses in November. Take a look:
- Bob Cesca: Killing the False Equivalency “Both Sides” Meme (huffingtonpost.com)
- CBO’s Elmendorf tells Republicans what they don’t want to hear (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Are we heading for a replay of 1930s? (telegraph.co.uk)
- Leo Hindery, Jr.: Tea Party Politics & Economics: Brews Too Bitter To Swallow (huffingtonpost.com)