President Barack Obama will send his latest gimmick - the $447 billion stimulus plan - to Congress today in hopes that they will quickly take it up and pass it:
President Obama will again press Congress to pass his American Jobs Act during a Rose Garden event on Monday morning.
A White House official said that the president will send his legislation to Capitol Hill on Monday evening when Congress comes back in session.
On Monday, Obama will hold an event in the Rose Garden, an official said, where he “will call on Congress to pass the bill, which contains the kinds of proposals to grow the economy and create jobs that have been supported by both parties in the past.”
Republicans will at least consider the bill, but have asked the White House to split the proposals up instead of a single piece of legislation; perhaps a sign that they may like at least some parts of it, including much needed free trade agreements.
However, Republicans are skeptical of more infrastructure spending since the 2009 stimulus bill was such a failure and they are unconvinced that the payroll tax cut and tax breaks for employers are going to do much to boost the economy. The concerns on infrustructure are well-founded, as Veronique de Rugy noted last week. And it may sound unorthodox for the GOP to oppose a tax cut, but an editorial at USA Today explains why it’s a reasoned approach:
The reactions on Mitt Romney’s economic proposals are in and they’re mixed for the most part. As noted yesterday, the proposal are most a rehash of what he put out during his last presidential four years ago. The Wall Street Journal isn’t impressed:
Mitt Romney rolled out a major chunk of his economic agenda yesterday, and we’ll say this for it: His ideas are better than President Obama’s. Yet the 160 pages and 59 proposals also strike us as surprisingly timid and tactical considering our economic predicament. They’re a technocrat’s guide more than a reform manifesto.
The Club for Growth, which has been critical of Romney on healthcare and his consistency on economic issues, notes that there are parts of the proposal that sound good, but it’s counterproductive when it comes to China:
“Governor Romney deserves praise for his specific plan to put America on a path to economic prosperity.” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “Eliminating taxes on savings and investment, pushing for a flatter tax system, and cutting the corporate tax are positive steps. Governor Romney has correctly identified that a lower regulatory burden would create a positive climate for economic growth and has laid out pro-growth specifics on how to accomplish this goal. Unlike President Obama, who has given nothing but empty rhetoric promising more of the same failed policies, Governor Romney has offered specific solutions that demonstrate his potential as President. Every top-tier Presidential candidate should issue a comparable blueprint for Americans to review.”
[UPDATE] It’s was reported this morning that Obama’s new stimulus plan could cost more than $400 billion.
Some details of President Barack Obama’s rehashed stimulus gimmick new “jobs package” was reported yesterday in the media. It’s package, which Obama will speak about to a joint session of Congress this evening, is being presented as tax cuts and infrustructure spending, much of what was passed off as economic stimulus in 2009; but as you’ll note, that word is absent from Democrats’ vocabulary:
President Barack Obama, facing waning confidence among Americans in his economic stewardship, plans some $300 billion in tax cuts and government spending as part of a job-creating package, U.S. media reported on Tuesday.
The price tag of the proposed package, to be announced by Obama in a nationally televised speech to Congress on Thursday, would be offset by other cuts that the president would outline, CNN reported, citing Democratic sources.
Bloomberg News said the plan would inject more than $300 billion into the economy next year through tax cuts, spending on infrastructure, and aid to state and local governments.
Obama would offset those short-term costs by calling on Congress to raise tax revenues in a deficit-cutting proposal he will lay out next week, the news agency reported, without citing sources.
You have to hand it to Jon Huntsman, he’s averaging barely over 1% in national polls in his quest for the Republican nomination for president; but he just keeps on truckin’. His team put out a new ad yesterday contrasting his record on jobs to that of Mitt Romney (although he was never named, but video of a baseball glove or a mitt is shown), whose state, Massachusetts, was 47th in the nation during the same time:
Just two days before President Barack Obama is set to give his jobs speech before a joint session of Congress, Mitt Romney laid out his proposals to get the economy moving again. Here is the red meat from Romney’s editorial in USA Today:
Only the individual initiative of entrepreneurs, workers, investors and inventors enables companies, and our economy as a whole, to flourish. We must once again unleash the tremendous economic potential of the American people. The contrast between what the Obama administration has done and what I would do as president could not be starker.
First, President Obama has raised or threatened to raise taxes on both individuals and businesses. I would press hard in the opposite direction. Marginal income tax rates and tax rates on savings and investment must be kept low. Further, taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for middle-income taxpayers should be eliminated. Our corporate tax rate is among the world’s highest. It leaves U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage and induces them to park their profits abroad, benefiting the rest of the world at our expense. I will fix these problems with permanent solutions. Ultimately, I will press for a total overhaul of our overly complex and inefficient system of taxation.
Ronald Reagan was said to have “Redefined the Republican Party”. Where that party is now… well, that’s anybody’s guess.
One reason libertarians are seen as pompous is because they actually have the answers that lead to less government. To reduced spending, and to individual liberty. This fact was illustrated in glaring truth at the Republican debate in Iowa when candidate Rick Santorum pointed to how Islamic countries treat gays as a reason to continue war. Santorum is a staunch Social Conservative and does not support gay marriage.
One has to wonder what exactly the boundaries are in order for someone to be a Republican. Especially those running for office.
Taxes: If there is a consistent issue in the party, I suppose it’s low taxes. Bush 41 famously broke his promise of “No new taxes” though.
Spending: This might have the widest array of stances as any subject. The Republican controlled congress, senate and held presidency of 2000-2006 certainly didn’t seem to cut anything. More recently, the TEA party seems to be hell bent on limited spending – but in almost every direction you look, elected Republicans seem to offer little resistance to any new spending measures.
Gay Marriage: This issue is divided within the party, from the religious base clearly in opposition to small “l” libertarians ranging from non federal intervention to all out support.
Abortion: Another basic non issue, but clearly a divide. Seems like a large majority are pro life, but a few exist in the other direction.
The jobs report for the month of August was released just a few minutes ago by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The news isn’t encouraging:
The US economy created no jobs and the unemployment rate held steadily higher at 9.1 percent in August, fueling concerns that the US is heading for another recession.
It was the first time since World War II that the economy had a net zero jobs created for a month.
Economists had been expecting the report to show a net of 75,000 jobs created, an unusually low number considering the US is technically more than two years removed from the end of the last crisis.
Keep in mind that the employers need to produce around 130,000 jobs just to keep up with population growth, so even the estimates for this month were anemic. The silver lining is, as noted, the unemployment rate didn’t go up.
The report puts even more pressure on President Barack Obama to deliver a strong proposal to Congress to encourage job creation, especially after his stunt of trying to upstage the GOP presidential debate. Odd are, however, that he’ll resort to the same policies that have held the economy back.
As you know, the White House announced that President Barack Obama would give his much-anticipated jobs plan to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, September 7th. Well, there was just one problem with that given that eight Republicans are set to square off in a long-planned debate at the Reagan Library in California that same evening.
As you can imagine - and justifiably so, Republicans were bothered by Obama’s blatant (and yes, it was blatant) move to upstage the GOP debate. House Speaker John Boehner fired off a letter to the White House asking Obama to move the speech back an evening to Thursday (September 8th), which also happens to be the start of the NFL season (I’m pulling for the Saints against the Packers).
Of course, the White House and Democrats have taken shots at Republicans for making an issue out this. They’ve even claimed that Boehner’s office didn’t object to the original date. Ed Morrissey notes that this has happened before, where Obama was planning an address on Libya and decided to move it due to another event:
President Obama had a message for the American people Monday night, an explanation of the government’s intentions in Libya, one that he believed was important enough to request air time from the broadcast networks as well as the cable news networks.
Gallup released today’s snapshot of President Barack Obama’s approval ratings. As you can see, it brings more bad news as his numbers have hit another record low:
I’m telling you anything you don’t already know when I say that the economy is what is hurting Obama’s numbers. Obama is planning to unveil another jobs plan next week, but it is going to be based on the same Keynesian economic that brought us the failed 2009 stimulus and will no doubt have a tough time getting through Congress:
President Barack Obama said Monday he would unveil proposals next week aimed at spurring job growth in part through infrastructure improvements.
He said next week he would lay out a series of steps that the U.S. Congress can take immediately to put more money in the pockets of middle class families and put construction crews to work.
Japan tried stimulus after stimulus in the 1990’s and they kept having economic troubles. And now we are stuck in our own Lost Decade where the Federal Reserve and the Obama Administration keep persuing the gimmicks instead of taking our economic and regulatory problems, which are responsible for stifling growth, head on. It’s like he’s learned nothing in the last two and half years.
I was reading an article regarding some ideas of what President Obama’s jobs plan will contain, and came across a paragraph that I felt I needed to address. It contains some thinking that many people feel is pretty sound, but it misses something that is pretty key to how government works when it comes to spending.
The two-phase plan would probably require Obama to argue for spending more money in the short term while reducing the federal deficit over a longer period. Many economists support that combination, saying cuts in spending should wait until the economy is stronger. But political strategists say it has been difficult to communicate that idea to voters.
The idea of spend now, cut later, sounds just fine to a lot of voters. The problem is that those cuts are for down the road, and there’s no guarantee that those cuts will ever happen. A program becomes popular, or the cuts themselves become unpopular, and so it never materializes. For example, take the so-called Doc Fix in Medicare. In fact, here’s Paul Krugman’s explanation of the Doc Fix back in January:
The reason we keep needing doc fixes is that back in 1997 Congress established a formula for Medicare reimbursements that was, in fact, unworkable. Applying that formula would set reimbursements so low that doctors would drop out, leaving seniors without care. Congress should have fixed the formula once and for all; but nobody wanted to take the budget hit, so instead we’ve had a series of temporary patches. And everyone knows that these patches will continue to be necessary.