John Boehner wanted President Obama’s jobs bill in bite-sized chunks, versus being super-sized. Obama wanted to ram the whole thing through in one big gulp. Well, with the Senate effectively killing it, President Obama now vows to do just what Boehner wanted in the first place.
Shortly after his $447 billion jobs plan stalled Tuesday in the Senate, President Barack Obama vowed to break the broad initiative down into numerous, separate bills — potentially setting up even more showdowns between Democrats and Republicans on how to boost the economy and where to get the money to do so.
The Democrat-pushed bill failed Tuesday night to get the 60 votes needed in the Senate to proceed. A total of 50 members of the chamber supported the measure, while 49 cast ballots against it.
In a statement issued Tuesday night, Obama said that despite being an obvious defeat, “tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight.” He then outlined his intention to work with Senate Majority Harry Reid and produce several smaller bills derived from the bigger plan.
“In the coming days, members of Congress will have to take a stand on whether they believe we should put teachers, construction workers, police officers and firefighters back on the job,” Obama said in a statement released Tuesday night. “They’ll get a vote on whether they believe we should protect tax breaks for small business owners and middle-class Americans, or whether we should protect tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.”
As has been reported, President Obama’s jobs bill – you know, the one he’s been trying to rally support behind for the last month – took a significant hit in the Senate on Tuesday when that chamber voted 50-49 to block the bill. That wasn’t even close to the 60 votes needed to override a filibuster and seems a clear sign that the bill is fated to die a horribly, fiery death.
The Hill is reporting that several centrist Democrats who were among those 49 votes have said they would have voted against the bill itself. It seems safe to say that the 50 who voted to block debate on the bill are likely to also vote against it later.
The interesting part is how many Democrats who seem to side with the bill itself have concerns about whether the bill is really the right bill with our nation’s deficit being what it is. Democrats. Worried about the deficit. Remember that for a long, long time.
Jobs are vitally important. There really isn’t any such thing as a “jobless” recovery. Without jobs, people will suffer for a while and the nation as a whole will suffer as a result. However, jobs creation is something that the government simply can’t do and in reality, the President’s plan isn’t exactly designed to do. Unfortunately, there are some problems with it. For example, take the outline of the bill from americanjobsact.com. I’m going to address these points one by one.
An altered version of President Barack Obama’s latest stimulus gimmick, what he calls a “jobs plan,” failed to gain the 60 votes required in the Senate to bring it to final passage yesterday evening and is essentially dead — at least as one package:
President Obama received a slap from members of his own party Tuesday as the Senate voted 51-48 to block his $447 billion jobs package.
The jobs plan, which the president has spent much of the last month touting on a cross-country tour, fell well short of the 60 votes it needed to proceed.
The only Democrats to vote against the measure were Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Jon Tester (Mont.), but a number of other centrists in the party indicated they would vote against the package even though they supported launching a debate on the measure.
All of the Republicans present on Tuesday voted against the motion.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid switched his vote so he can, under Senate rules, bring the bill up for a vote some time in the future. But again, the bill as a single package is dead. Both House and Senate Republicans have been open to certain portions of the proposal and the White House has signaled that they’re open to passing it in pieces.
We’ll no doubt hear President Obama and his party claim that Republicans are blocking these historically bipartisan proposals, but that’s disingenuous, notes the AP:
He is waging a campaign, one in which nuance and context and competing responses don’t always fit in if they don’t help make the case.
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, host of Good Morning America, President Barack Obama admits that Americans are worse off now than when he took office — que the ads, boys — and says he is the underdog in 2012:
resident Obama on Monday took the extraordinary step of declaring himself the underdog in the 2012 race for the White House.
He acknowledged that voters are not better off than they were four years ago, and face a mortgage crisis, unemployment above 9 percent and a bumpy stock market.
“Well, I don’t think they’re better off than they were four years ago. They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we’re going through,” Obama said in a television interview.
“Nobody’s going to deny we’re not where we need to be,” said Obama, who after a tough primary fight sailed to election in 2008 on the promise of hope and change, winning states no Democrat had won in a generation.
“I don’t mind,” Obama said. “I’m used to being the underdog.”
By casting himself in that role, Obama is managing expectations for his reelection bid with both the media and his political base, which has been unhappy with White House concessions to Republicans.
Um, Barack Obama was not the underdog when he ran for the United States Senate in 2004 and, while the race against John McCain in 2008 was contentious, he had momentum nearly the entire campaign. Don’t play that card here. Yeah, his poll numbers are poor and most Americans — either pluralities or slight majorities — believe that he shouldn’t be re-elected; but he is still leading most of his potential Republican opponents.
With the stock market posting its worst quarterly losses since the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis as it lost more than 12% of its value and the odds of a recession growing greater, President Barack Obama wants Americans to know that they’ve “gotten a little soft”:
President Barack Obama told a Florida TV station yesterday that the United States is facing economic difficulties because it has “gotten a little soft” during the last 20 years.
“This is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didnʼt have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades,” Obama said.
The fix is that “we need to get back on track,” he said, while urging Congress to pass his new $447 billion one-year stimulus bill.
Those comparisons between Obama and Jimmy Carter are just going to become more frequent as the comment bears resemblance to a speech the former president made during economic turmoil in the late 70s — hey, there’s a reason voters that were around to experience him still disapprove of him:
News broke last night that President Barack Obama will propose a $3 trillion deficit reduction plan today, which includes $1.5 trillion in tax hikes. The plan comes at the same time he is proposing more than $460 billion in tax hikes to pay for his last stimulus plan:
President Obama will announce a proposal on Monday to tame the nation’s rocketing federal debt, calling for $1.5 trillion in new revenue as part of a plan to find more than $3 trillion in budget savings over a decade, senior administration officials said.
The proposal draws a sharp contrast with Republicans and amounts more to an opening play in the fall debate over the economy than another attempt to find common ground with the opposing party.
Obama will propose new taxes on the wealthy, a special new tax for millionaires, and eliminating or scaling back a variety of loopholes and deductions, officials say. About half of the tax savings would come from the expiration next year of the George W. Bush administration tax cuts for the wealthy.
The tax hike on millionaires is being called the “Buffett Rule.” But as we’ve noted here before, that new tax hike, as populist as though it may be, will cover only a week of federal spending. And in practice, it hasn’t worked:
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) recently appeared on Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano to explain why President Barack Obama’s latest stimulus proposal won’t get the economy moving again; highlighting that his 2009 stimulus bill failed, as predicted:
It looks like Americans aren’t buying President Barack Obama’s latest stimulus gimmick — which includes more than $460 billion in tax hikes, according to a new poll from Bloomberg:
By a margin of 51 percent to 40 percent, Americans doubt the package of tax cuts and spending proposals intended to jumpstart job creation that Obama submitted to Congress this week will bring down the 9.1 percent jobless rate. That sentiment undermines one of the core arguments the president is making on the job act’s behalf in a nationwide campaign to build public support.
Compounding Obama’s challenge is that 56 percent of independents, whom the president won in 2008 and will need to win in 2012, are skeptical it will work.
In all of the categories gauging Obama’s performance on economic issues, the president’s disapproval rating among independents is above 50 percent.
That’s not the end of Obama’s troubles. The poll also shows that 62% of Americans disapprove of his handling of the economy. Only 33% of respondents approve (one has to wonder what world their living in). Overall, Obama’s job approval rating stands at 45%.
Since the bill has a lot of opposition already in Congress, many observers say that it serves only one real purpose; to have another fight between the White House and Republicans over the economy. That may very well be the case, but the numbers are already against Obama on this. Republicans really need only point to the failed 2009 stimulus bill as evidence that Obama is throwing a Hail Mary.
According to a new report from the National Federation for Independent Business, small businesses owners’ confidence in the economy has dropped:
Confidence among U.S. small businesses dropped to a 13-month low in August as fewer companies projected better economic conditions and improving sales, a private survey found.
The National Federation of Independent Business’s optimism index decreased to 88.1, the weakest reading since July 2010 and the sixth-consecutive decline, from 89.9 in July. The number of small-business owners saying they expected the economy will improve six months from now fell to the lowest level since 1980.
“Hope for improvement in the economy faded even further through the month,” William Dunkelberg, the group’s chief economist, said in a statement accompanying the index report. “With such a dim outlook, owners are not going to do a lot of hiring or expanding.”
Small-business owners have grown less confident that conditions will improve as stagnant job growth weighs on consumer sentiment. Households “uncertain about the future” won’t “engage in the spending that would help lead us out of the recession,” Dunkelberg said.
Six of the index’s 10 components decreased. The gauge of expectations for better business conditions six months from now led the decline, falling 11 points to a net minus 26 percent in August. The drop brought business assessment of the economy to the lowest level since the second quarter of 1980, when the measure fell to minus 37, according to Dunkelberg.
President Barack Obama made another pitch for his latest latest “stimulus” plan yesterday in the Rose Garden at the White House, once again calling for Congress to pass it quickly. But this lastest gimmick isn’t likely to win much support from Republicans since Obama is planning to pay for his temporary tax cuts with long-term tax hikes:
The prospects for President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan grew dimmer Monday as he unveiled the fine print of how it would be paid for—primarily through tax increases that Republicans said would destroy jobs, not create them.
Mr. Obama proposed limiting itemized deductions for families with taxable income of $250,000 or more a year, ending tax breaks for oil companies and corporate jet owners, and cutting out a tax break for investment-fund managers. The White House says the tax changes would take effect in 2013 and estimates they would raise $467 billion in additional revenue over 10 years.
Republicans in Congress, who had been striking a more conciliatory tone about backing at least parts of the proposal the president unveiled last Thursday, disputed the White House contention that the plan would cause no additional job losses for the struggling economy.
This is just poor policy. These tax cuts and credits are gimmicks that won’t do much, if anything, to create jobs. In fact, the tax hikes will only contribute to the uncertainty that continues to hamper the economy. This a conclusion that even Obama’s former economic advisor, Christina Romer, once noted (emphasis mine):