In the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression, with the stimulus package having helped significantly but much distance left to travel, conservative Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have decided that a massive tax cut for the rich in the form of estate and gift tax cuts is just the thing to put into a jobs bill.
Here is the depressing explanation:
Congress hasn’t passed an important piece of legislation in so long, my first instinct is to feel delighted about progress on a “bipartisan” jobs bill that — get this — some Republicans are prepared to let the Senate consider with an up-or-down vote. Imagine that. But this AP story suggests any enthusiasm about this breakthrough should be tempered by some inconvenient details.
So why would the Senate move forward on a jobs bill that’s underwhelming in the job-creating department? It’s not a mystery — in order for legislation to pass, it necessary has to be made worse. Democrats could write a terrific jobs bill — which, you know, would create lots of jobs — but Republicans won’t let the Senate vote on it. Republicans will, however, let the chamber vote on a weaker bill that does less good.
Democrats are effectively given a straightforward choice: embrace a good bill that gets killed by GOP obstructionism, or embrace a weak bill that won’t do much good but can pass. And here’s the kicker: when Americans notice that the jobs bill didn’t deliver impressive results, it’s the Democratic majority that will get the blame, even though Dems wanted a better bill.
Here is Econ 101 again, this round from McJoan at Daily Kos:
Tax credits don’t create jobs–spending creates jobs. Which in turn creates disposable income, which creates more demand, which creates even more jobs. Massive tax cuts for the rich don’t create jobs, either. We’ve been down that route before, and with the chronic unemployment we’re suffering now and the poor prospects for real job growth, this would be a really good time for Dems to learn from past mistakes.