Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brown & The Jobs Bill

There is a lot of needless wailing and gnashing of teeth going on over the fact that Scott Brown, along with a handful of the other usual suspects, crossed party lines to vote with the Democrats to pass Harry Reid's scaled down $15 billion "jobs bill." It in fact was scaled down from a "bi-partisan" $85 billion bill that had far more tax cuts negotiated between Senators Baucus and Grassley.

What is left is essentially a cosmetic bill consisting of a . . .:

$13 billion program allowing companies to avoid paying Social Security taxes for the remainder of 2010 on new hires who have been unemployed for at least 60 days. Employers would also receive a $1,000 tax credit for each new worker who stays on the job for at least a year. Democrats tout the plan as a simple way to create tens of thousands of new jobs, though some experts dismiss it as too narrow to make a significant dent in the nation's unemployment rate.

The jobs bill also includes a one-year reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund, a provision allowing companies to write off equipment purchases as business expenses, and an expansion of the Build America Bonds program, which helps state and local governments finance infrastructure projects. . . .

It is doubtful that this bill will create many new jobs, but at least it is mostly aimed at the private sector. That is a first for the Obama administration. I applaud them.

Let's put this, and Scott Brown's vote, in perspective. Just a month ago, Obama was asking for a jobs bill that would include $79 billion to fund more infrastructure projects even though an analysis of the near $79 billion already spent on infrastructure projects in the original stimulus shows it had "no effect" on local unemployment. Just as a reminder, of the original $786 stimulus, only 2.6% was directed towards small business loans - even though small businesses are responsible for over 80% of all the new job creation in America. Then there is Crazy Nancy and the House which passed a version of the "jobs bill" last week that would spend $150 billion on a wide variety of things - just not private sector jobs. The House bill has only $354 million - yes, million - going to small business loans. That is less than one quarter of one percent of their "jobs" bill. These people are insane.

Scott Brown never claimed to be a conservative ideologue. He may be center or center right, but if he were too much further to the right then he is, I wonder whether he could have gotten elected in blue Mass. He has already declared that he intends to hold the line on Obama care and the War on Terror. That is a lot. Besides, the reaity is that we are never going to see a better deal coming out of this Congress than a jobs bill that only spends $15 billion and at least points that money in the direction of small business. That's the zenith of what we can expect to see coming from a Congress that is redefining the terms "profligate spending" and "misplaced priorities." In truth, I would have voted for it just as a prophylactic against an alternative to something many times worse. Thus, I find those today complaining about Scott Brown either aren't paying attention or they are ideologoues engaging in a bit of counterproductive chest thumping melodrama.

The bottom line is that Obama threatens our nation in many ways. We have health care and reconcilliation staring us in the face. Cap and trade, like the theory of man made global warming itself, may be dead, but we have the EPA warning that it will start issuing binding regulations to limit carbon emissions within the next twelve months. Obama is still pushing a major overhaul of our financial system that will force race based lending standards into our financial system at a level never before seen. There are major battles to be fought between now and November and perhaps beyond if the right doesn't recapture the House or the Senate. My suggestion to those who are, like me, quite concerned with all of this - give Scott Brown a pass on this one. Scott Brown is part of the solution, not the problem. Keep your eyes on the left, because there is the real threat to our nation.


Paul Gordon said...

The bottom line, we are never going to see a better deal coming out of this Congress than a jobs bill that only wastes $15 billion of borrowed money. That's a real deal today. Heck, I would have voted for it just as a prophylactic, as an alternative to something many times worse. Given that, I find those now wailing about Brown's vote to be a bit of melodrama.

As one of those who felt very "melodramatic" about Brown's vote, I'll admit you've given me something to consider.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

When this depression was getting started, my friend kept telling me,
"Cheer up; things could be worse."
He was right; they got worse
~Will Rogers (I think).

Soccer Dad said...

Taranto said something quite similar.

More generally, I wonder for conservatives to be successful there needs to be a certain number of "core" conservatives who will keep the agenda moving, but to get to a majority you need "RINO's" too.