President Barack Obama’s promise Thursday (September 8, 2011) that everything in his jobs plan will be paid for rests on highly iffy propositions. It will be paid for if a committee he can’t control does his bidding, if Congress puts that into law, and if Congress, in the “out years,” doesn’t roll it back. The jobs bill he proposes employs sleight-of-hand accounting.
Let’s have a look at some of Obama’s claims and how they compare with the facts:
- “It will not add to the deficit.” But… It is difficult to see how the jobs bill will not raise the deficit over the next year because most spending cuts and tax increases are designed to come sometime in the future (if at all), while deficits are calculated on a yearly basis.
- “Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans, including many who sit here tonight.” But… Obama’s proposed cut in the Social Security payroll tax will earn GOP support. But Obama proposes paying for this jobs plan with tax increases that have already generated Republican opposition.
- “The American Jobs Act answers the urgent need to create jobs right away.” But… Not all of the proposals will yield quick job growth. One proposal is to establish a National Infrastructure Bank (NIB) to raise private capital for roads, rail, bridges, airports and waterways. Supporters of NIB doubt it will have much impact on jobs in the next two years because it takes time to establish.
- “Everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.” But… Obama did not explain how he plans to pay for the measures contained in his nearly $450 billion American Jobs Act, but said he would send his proposed specifics in a week to the new congressional supercommittee. Currently all federal taxes and other revenues are consumed by spending on federal benefit programs and payments on the national debt. Everything else is done on credit, so there is no guarantee that programs that will increase annual deficits in the near term will be paid for in the long term.
Pass This Jobs Bill Now
“I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away,” said President Obama. He continued, “It’s called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation.” Obama called on Republicans and Democrats to stop arguing and put people back to work.
Obama unveiled his $447 billion jobs program of tax cuts and new spending after telling Congress to “stop the political circus” and fix the economy. “Pass this jobs bill now” he repeated seventeen times in is Thursday night speech. The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said. Obama’s jobs bill relies on payroll tax cuts to put money into the economy. Boehner continued,”We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well.” Obama told Congress, “You should pass it right away,” and pledged to campaign for its enactment “in every corner of this country.”
How It Will Be Paid For
Valerie Jarrett, senior Obama adviser, said that the President will “close loopholes” to pay for his jobs bill. “We need to make sure that people that are paying their fair share; that those who can most afford to pay a little bit more do,” she said. She added, “This should not be controversial.” “I will let the President discuss the details this evening.” She was clear that the bill will be fully paid for.
“The President will be setting up a bill next week. In that bill will be the details of the legislation as well as how he intends to pay for it. The goal of the American Jobs Act is to create jobs right now. It will be fully paid for. We are going to create a wide range of jobs. There will be a range of tax benefits for small businesses and start-ups. The important message is we need to act now and that is what the President will be calling on congress to do. There are programs in the package that have received bipartisan support in the past. This should not be controversial.” Obama said he would outline legislation in coming days to offset the bill’s $447 billion price tag so it wouldn’t add to federal deficits.
Asked by ABC News’ Jake Tapper and other White House reporters how President Obama plans to pay for his jobs plan, White House press secretary Jay Carney continued to dodge the question, and would give no answer. CBS’ Norah O’Donnell asked if the plan will be paid for with immediate cuts. Carney says “I said it would be paid for.”
Obama says that everything in his bill will be paid for. Obama claims this isn’t another stimulus bill. But… this bill will have to be paid for by borrowing and printing money, which will increase our budget deficit, expand the money supply, and lead to higher inflation. This jobs bill is nothing more than another stimulus bill in disguise that will add to our budget deficits.
But that’s just my opinion.