Pass the bill



It’s an odd-numbered day so Paul Krugman is shilling for Obama:

Setting Their Hair on Fire

First things first: I was favorably surprised by the new Obama jobs plan, which is significantly bolder and better than I expected. It’s not nearly as bold as the plan I’d want in an ideal world. But if it actually became law, it would probably make a significant dent in unemployment.


O.K., about the Obama plan: It calls for about $200 billion in new spending — much of it on things we need in any case, like school repair, transportation networks, and avoiding teacher layoffs — and $240 billion in tax cuts. That may sound like a lot, but it actually isn’t. The lingering effects of the housing bust and the overhang of household debt from the bubble years are creating a roughly $1 trillion per year hole in the U.S. economy, and this plan — which wouldn’t deliver all its benefits in the first year — would fill only part of that hole. And it’s unclear, in particular, how effective the tax cuts would be at boosting spending.

Still, the plan would be a lot better than nothing, and some of its measures, which are specifically aimed at providing incentives for hiring, might produce relatively a large employment bang for the buck. As I said, it’s much bolder and better than I expected. President Obama’s hair may not be on fire, but it’s definitely smoking; clearly and gratifyingly, he does grasp how desperate the jobs situation is.

But his plan isn’t likely to become law, thanks to Republican opposition. And it’s worth noting just how much that opposition has hardened over time, even as the plight of the unemployed has worsened.

If I was the Republicans I would “pass the bill” giving Obama pretty much everything he wants. It’s unlikely to make much of a dent in unemployment (although it would help keep things from getting worse) but by passing it they would destroy his whole reelection strategy.

How does he run on “Those mean (racist) Republicans won’t pass my bill” if they pass his bill?

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24 Responses to Pass the bill

  1. OldCoastie says:

    I hope they pass it… our school has 37 extra kindergartners and no teacher for ’em after all the layoffs…

    ridiculous… maybe we could get 50 cents out of the deal for our school, but I’m not holding my breath…

    the whole seems to be too little, too late…

    Obama looked horrible last night – wonder what’s wrong with him?

    • bluestate says:

      Obama looked horrible last night – wonder what’s wrong with him?

      his approval rating is the body temperature of a man who’s been in the refrigerator at the morgue for at least a week

  2. votermom says:

    I’m curious – is there an actual bill to go with that speech, you know, like written down? How many pages and are the congresscritters allowed to read it or is it so urgent that they’ll just have to pass it to find out what’s in it?

  3. votermom says:

    NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell
    on Friday as a jobs proposal by President Barack Obama did
    little to reassure investors concerned about weak economic
    Obama’s U.S. jobs package, revealed in an address to
    Congress on Thursday evening, was met with skepticism, with
    investors waiting to see if Republicans would back the plan.

    Skeptical? Why on earth would anyone be skeptical?
    Don’t investors know by heart that “past performance is no guarantee of future results”? Just think of Obama that way – this time it’s really really really gonna work!

    (Okay, can I have Carney’s job now?)

  4. WMCB says:

    I find it amusing that Krugman and others keep telling us “Pass the Bill!”, when no one has seen the bill. What bill??? There is no bill yet- there was merely a speech.

    It’s very revealing. People are supporting something that they have yet to see or read or know any details about. One can only conclude that the “support” is mere tribalism and cheerleading, since there is nothing there to support yet. “Pass the Bill” is just code for “Unconditionally trust Obama”. There is no bill. No one has seen one.

  5. DandyTiger says:

    Mostly agree. If the Republicans want to ensure winning in ’12, they’ll do minimal fiddling and changing and pass the thing. To make a lot of noise, especially over the major parts that are just extensions of what he’s doing, incl. bug cuts in SS, would make them look stupid.

    Then again, if they pass it as is, it might give the appearance that Obama did something right and is a leader. So it’s not quite so straight forward. Perhaps some haggling, some small victory over some element at least.

    It’s very sad to see a Republican president battling with a Republican congress over nothing. Pathetic. And no matter what they do, we lose.

    • myiq2xu says:

      They should haggle over the SS tax cut – that puts them in the position of protecting SS

      • DandyTiger says:

        Now that would be fucking funny.

        • WMCB says:

          Down is up and up is down. R’s, almost all of them, have postulated future changes to SS and Medicare, but are adamant about protecting current or soon-to-be recipients. The only ones who’ve been doing active cuts (Obamacare) and advocating stealing from the SS fund to pay for their boondoggles are the Dems and Obama.

          And yeah, if the R’s are smart, they will trumpet that Obama is trying to fund more govt employees and high speed rail by stealing from SS.

        • ralphb says:

          The GOP got a lot of votes in 2010 by running against Obama taking money from Medicare to fund part of Obamacare. It would work again.

          It won’t help them much if their presidential candidate thinks SS is unconstitutional though.

      • ralphb says:

        Especially true since it won’t do one damn thing for the economy or create a single job. It’s basically continuing something which hasn’t worked. I think of it as a pre-failure guarantee.

      • Yes it’s meant to be revenue neutral, so the $450 billion stimulus will be paid for by $450 billion further cuts by the deficit Super Commission. Basically future cuts to entitlements paying for stimulus next year. The stimulus should have been expansionary and more directed imo, especially in this demand contraction economy with negative treasury yields which means no cost borrowing by the government. Misplaced deficit obsession is going to drive this economy into a full stall.

  6. WMCB says:

    LOL! Chatting with the husband, and he says the House ought to put forward a completely blank piece of paper entitled “The Bill”, and hurriedly vote on it and pass it.

    Then when they get screamed at to “pass the Bill”, they can say they did. Have a press conference and say “we passed The Bill.”

    Oh, wait, there is supposed to something actually there in writing to debate and vote on? Tell the president and his talking heads that, then.

    • votermom says:

      I finally figured out why they were applauding last night.
      It’s because when BO said “Pass this Bill” they all heard “Bring back Bill!”

  7. Dario says:

    It’s unlikely to make much of a dent in unemployment (although it would help keep things from getting worse) but by passing it they would destroy his whole reelection strategy.

    If the Republicans wanted to screw The One, they would pass that bill ASAP. It’s not going to change a thing. On this one, Bachmann is right. The worse part is that it will screw the funding of SS. The Republicans could also attack Obama of using the SS funding as a piggy bank.

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