This is the House Republican’s idea of a “jobs agenda”? They must be joking. In fact, the policy platform outlined by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) offers a laundry list of half-baked policies that are resounding jobs killers. That’s because, across the board, the Republican “jobs agenda” reduces demand, undermines middle class families, blocks development of renewable energy industries, and recreates the possibility of future financial crises.
The Republican budget plan, for instance, is the most complete articulation of the GOP’s flawed strategy for job creation and economic growth. Passed by the House on a party-line vote in April, it was rejected by the Senate. But the plan still illustrates core party principles that voters should know are at stake in the 2012 elections. The Republican budget:
- Ends Medicare as we know it, kicking low income and middle class retirees into the Kafkaesque and inefficient private insurance market.
- Tears gaping holes in public investments in education and lifelong learning, efficiency enhancing infrastructure and energy modernization, and science research and technological R&D that create jobs today, “crowd-in” private investment, and provide a foundation for long-run sustained economic growth.
- Offers tax cuts to U.S. billionaires paid for by raising taxes on the middle class and shredding social protections for those hit hardest by the economic downturn, the most efficient policies to boost jobs and economic growth in the short-term.
All told, the Republican budget would kill an estimated 1 million jobs.
The budget, however, wasn’t the only indication of the GOP’s priorities. The Republican “jobs agenda” presents a litany of bills that in fact provide explicit subsidies for corporate oil, coal, and gas producers. Those subsidies, and the stranglehold big oil, coal, and gas companies have on national energy policy, are blocking the development of a fledgling advanced technology manufacturing industry that will create jobs right here in the United States: the renewable energy industry. While the rest of the world, including China, is fighting to develop a future based on renewable energy, the Republican “jobs agenda” would keep the U.S. mired in early 20th century technology.
But perhaps no policy is a bigger jobs-and-growth killer than the unregulated financial predation and speculation that created the housing bubble, financial crisis, and economic weakness the U.S. economy now faces. But the Republican “jobs agenda” works tirelessly to recreate the financial policy conditions that created those crises in the first place. On the GOP’s agenda are plans to:
- Gut consumer financial protections put into law by the July 2010 Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed with only one Republican House member dissenting
- Gut funding from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — the regulatory body charged to make sure that derivatives and futures speculation does not metastasize as a “financial weapon of mass destruction,” derailing the U.S. economy.
Need I say more? Republicans have no job creation agenda.
Adam Hersh is an Economist at the Center for American Progress. Adam’s areas of expertise include economic growth, macroeconomics, international economics, and China and other Asian economies.
This entry originally appeared at thinkprogress.org and was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Posted August 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm, in Allied Approaches