Reid Kills Jobs Bill

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Heisenberg
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Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:23 pm UTC

Jaime Dupree wrote:Jobs Bill Switch

It was an interesting day in the U.S. Senate, as just a few hours after the unveiling of a bipartisan jobs bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid deep-sixed the plan and opted for a slimmed down jobs measure that wasn't loaded with legislative extras.

"We're going to do a bill that has four things in it," Reid told reporters after a Thursday lunch meeting with fellow Democratic Senators.

It was a big surprise, because just about 90 minutes earlier, the White House had been hailing a deal involving Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) on jobs as an expample of bipartisanship.

"The President is gratified to see the Senate moving forward in a bipartisan manner on steps to help put Americans back to work," said a statement from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

"The draft bill released today by Senators Baucus and Grassley includes several of the President's top priorities for job creation."

Instead of the larger plan, which clocked in at over $100 billion, Reid opted for a focus on four items and a reported price tag of $15 billion.

Reid's new plan would be limited to:
* A new tax credit for hiring workers
* Extra money for highway projects
* Small Business tax breaks
* Build America Bonds
Spoiler:
"The American people need a message," Reid said, "and the message they need is that we are doing something about jobs," as Reid acknowledged that stories about other items in the bill were clouding the Democratic message.

The original jobs bill which had made the rounds during the week had those four items in it, but it was also stuffed with all kinds of unrelated matters, ranging from no-interest loans for certain chicken farmers in Arkansas to 45 pages of pension law changes, satellite television, anti-terrorism laws and more.

It was not immediately clear how many jobs the plan would create, or how much it would cost, but it would definitely be less than the original bipartisan plan.

But Reid's move angered Republicans, who had worked with Democrats to forge a jobs deal, and last evening, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Reid's effort to have the new, slimmed-down bill approved by the Senate.

Instead, Reid laid out a series of parliamentary moves last night - known as "filling the tree" - which will allow him to control the debate when it resumes on February 22nd after a week long Congressional break.

I am still waiting for the legislative text on this new plan. I learned a long time ago not to trust anyone when they tell me that the bill is "clean" with no extras.

Weird. Reid seems to be throwing his weight around more than usual. And why? To cut out some pork?

It seems unwise to (a) shatter a major bipartisan initiative, and (b) delay the much-touted jobs bill. That may come back to bite him in the ass in the coming election.

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Bubbles McCoy
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:27 pm UTC

Well, can't say I'm going to complain over the reduction in government spending at this point, I was pretty disappointed by the recent 2011 proposal ($300+ billion expansion in the deficit over last year's 2011 projections). I'm not too sure if I'd keep job hire credits on a resize of the bill as it seems like one of the most easily exploited provisions of the bill, but I'll take what I can get.

Even if this technically "destroys a partisan effort," I'm unperturbed by the prospect. It seems as though the only place the parties have been able to agree over the past four years is in maintaining spending increases and fun little pork projects, bipartisanship as a goal rings a little hollow when the agreed direction is feet first into hell.

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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby frezik » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:01 pm UTC

There's part of me that wants to believe that Reid has this grand master plan that makes it look like Democrats are pitted against themselves, but which ultimately results in adding 5 new Democratic seats this November. He sits at home, laughing at the fools on CNN, twirling the evil villain mustache he wears in private.

Then a guy named Occam comes by with a very sharp knife and cuts that part of my brain out. After that, I'm pretty sure that Reid is just an idiot.
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Diadem
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

The original jobs bill which had made the rounds during the week had those four items in it, but it was also stuffed with all kinds of unrelated matters, ranging from no-interest loans for certain chicken farmers in Arkansas to 45 pages of pension law changes, satellite television, anti-terrorism laws and more.

Say what you want, but cutting those out is obviously a good idea. Because putting completely unrelated stuff in one bill is a horribly bad practice.

But I'm surprised by this move. It's possible that Reid just genuinely wants to do politics in a honest and clean way, but, no, fuck no, that just never happens. He must have some other motive. But what?
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby mmmcannibalism » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:15 pm UTC

But I'm surprised by this move. It's possible that Reid just genuinely wants to do politics in a honest and clean way, but, no, fuck no, that just never happens. He must have some other motive. But what?


To make it look like he is trying to cut spending, and by extention trying to win his reelection race in Nevada which is known as a fairly conservative state.

edit--Arizona changed to Nevada
Last edited by mmmcannibalism on Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:18 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Telchar » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:39 pm UTC

Nevada actually.
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby MrGee » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:55 am UTC

Is there really any section of highway left in America that hasn't been rebuilt six times since this crisis started? Not where I live. Why do congresspirates have such a hardon for road construction?

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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Vaniver » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:48 am UTC

MrGee wrote:Is there really any section of highway left in America that hasn't been rebuilt six times since this crisis started? Not where I live. Why do congresspirates have such a hardon for road construction?
Because most people have to see it, and have to drive slowly enough that they can read the sign that says "your tax dollars at work!"
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Marquee Moon » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:49 am UTC

When it comes to jobs, size really matters. Even if this new bill is just made of the absolute best spending out there, $15 billion is only going to be a drop in the ocean compared to the unemployment problem.

Diadem wrote:
The original jobs bill which had made the rounds during the week had those four items in it, but it was also stuffed with all kinds of unrelated matters, ranging from no-interest loans for certain chicken farmers in Arkansas to 45 pages of pension law changes, satellite television, anti-terrorism laws and more.

Say what you want, but cutting those out is obviously a good idea. Because putting completely unrelated stuff in one bill is a horribly bad practice.

Well, that seems to be the exact opposite logic that was used to justify last year's stimulus bill. I don't know what your opinions about the stimulus package are, but it's clearly a turnaround for Reid.

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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby MrGee » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:51 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
MrGee wrote:Is there really any section of highway left in America that hasn't been rebuilt six times since this crisis started? Not where I live. Why do congresspirates have such a hardon for road construction?
Because most people have to see it, and have to drive slowly enough that they can read the sign that says "your tax dollars at work!"


That makes sense. Although in my case it was more like "why the $*#% is there a 10-mile backup getting onto the bridge?? Die senators, die!"

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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Vaniver » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:56 am UTC

Marquee Moon wrote:When it comes to jobs, size really matters. Even if this new bill is just made of the absolute best spending out there, $15 billion is only going to be a drop in the ocean compared to the unemployment problem.
That's around $1,000 per unemployed person; if you think 'full employment' is 4% unemployment, it's around $2.4k per person in between now and full employment. If we assume a 'job' costs $50,000 (the cost will obviously depend heavily based on how you define job), unemployment should decrease by about $300,000, which would be a reduction from 9.7% to 9.5%.

[edit]That is, I agree that this isn't directly sufficient, and suggests that the numbers that would be sufficient are huge.
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Malice » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:11 am UTC

Which is why the government doesn't just decide to hire all the unemployed people.

Luckily, they don't have to, because you're forgetting the multiplier effect. There are at least two ways that a jobs bill multiplies--first, because the people who get jobs spend that money on stuff, which helps businesses and eventually leads to those businesses hiring more people, and second, because the jobs are often infrastructure and things of that nature which end up helping the economy work more efficiently, which helps businesses and eventually leads to them hiring more people.

The numbers to fix the unemployment problem are probably still huge when that's taken into consideration, but I doubt they're as huge.
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby cerbie » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:57 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:It seems unwise to (a) shatter a major bipartisan initiative, and (b) delay the much-touted jobs bill. That may come back to bite him in the ass in the coming election.
If it is in such a state that a single Senator can kill it, all that touting isn't too impressive.

Why can't they make a good bill, that there will be enough public support for to get it voted in, instead of, "a bill that Republicans would support." ? (note: I despise English punctuation rules)

And yes, I have several possible answers of varying truth probability for the above; it is just frustrating to constantly see it going on over and over and over.
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Malice » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:19 am UTC

cerbie wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:It seems unwise to (a) shatter a major bipartisan initiative, and (b) delay the much-touted jobs bill. That may come back to bite him in the ass in the coming election.
If it is in such a state that a single Senator can kill it, all that touting isn't too impressive.


I don't think the bill was that weak. Reid isn't just any Senator, he's the Majority Leader. I assume he killed the bill in some way besides just not voting for it.
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Vellyr » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:10 pm UTC

I think Reid is still pissed at Obama for hating on Las Vegas.

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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Economica » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:29 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Which is why the government doesn't just decide to hire all the unemployed people.

Luckily, they don't have to, because you're forgetting the multiplier effect. There are at least two ways that a jobs bill multiplies--first, because the people who get jobs spend that money on stuff, which helps businesses and eventually leads to those businesses hiring more people, and second, because the jobs are often infrastructure and things of that nature which end up helping the economy work more efficiently, which helps businesses and eventually leads to them hiring more people.

The numbers to fix the unemployment problem are probably still huge when that's taken into consideration, but I doubt they're as huge.

The multiplier is likely small at the margin, particularly given that we've already exhausted more promising areas of spending - the 'shovel-ready' projects. I'd be surprised if the multiplier was much more than unity at this time.
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby MartianInvader » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:55 pm UTC

Whether or not this is good for the economy, I think this is a really smart political move. It's not like trying to be bipartisan has been working out well for the democrats over the past year.

Here, Reid's sending the message, "When we try to work with the Republicans, we end up with another $85 billion in extra pork over when we just do the damn thing ourselves. And now the Republicans are trying to block the bill because they wanted the version with MORE SPENDING." At this point, no one is going to think the democrats are being more obstructionist/more partisan than the Republicans. This is a great way for them to get the public opinion behind democratic initiatives.
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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby MrGee » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:03 pm UTC

MartianInvader wrote:Whether or not this is good for the economy, I think this is a really smart political move. It's not like trying to be bipartisan has been working out well for the democrats over the past year.

Here, Reid's sending the message, "When we try to work with the Republicans, we end up with another $85 billion in extra pork over when we just do the damn thing ourselves. And now the Republicans are trying to block the bill because they wanted the version with MORE SPENDING." At this point, no one is going to think the democrats are being more obstructionist/more partisan than the Republicans. This is a great way for them to get the public opinion behind democratic initiatives.


I particularly like the "only four things" line. That's political gold in my opinion.

Although I still don't really agree with what's in it.

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Re: Reid Kills Jobs Bill

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:56 pm UTC

MartianInvader wrote:Here, Reid's sending the message, "When we try to work with the Republicans, we end up with another $85 billion in extra pork over when we just do the damn thing ourselves. And now the Republicans are trying to block the bill because they wanted the version with MORE SPENDING."

That may be what he's selling, but it's not hard to point out that the previous Democratic "save the economy" plan was a smorgasbord of $787 billion dollars in pork.

Now he's making a big deal about cutting a few billion in pork, in a bill that's supposed to "save the economy."

The GOP is going to climb aboard (of course, it says "Jobs" on it), and bitch about how this is what they wanted all along, and if the Dems hadn't been so selfish a year ago, we'd have recovery by now.


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