COMMENTARY | When President Obama issued his demand before a joint session of Congress to pass a jobs bill which at that point had yet to be written, he promised he would present his plan to pay for it at a later date.
Obama has fulfilled that promise. He intends to pay for what amounts to be “Stimulus 2” with a massive tax increase on the wealthy and businesses. That, for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is a deal breaker.
McConnell, noting that similar tax proposals have been rejected by Congress on a bipartisan basis, suggested that the taxes to pay for the jobs bill would not fare any better in the Senate and would be rejected by some Democrats as well as Republicans.
None of this is unexpected. The jobs bill, a combination of targeted tax cuts and infrastructure public works projects, is almost identical to the $900 billion stimulus passed in the spring of 2009, except for the lower price and the promise that this time the projects will be made to be “shovel ready.” The former stimulus bill is widely acknowledged to have been a failure, having not stimulated anything except unemployment and the growth of government.
This is all going according to plan from the standpoint of the Obama administration. The White House is taking a “my way or the highway” stance toward the plan. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reports that Obama political adviser David Axelrod stated there would be no negotiations concerning the jobs bill. The administration is demanding that the bill be passed in whole and not broken up into parts so some elements can be passed and not others.
Of course, Axelrod’s demand would not have been accepted by the previous Congress, not to speak of the current one. The jobs bill has been crafted with the intention of it being rejected.
Obama will then go to the campaign trail, assuming his Spock in ponn farr mien, and blame the congressional Republicans for continued economic malaise and high unemployment. He intends to ride the issue to reelection in next year’s campaign.
The cynicism of the strategy cannot be overestimated. That is the plan’s fatal flaw. The fact that it is a strategy and not a serious program is just too patently obvious. McConnell knows this. The problem is Obama does not, which means economic turmoil will remain for the next year and a half.
Source: McConnell: Obama playing politics with plan to raise taxes, Alexander Bolton, The Hill, Sept. 13, 2011
White House refusing to negotiate on jobs plan, Ed Morrissey, Hot Air, Sept. 13, 2011