The Audacity of Gimmicks
Both the spending freeze and a new jobs bill won't do much.
With lawmakers eager to pivot to economic legislation, Senate Democratic leaders have drafted an initial version of an $80 billion-plus job-creation bill that will be heavy on tax breaks designed to spur businesses to make new hires....Though that number may change as the process moves forward, it is clear Senate Democrats have no intention of moving a jobs package as large as the $154 billion measure the House passed in December on a narrow, party-line vote. The House measure included money to extend unemployment benefits and COBRA health insurance coverage, items that aren't in the draft Senate bill but may move in the chamber separately.
"There is 'big bill fatigue' in the Senate right now," said a Senate Democratic aide....A primary goal of the Senate bill will be to encourage employers to add to their job rolls. "We are looking at a form of wage tax credits that would provide an incentive to put people back to work more quickly," Dorgan said.
So we're going to try to pass a jobs bill too small to create many jobs,1 and then offset the cost with a spending freeze too small to really affect the deficit. Do I have that right?
1And, apparently, deliberately designed to exclude any policies that actual ordinary people might understand and support.