I think this might be a political mistake if Republicans follow through on blocking all but $11 billion of Obama's jobs proposal. But this is likely just the opening bid, which is intentionally low. As I've noted before, I expect Republicans to go along with just enough to be able to defend against the charge they didn't do anything to help the jobless, and not a penny more -- and they will insist on tax cuts as a large fraction of whatever is done. (If Democrats reject a proposal heavily tilted toward tax cuts, Republicans will try to make it seem as though Democrats are the ones standing in the way. If Democrats play the game right, that shouldn't be a problem, but that's a big if):
House Republicans Whittle Down $447 Billion American Jobs Act to $11 Billion, by: David Dayen: The House GOP leadership has written a memo to their caucus picking and choosing what they would be willing to support in the American Jobs Act. The numbers come out to support for 1/44th of the overall price tag, about 2% of the total bill.
As you may know, the AJA is comprised of about 57% tax cuts and 43% spending initiatives. So in the main, House Republican leaders tossed out the spending and embraced a few of the tax cuts. They also rejected the tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy to pay for the bill.
John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Jeb Hensarling, who wrote the memo, took advantage of the President’s backtracking of an “all or nothing” approach to the bill, and stressed “areas of common agreement” in the plan. ...
So at best, you’re talking about a $447 billion jobs bill whittled down to no more than $11 billion. The memo closes by saying that “We are, however, committed to passing legislation to implement the policies in the areas where agreement can be found to support job creation and long-term economic growth.” With these numbers, I’m not sure why they’re even bothering.
Meanwhile, the millions of unemployed continue to struggle.