A new jobs bill failed in the Senate by 45 to 52 on Wednesday, with 12
Democrats voting against. The $80 billion bill would have extended
unemployment benefits, implemented new tax breaks, and given states aid
for government employees such as teachers and policemen. Why did it fail
and what's next for Democrats hoping to push economic recovery?
About Ballooning Unemployment Spending Bloomberg's Brian Faler reports, "Senator Claire McCaskill, a
Missouri Democrat, said lawmakers want to begin paring the extended
unemployment benefits created in response to the recession because 'this
is not something that can go on indefinitely.' McCaskill said that 'if
you don't start having those discussions then it begins to look like a
brand-new level of entitlement program, which is something that we
really can't afford to do right now in this country.'"
Losing Interest In Job Creation The Washington Post's Ezra Klein sighs, "Unemployment
may be at 9.7%, but the Senate is moving on. Or, at the least, they care
about the deficit more. ... There'll come a time when we need to start
reducing the deficit. If we can get the economy back into gear, that
time might even be soon. But for now, increasing the size of the deficit
isn't some nasty side effect of stimulus spending. It is, quite
literally, the point of the enterprise."
- Because Defense
Spending Is Too High The Atlantic's Joshua Green summarizes his most recent column, "Job bill fails because deficit's at all-time high.
So's military spending. And that's why Obama should cut it." Green
adds, "Targeting wasteful military spending -- like, say, those
subsidies to the French -- might even channel Tea Party anger over
government spending toward a productive purpose."
- The Coming
Stunemflation Crisis The American Prospect's Tim Fernholz predicts, "The
American economic doldrums of the seventies were summed up with the
term 'stagflation.' Since there seems to be no will to do anything
productive about our current situation, and little promise of a better
approach next year, perhaps we'd best come up with a new portmanteau.
Somehow we can jam together 'unemployment,' 'deflation' and
'stagnation': Maybe 'stunemflation'?"
- Senate To Try Again, For
Less Politico's David Rogers writes, "Closing in on 60
votes, Senate Democrats trimmed billions more from their once ambitious
jobs and economic relief bill Wednesday in hopes of winning over swing
Republicans and breaking the stalemate this week. The spending
reductions — estimated near $20 billion — are accompanied by tax changes
tailored to the small-business concerns of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
as well as venture capital and real estate interests with influence in
- Next Steps for Dems The Washington
Independent's Annie Lowrey proscribes,
"So how do Democrats move forward? Likely by finding funding for some of
the provisions, or continuing to argue they are emergency. It is not
clear what will get cut and what will get paygo funding at this point."
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