The road NOT taken: The American Jobs Act – It seems like ages ago, but it was just last September when the president delivered an address to a joint session of Congress, laying out a detailed plan to boost job creation. It’s easy to forget, but it was a credible, serious plan — the AJA would have prevented thousands of layoffs for teachers, cops, and firefighters; invested heavily in infrastructure; and cut taxes intended to spur hiring. […] Despite public clamoring for action on jobs, congressional Republicans reflexively killed the American Jobs Act, saying it was unnecessary. The House wouldn’t bring it up for a vote, and a Republican filibuster killed it in the Senate. For GOP policymakers, this was a time when Washington should stop investing in job creation and start focusing on austerity — lower the deficit, take capital out of the economy, and everything would work out fine. As panic sets in after this morning’s brutal jobs report, take a moment to consider a hypothetical: what would the economy look like today if Congress had followed Obama’s lead, responded to public-opinion polls, and passed the American Jobs Act? In 2012, do you think the nation could use those 1.3 million jobs or not? — Maddow Blog
- Steve Benen: The Republican Party’s passive disinterest to the jobs crisis — This is, after all, a Republican-led Congress that has plenty of time to fight a culture war — I’ve lost count of the anti-abortion bills that have reached the House floor, including one yesterday — but has shown passive disinterest to the jobs crisis. Follow this pattern of events:
- With the job market struggling, Obama unveils the American Jobs Act, a State of the Union agenda filled with economic measures, and an economic “to-do list.”
- Republican lawmakers ignore the proposals, and the job market deteriorates.
- The GOP then blames Obama for the failure his policies, which Congress didn’t pass.