Thursday, October 13, 2011

Not a Comedic Headline

Senate Republicans Plan To Unveil A ‘Real’ American Jobs Bill

Here's what the plan will contain, Politico reports: lower tax rates for individuals (read: the rich) and businesses (read: large corporate donors), pursue free trade (so those rich donors can take jobs out of the US), and roll back environmental regulations while expanding domestic energy production (meaning "Drill Baby, Drill).  On top of that, they want to pass a balanced budget amendment. 
Bruce Bartlett had a lot to say about a balanced budget amendment way back in July.  Principally, his take is that it can't be enforced, unless you want to give unelected judges that much power over the economy.  Money quote:
Not only is it a really bad idea to give unelected judges such power, it is not really practical. For example, until the last day of a fiscal year, it would be impossible to say, as a matter of law, that the balanced budget requirement had been violated. At that point, spending would have already occurred, and it’s not really feasible to tell people to send back some of their Social Security checks because the budget was unbalanced. And who is to say what spending was the amount that went above revenues and what wasn’t?

Further, there's just no way that two thirds of both Houses would pass it, that the president would sign it, and that three-quarters of the states would ratify it.  In this day and age, it's politically impossible.  So what is it, then?  Yeah, you guessed it: a political sop to the Tea Party to show the base that the GOP is for sane fiscal conservatism.  Meanwhile, older Tea Party supporters would begin to see their Social Security checks and Medicare coverage shrink, and aid to local governments for vital programs like elder day care and transportation evaporate.  All because they were angry that a black man got elected president.

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