The Case for the American Jobs Act

An op-ed in today’s WSJ by National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling draws a stark contrast between the American Jobs Act and Republicans’ “more-of-the-same” partisan ideas that won’t help our economy.

The American Jobs Act will grow our economy and help put more Americans back to work now:

“First, it provides a strong and immediate boost to demand that could create up to 1.9 million jobs, increase growth by up to 2%, and lower unemployment, according to independent economists such as Moody's Analytics. It does so by cutting payroll taxes in half for nearly all workers and small businesses, preventing teacher and first-responder layoffs, and creating jobs rebuilding our infrastructure, our schools and our blighted neighborhoods.”

“Second, it is specifically designed to take on the problem of long-term unemployment. It includes a tax credit for hiring the long-term unemployed and veterans, and a ban on hiring discrimination against the unemployed.”

Meanwhile, economists have said that Republicans’ partisan bills won’t grow our economy and create jobs:

“In fact, Gus Faucher, the director of macroeconomics at Moody's Analytics, after reviewing the latest Republican jobs plan (the Jobs Through Growth Act), told the Washington Post that it would do nothing to create jobs in the short-term and could even make matters worse. Likewise, Macroeconomic Advisers wrote just this week that the bill ‘would not materially change our forecasts for either economic growth or employment through 2013.’”

And, as Sperling points out, it’s disappointing that Republicans are blocking a bill that includes bipartisan ideas:

“This aversion to measures designed to move the needle on jobs and growth is particularly disappointing given that many Republicans supported them only a short time ago.”

“Earlier this year, the heads of the AFL-CIO and U.S. Chamber of Commerce came together to support increased infrastructure investment and back the same bipartisan Senate proposal for a new infrastructure bank—sponsored by Sens. John Kerry and Kay Bailey Hutchison—that is included in the American Jobs Act.”

“The president's proposal to cut payroll taxes in half for workers and small businesses closely resembles a provision included last year in the Economic Freedom Act put forward by 50 House Republicans, including Michele Bachmann and Jeb Hensarling.”

“It simply cannot be the case in a serious economic moment like this that good ideas are transformed into bad ideas solely because President Obama supports them.”