Despite being one of the loudest critics of President Obama’s stimulus, Perry used billions of dollars of federal money to patch Texas’ budget shortfalls, and was thus able to create and maintain lots and lots of public sector jobs. In fact, if you look at net job creation between 2007 and 2010, it’s clear the only thing keeping Texas buoyant was government jobs.
A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimates that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased the number of people employed by between 1.0 million and 2.9 million jobs as of June 2011.
In addition to saving and creating jobs, ARRA has increased the number of hours worked, CBO has concluded. That is, without ARRA, many full-time workers would have been reduced to part-time status and fewer would have worked overtime.
CBO’s analysis finds that ARRA has significantly boosted both the number of people employed and the number of hours worked. Without ARRA, millions more workers would be either unemployed or struggling to get by on less income.
First, 51 percent of respondents in a Politico-George Washington University poll said that they favor “a large scale federally subsidized nationwide construction program putting Americans back to work building roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals.” Just 21 percent of respondents oppose such an idea.
Meanwhile, 62 percent of respondents in a new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll approve of the federal government “paying for long-term unemployed workers to train at private companies for eight weeks, and then giving the companies an option to hire them.” A plurality of respondents approve of funding a road construction bill, extending unemployment benefits, and extending the payroll tax cut that was included in last December’s tax deal.
– Extend all the Bush tax cuts: While everyone got a tax cut from President Bush, the extremely wealthy got the lion’s share of the benefit. In 2010, fully half of the entire benefit from all of the Bush tax cuts flowed to the richest 5 percent of Americans. Extending them all (plus indexing the Alternative Minimum Tax to inflation) will cost nearly $4 trillion, not including interest costs.
– Eliminate capital gains taxes for middle income households: Capital gains tax rates are already extraordinarily low, but middle class Americans don’t enjoy much benefit from that. According to the Tax Policy Center, 67 percent of the entire benefit from lower capital gains tax rates goes to millionaires. Romney’s proposal won’t cost much because it won’t benefit many people.
– Cut corporate taxes: Romney’s proposal to cut the corporate rate by about a third would cost more than $900 billion. Needless to say, this cut would benefit mainly the very rich and corporations.
– Eliminate estate taxes: Right now, only the very biggest, richest fraction of a percent of all estates pay any tax at all. Eliminating even this paltry amount would cost about $175 billion, and would, of course, only benefit a few extremely wealthy heirs and heiresses.
Haven’t we heard this story before. It’s the same old tired ideas being “regifted” with a nice new bow and called a “new policy”.
Can anyone remember the last time a Republican had a new idea? And Ron Paul’s ideas don’t count on account that his ideas are even older and no one remembers that 150 years ago, things sucked.
Everyone knows the unemployment rate is painfully high and not falling. Friday’s monthly jobs report from the Department of Labor put a cruel point on this fact: In August, job gains in the private sector were entirely offset by job losses in the public sector, netting precisely zero new payrolls for the month.
Private sector job creation appeared artificially lower than it should have because 45,000 Verizon workers were on strike when the survey was taken. What happened in August has been happening for months, as policy makers allow federal spending to fall and, thus, for government jobs to disappear, placing a significant drag on overall growth.
… recommendations give the lie to the idea — pushed by conservatives and adopted by some Democrats — that government is growing out of control and deficits need to be addressed urgently. And yet nearly all major news outlets ignore, or bury this fact — indeed, most reports of this month’s jobs figures place no emphasis on the contraction of the public sector, and the implications thereof.
This is a predictable symptom of the culture of political reporting — each side of a policy disagreement should be noted,and possibly explained, but never evaluated, even when accompanied by clear indicators like the August labor figures.
That sort of analysis exists elsewhere in abundance, but the the most venerable institutions of the national media have largely buried what is perhaps the single most important piece of data about the jobs report.
Despite the “widespread belief” that outsourcing work to contractors saves the government money, a new study finds that contractors charged the federal government more than twice the amount it pays federal workers to do the comparable jobs, on average. In 33 out of 35 occupations, contracting cost more than it would have cost for government employees to perform comparable services, the Project on Government Oversight study found.