I can only marvel at the cynicism of Speaker Boehner’s argument about ‘short-term gimmicks’ on the jobs front. Let’s assume for the sake of conversation that we buy that there’s an essential disagreement about macroeconomic policy and its role in spurring job growth in the near term. Let’s also set aside the extremely strong arguments that contractionary policies will almost certainly make the jobs situation worse. Even if you set those arguments aside, the Speaker is basically saying he’s not interested in doing anything to actually create jobs now or over the course of the next year.
Yes, reforming the tax code could create a more efficient and dynamic economy, though the hows and whys of that are pretty debatable and complex. But no one thinks it’s going to move the needle over the course of the next year. Really, no one thinks something that ambitious could even get passed in the next year. But even setting aside basic differences of opinion about how the economy works, Speaker Boehner is basically refusing any immediate action on jobs. He’s even writing off tax cuts, which he and most in his party have heretofore endorsed. And there’s not even an effort to make a case against them on the merits, which he’d be hard pressed to do since he’s supported them in the past.
It’s just that that they’re ‘short-term’ and we need to focus on longterm.
It’s like Boehner’s a paramedic and an out-of-shape middle-aged man staggers up to him with massive chest pain. And Boehner’s solution? Hand the guy a carrot or a few spears of broccoli. No short term gimmicks. Need to start longterm change now.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.