Scott Tipton distorts GOP record on job creation

On his recent tour of the 3rd Congressional District, Scott Tipton held “five town hall meetings, a job fair and a business roundtable discussion.” From Paonia to Pueblo, Tipton says, he was asked what the House is doing “to get people back to work.”

“The House has stepped up,” Tipton assured people, “passing legislation to fix our country’s jobs and spending crisis.” But, he continues, “the 22 pieces of pro-jobs legislation that have been passed by the House ... are currently stuck in the Senate.”

Tipton calls these bills the “Tardy 20-Plus.”

Mostly, they are efforts to repeal laws Republicans blame for the stalled economy. As The Washington Post reported, “House Republicans are planning votes for almost every week this fall in an effort to repeal environmental and labor requirements on business that they say have hampered job growth”

The “Tardy 20-Plus” notwithstanding, Republicans have produced no jobs bills according to The New York Times. Instead, they have stuck to the discredited argument that rolling back federal regulations, passing free trade agreements, reducing taxes and cutting spending are the only effective ways to stimulate job creation.

Repeating the GOP mantra, Tipton said, “Government must live within its means. Making substantial spending cuts and eliminating unnecessary and duplicative regulations would go a long way toward restoring fiscal responsibility.”

But Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote in a Politico editorial, “You don’t create jobs and growth by firing workers and cutting spending. The reason that firms with access to capital are not investing and hiring is ... insufficient demand for their products. Weakening demand — what austerity means — only discourages investment and hiring.”

The New York Times quotes Bruce Bartlett, former economic advisor to President Reagan, who said, “The only policy that will really (create jobs) is an increase in aggregate demand. Aggregate demand simply means spending — spending by households, businesses and governments for consumption goods and services or investments in structures, machinery and equipment. At the moment, businesses don’t need to invest because their biggest problem is a lack of consumer demand.”

Even former John McCain economic advisor, Mark Zandi, said, Republican proposals “won’t mean much for the economy and job market in the next year.”

Flush with their gains in the 2010 election, House Republicans have insisted on deep cuts to discretionary spending and radical changes in Medicare and Medicaid. As The New York Times noted earlier this month, clashes over the budget “brought the government within hours of a shutdown in April, threatened another shutdown in October and put the country within days of a possible default in August.”
After Democrats resolved the August crisis by voting in favor of a bipartisan bill, AP reporter Alan Fram wrote, “Congress has sent President Barack Obama a bipartisan spending bill that averts a federal shutdown, but widespread Republican defections underscore rifts between the party’s conservatives and pragmatists.”

The Senate passed the compromise to keep the government from shutting down by a 70-30 vote. In the House, the bill was approved by a margin of 298-121. Nearly all Democrats in both Houses voted for the compromise bill.
“Among Republicans, it was far different.” Fram reported, “GOP senators tilted against the legislation 30-17, while House Republicans backed it by a narrow 133-101 margin.” Without Democratic support, the extension could not have passed, triggering a government shutdown.

Meantime, the $447 billion jobs bill proposed earlier this fall by the president was defeated.

Now, as Congress takes up the latest Democratic proposal to extend the temporary payroll tax cuts for another year, former Reagan advisor Mark Zandi warns, “Given the high odds of another recession in the next few months, it is vital for Congress and the administration to provide some near-term support to the economy.”

House Minority Whip Stony H. Hoyer, D-Md., said to Republicans, “We are prepared to cooperate on behalf of the welfare of our country and of our people” to pass the payroll tax extension.
Scott Tipton and his House allies should stop making excuses, and show equal willingness to cooperate in this effort to get the stalled economy moving.

Bill Grant lives in Grand Junction. He can be at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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