Political Animal


October 08, 2011 10:50 AM CBO: Dems’ numbers add up on jobs bill

By Steve Benen

President Obama has made a variety of claims about the American Jobs Act, most notably the fact that the bill would boost the economy — and be fully paid for. How do those claims stand up to scrutiny? According to the non-partisan CBO, pretty well.

The Congressional Budget Office on Friday confirmed that President Obama’s jobs bill would be fully paid for over ten years and also gave its seal of approval to a Senate Democrat version that includes a surtax on millionaires. […]

CBO also said that the bill “could have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years.”

All told, the American Jobs Bill, the CBO concluded, would reduce the deficit by $3 billion over the next 10 years, and that doesn’t factor in potential savings associated with increased revenue from a healthier economy.

The CBO’s findings don’t come as a big surprise — Democrats tend to take arithmetic seriously when crafting legislation — but they leave Republicans with no excuses for failure. The bill that’s on the table, as objective matter, creates jobs, cuts taxes, is fully paid for, and reduces the deficit. As far as Congress is concerned, that’s not a bad combination of qualities.

And on the other hand, we have the Republicans’ alternative jobs plan, which doesn’t really exist beyond vague and ineffective platitudes.

It’s a detail President Obama was eager to share in his weekly address this morning.

“So any Senator out there who’s thinking about voting against this jobs bill needs to explain why they would oppose something that we know would improve our economic situation. If the Republicans in Congress think they have a better plan for creating jobs right now, they should prove it. Because one of the same independent economists who looked at our plan just said that their ideas, ‘wouldn’t mean much for the economy in the near term.’

“If their plan doesn’t measure up, the American people deserve to know what it is that Republicans in Congress don’t like about this jobs plan.”

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


  • c u n d gulag on October 08, 2011 10:58 AM:

    "...the American people deserve to know what it is that Republicans in Congress don’t like about this jobs plan.”

    Just a shot in the dark here, Mr. President, but could it possibly be about the word "jobs?"

  • steve duncan on October 08, 2011 11:09 AM:

    Isn't the CBO part of some nihilistic Communist/LGBT/Muslim cabal plotting to destroy the nation? No? Hmmm, I guess Mr. Ailes is doing a slow rollout on that meme.

  • Robert on October 08, 2011 11:16 AM:

    The point still is to defeat President Obama. That has been a clearly stated point by the republicans. Talk about messaging, the right has been implementing this strategy since Pres. O. was sworn in. It isn't about JOBS, or Deficit, or WAR, it is about getting rid of President O......bottom line. The sad part of all of this is the Blue Dog Democrats, who throw their constituents under the right wing bus, just to preserve their personal power.

  • sparrow on October 08, 2011 11:23 AM:

    Humbug. As any Republican can tell you, CBO's scoring is only accurate and trustworthy when their numbers support Republican proposals. Fair and Balanced Fox News will confirm it.

  • jjm on October 08, 2011 11:29 AM:

    We should be immensely grateful for a president who goes about his job in a workmanlike way, and eschews pipe dreams: a reality based president. I'm not one bit surprised that the CBO gave his legislation the thumbs up.

    But no.... we hear nothing but complaints from not only the right but the so called left, who apparently prefer their delusions to life itself, as Freud said of psychotics.

  • tanya on October 08, 2011 2:59 PM:

    Once again, this President put fore a reliable proposal that would benefit all people...
    Now, my question to all who are reading this post or in listen range, this is another rapable economist along with many others who came out & score this AJA publicly in favorable light... Where do you stand? How will you respond? Do we got the Pres. back? Where does these 99ers respond? Will we fight for it to pass? Are we going hold these politicians accountable who stand in the way (and that include dems.)?

    It one thing to sit back and criticize, but it something entiredly different to get in their and fight....

  • kathy meadows on October 08, 2011 3:44 PM:

    Well we know that it should be passed so something will start moving forward in this country,but congress is not listening to the people,a lot of us have signed petitions on this,but they dont care what we say,they will do nothing.My opinion is they want America to fall so they can have it their way how she comes back.

  • All-in-compassing on October 08, 2011 11:31 PM:

    Steve, quick question is the deficit reduction 3 Billion over 10 years, or, 3 trillion? I do believe you meant, to say 3 trillion in reduction over 10 years.

    Needless to say, the Republican obstructionism is hampering the ability of our economy to recover. It's obvious that corporations are committed to defeating Pres. Obama at all cost.

    The better news of course, is that the 99%'s have finally gotten off the Velvet Sofa and demanded the change we voted for in 2008. I don't know about you, but I'm really hopeful that business will finally start to see the real threat of socialism, and change the capitalist model, to finally embrace the middle and lower classes by providing for the general prosperity of the people. You know, just like it says in the Declaration of Independence!