Bipartisan consensus by David Atkins

Bipartisan consensus
by David Atkins ("thereisnospoon")

Barack Obama:

"I think putting money back in the pockets of working families is the best way to get demand rising, because that then means business is hiring, and that means the economy is growing. So I'm going to propose ways to get America back to work that both parties can agree to.

In all likelihood, these will include small-scale infrastructure investments the GOP will reject (unless they're in GOP districts), wage-killing job-outsourcing "free trade" agreements, and payroll tax cuts that, while legitimately beneficial for the middle class, represent an only weakly stimulative revenue-killing "solution" that promises to hasten the demise of Social Security.

President Obama will propose these things under the presumption that the GOP would be ashamed to reject them--and then he will act shocked when they do. Then the President will do the whole "only adult in the room" thing, at which point he'll give the GOP what they want while excising anything remotely progressive. The GOP will lose a few points in the polls, and the President and his advisers will think they "won" the battle and chalk it up as a victory.

One of those "bipartisan consensus" ideas that will likely be included in whatever jobs bill comes out of the legislative mess, is targeted tax holidays. Andrew Ross Sorkin has a few words to say about that:

As President Obama confronts the nation’s dismal unemployment problem — stubbornly stuck at 9.1 percent with, shockingly, zero net jobs created in August — Wall Street and corporate America are working behind the scenes in Washington to push for a series of temporary tax breaks, which they insist will help create jobs.

Of course, businesses want an overhaul of the corporate tax code that would reduce rates for the long term. But for now they are seeking a series of tax holidays, including a payroll tax break for employers, not just employees, and a tax break to let companies repatriate about $1 trillion that is sitting overseas. In turn, they say, they will spend it on new recruits, perhaps as many as 2.9 million of them, according to a letter the United States Chamber of Commerce sent to the president on Monday.

Consider it a form of horse trading — tax cuts for jobs. There is only one small problem with this strategy: temporary tax cuts rarely result in new jobs and always result in less tax revenue.

Which is exactly why they'll be included in the final jobs bill. If there even is one.