The response to President Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act has been mixed. Sensible people love it. House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)? Not so much (More)
Nobel Laureate economist Paul Krugman wrote that President Obama’s hair isn’t on fire, but “it’s definitely smoking.” And while the American Jobs Act isn’t the huge stimulus bill Dr. Krugman would prefer “in an ideal world,” it was “much bigger and bolder” than Dr. Krugman expected.
Progressive messaging guru George Lakoff wrote about “How Obama Got It Right,” discussing how the president “articulated the progressive moral worldview that recognizes both personal and social responsibility.” Dr. Lakoff also credited President Obama showed strong but not authoritarian leadership with a call to action that was “inclusive and welcoming, while also indicating the urgency of the request.”
Policy wonks seem to have settled on economist Mark Zandi’s estimates of an additional 2% GDP growth and 1.9 million jobs created as the likely benefit if the American Jobs Act is passed. Zandi was an advisor for Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, and is widely respected in by both members of both parties.
So of course Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) said “No” today:
I haven’t had a chance to see the bill, there is no bill yet, so I want to wait to see the bill. I will tell you that over half, I think, of the total dollar amount is so-called stimulus spending. We’ve been there, done that. The country can not afford more spending like the stimulus bill.
We’ve “been there, done that” on deregulation and tax cuts for the rich too, but a manifest record of catastrophic failure never stopped a Republican idea. But anything less than complete success should shut down Democratic ideas. At least in Rep. Cantor’s world.
President Obama spoke in that world last Friday, asking voters to press House Republicans:
I want you to call. I want you to email. I want you to tweet. I want you to fax. I want you to visit. I want you to Facebook. Send a carrier pigeon.
The pressure is at least forcing Rep. Cantor and other Republicans to play defense. Keep it up.