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The Senate Conservatives Killed President Obama's Jobs Bill - Why? (updated 10-21-2011) [93*9]

Updated on May 2, 2016



Who the H*** Knows!

CYNICS MIGHT SAY because they desperately want the economy to fail so that it will be easier to fulfill their singular campaign promise - to make Obama a one-term president. Others might say because Conservatives are out of touch with reality and with America and are only listening to themselves. What is certain, they didn't do it for the good of the country!

What the Obama Jobs Plan Is

What does the Obama Jobs Plan consist of? Mostly money that will make its way immediately into the economy and therefore have an immediate actual or probable impact on jobs.

  • $35 billion to the States, $30 billion for teachers salaries and $5 billion for first responder salaries. The idea is to stop the massive state layoffs of these employees or to hire them back. To the degree states are able to hire back workers, this will create jobs but the main impact will be to stop the layoffs. There are two immediate results from this part, 1) a lessening of the strain on the unemployment rolls and 2) an infusion of $35 billion directly into economy, which, after recirculation, may be worth between $40 and $50 billion.
  • $50 billion into existing and new infrastructure projects. This part translates directly into new jobs immediately, so long as these projects actually ARE shovel-ready this time. This alone might be worth between 500,000 to 750,000 new jobs and have about a $75 billion impact on the economy
  • $35 billion into modernizing schools. Just like the infrastrucure funding, this translates immediately into new jobs, maybe 300,000 to 500,000 of them. The real dollar economic impact might be up to $50 billion.
  • $15 billion, equal to about $22 billion in economic terms, for hiring contruction workers to refurbish foreclosed homes and businesses. This might generate about 200,000 jobs.
  • $10 billion to capitalize an infrastructure bank that will fund infrastructure projects paid for with private and public funds. This translate into long-term job creation.
  • $254 billion in payroll tax cut for qualifying businesses and individuals. The piece that goes to individuals will have no impact on the economy other than to stop money from coming out of it if the previous tax cut were stopped. The part that goes to businesses is new; some of which may make its way back into the economy and hopefully not into the owners savings account.
  • $62 billion into training programs for low-income youth to help make them more competitive for jobs. This may help reduce unemployment when the economy finally heats up.

The Conservative Jobs Alternative

Below are the points of the Conservative "New Jobs Through Growth Act" which is supposed to be introduced into the Senate the week of Oct 17,2011:

  • Repeal of Obama Care - the claim is it will same many jobs in the future.
  • Passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment - there is no claim of job creation or savings. However, because of its extremely disruptive nature on the activities of Congress, there is a high likelihood it will lead to job loss. (I am writing a hub on the intrinsic dangers of a Balanced Budget Amendment, but the bottom-line is that it will leave Congress looking much like a modern day Continental Congress) - probable future negative impact on jobs, no immediate positive impact
  • Repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill - Conservatives claim, via a banking industry trade and lobbying group, the Financial Services Round Table, that this bill will cost thousands of jobs in the future. - no immediate impact on jobs
  • Reduce marginal tax rate on wealthy to 25% - theoretically this additional money, if any, available to the wealthy may go back into the American economy in a productive way, but, there is no guarantee that it will; one can only hope and cross your fingers and toes that the super rich will be ethical enough to spend this new found wealth in such a way as to help America out of economic mess; if they do, it will be a first, however. - uncertain impact on jobs
  • Reduce corporate tax rate to 25% - see the comments for the marginal tax rate on the wealthy - uncertain impact on jobs
  • Revamping tax credits and deductions to keep the tax changes "revenue neutral" - it is not clear how much of the revamping of tax credits and deductions will be on the backs of the not wealthy to pay for the wealthy's tax cut. - uncertain impact on jobs
  • Pass a Presidential line-item veto authority; an authority which has already been ruled unconstitutional in 1998 - no impact on jobs
  • Offer a corporate "tax vacation" in order to entice corporations to repatriate approximately $1.4 Trillion they have squirreled away in off-shore accounts. - See comments on lower corporate tax rate although this has more potential to translate into jobs if corporations cooperate - uncertain impact on jobs
  • Reign in EPA enforcement of environmental regulations - increase pollution and uncertain impact on jobs although it might increase them
  • Curtail lawsuits brought by injured medical patients against doctors and hospitals. - no impact on jobs

That is the Conservatives plan to get America back to work today.

I really don't think I need to do a compare and contrast since the two approaches are so starkly different. Obviously, my opinion is that the Obama plan will get more Americans back to work sooner than the Conservative's plan will, if it ever does.



Today, the Senate voted on one part of President Obama's Jobs Bill; providing States funding to hire back or prevent more lay-offs of teachers and first responders. It was to be paid for by a piddling 1/2 percent increase in taxes on the wealthy. The obvious consequences to the funding is less crime, or at least no rise in crime, and decreasing the strain on our already over-burdened and faltering education system. All 47 Conservatives and Republicans, plus two Conservative Democrats and one Independent said it is OK to let crime rise and our children's education suffer so that the wealthy don't have to pay a dime more in taxes. The vote was 50-50 to bust the Conservative filibuster; it failed.

Based on the two Job Creation approaches presented above, which do you think will create more jobs, sooner?

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Thinking about your political beliefs, do you mostly agree with those

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Are You

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    • Veritas Separatim profile image

      Luke A. Hall 

      8 years ago from Ohio


      As a political science major and economics minor I assure you that I know how economics works. If you understood macroeconomics you would already have the answer to your question "why aren't businesses hiring." The reason for that would be mostly that progressive economic policy by both the GOP and the Dems has created the most hostile environment on the planet for the sustainment and/or growth of business. We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world right now. We over-regulate, our government picks winners and losers by marking them "too big to fail," and then limply tries to throw money at them in hopes of trying to make up for an environment that just plain sucks. As a businessman, I know how hard it is to hire in this environment.

      Your notion that "conservatives" caused Obama's aggregate debt total to hockey stick is laughable. By this, I assume that you are talking about Bush who was in FACT NOT a fiscal conservative in any sense of the word. It is progressive policy that has pushed us into a corner where entitlement spending has pushed our total unfunded liabilities to over $120 trillion.

      You know why businesses won't hire? Because the price of doing business in the country is just too expensive. When you overtax business, then combine that with a restriction in capital (by the way the $1 trillion dollar stimulus did nothing to help small businesses so you cannot count that as 'freeing up capital'), you have a recipe for economic disaster.

      If any of you would take your nose out of Keynes and read Friedman you would have all the answers you would need. But no, let's just go down the liberal glory road to the utopias of Greece, France, and Spain. It seemed to work for them.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      8 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Actually, I do understand quite a bit about labor economics and the larger category of macroeconomics as well as microeconomics.

      While you are right in your next statement about length of gov't sustainment, you are wrong in your implication that it is Obama's intent to sustain the economy indefinitely via gov't intervention; his plan, if you had read it, is to try to prime the pump in order to get business off of their fat-asses and start hiring again. But, as long as conservatives keep trying to subvert the economic recovery, I doubt they will do that.

      Your statement that "Business will save the economy", is absolutely true, everybody knows that. The $64 question is, why aren't they, four years later. It certainly isn't from lack of demand; $1 trillion in stimulus is a lot of demand, although most economists now say that given the depth of the hole the conservatives ended up puttng America us into, $2 trillion was needed, not $1. In any case, $1 trillion was all Obama was going to get out of the political climate the conservatives created.

      This Obama "spent us into oblivion" comment is proof positive of your own ignorance of how economics works. Of the $4.5 trillion conservatives attempt to attribute to Obama, they need to take back about $3.5 trillion of it and give to themselves as a direct consequence of lost tax revenue from their recession and automatice transfer payments (mainly unemployment) built into the law anytime major down turns occur. Obama's portion is the $1 trillion spent to keep us out of a depression.

    • Veritas Separatim profile image

      Luke A. Hall 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      If you understood anything about labor economics you would know that the government cannot create capital. In certain circumstances it can sustain it for short periods of time, but it can never create AND sustain capital within an economy. Conservatives voted against the job bill because your hero, the Christ-child Barrack Obama has spent us into oblivion already and most people have grown wise to the fallacy that throwing money at a problem solves it. Business will save the economy, not the government.

      You libs just crack me up. You try to fix something by spending money and bringing in the government. When that doesn't work you rationalize it by saying that you didn't spend enough money and blame the GOP for stopping you. You guys are a load of laughs.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      9 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks Credence, I sure hope the voters do, but, so much depends on how American's, short-sighted as we are, percieve the economy in Oct 2012.

      Let me take on another of CMeritt's points - Repeal of Obama Care. First let me say that I absolutely agree with the premise that if business sees that government finally has its act together and can put forward a stable policy, then, and only then, will they feel comfortable to take risks and invest and hire.

      So long as the Conservatives threaten to repeal everything that Obama has done, including Obama Care, then the Conservatives guarantee a bad economy until sometime into 2013, at a minimum; which may be their plan; it sure seems like it anyway. So long as Conservatives refuse to compromise on anything, even it means the country going BK, business is going to sit on its billions in cash.

      Specifically to Obama Care though. Businesses DO know what the cost is going to be now, at least enough to plan. I was talking to my insurance broker yesterday about just that and here is what I found. 1) my premiums will be going down by 10% in 2012, 2) all companies my size, less than 50 people, are "grandfathered" in to some of the provisions, meaning I won't be required to provide insurance if I don't want, except I already do, 3) all provisions of the law are known and if I were any kind of businessman, I would already be factoring in what Obama Care may or may not be costing/saving me. Again, in my case, even with no "grandfather" my company, and ones like it, wouldn't see any downside to Obama Care. For the Conservatives to claim that Obama Care will cost jobs in the future is just as rediculus as the Democrats claiming it will create jobs; neither side has a clue; all we do know is that the CBO thinks that Obama Care is a winner.

    • Credence2 profile image


      9 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      The GOP approaches are not going to deal with the issue of creating jobs in the short term but instead line the pockets of corporations and the affluent at everyone else's expense. You have made that quite clear. The president is on the right course by making it crystal clear that the impediment to economic progress is GOP obstructionism. Once the voters are allowed to see past the rightwing bait and switch, next year they can truly cast their ballots intelligently. Great hub, Cred2

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      9 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      OK, let's look at those.

      Why couldn't he close GITMO? The Conservatives would NOT let him (and sheeplishly with a some Democratic Congressional help)

      The troops in Iraq ARE home, on the scheduled promised. Obama also did and is doing what he said he would do in Afghanistan, reengage in the real war that Bush ignored and properly finish it off; he is still basically on that timetable as well. My personal hope is that he does delay drawing down the troops there

      Not sure which "tree hugger" promises you are referring to but my question back to you is were they broken because the Conservatives wouldn't let them be passed?

      I haven't studied border security enough yet to comment much other than to say, building an actual "brick and mortar" fence is a really dumb idea. Rick Perry's idea of a virtual fence is much better; which Obama has been working toward plus, if you look closely, I think you will find he has beefed up border manpower significantly, although I am ready to be slapped down on that one, my mememory is terrible these days.

      ALL politicitian say they are going to root out WFA, NO politician ever does; Obama is human after all.

      Don't know anything about NAFTA, must go look.

      Lobbiests are ubiquitous. He may or may not have known that going in, but he certainly found out soon enough. So now the challenge was to hire good lobbiests, and as few as possible, as opposed to bad lobbiests. In my opinion, he has not been stellar in his success. If I am thinking of the right Lynn, he is one of the good guys, I believe he was serving in DoD when I was there.

      Now that you have listed some of his percieved failures, I encourage you to go to my hub "What has President Obama Done Right in Almost Three Years? LOTS!" It is an incomplete but growing list of Obama accomplishments and promises kept.

      The one historic accomplishment I will point out here is that his response to the Bush near depression was critical to keeping this country out of a real depression, 1929-style. That is not my opinion; that is the opinion of Conservative economists who understood what was really happening, finally, such as Greenspan, Bernanke, and Summers. There is no question in anybodies mind who understands economics that if Bush hadn't abandoned his Conservative principals and passed TARP and Obama hadn't implemented it the way he did plus add what turned out to be an anemic stimulus, all over the violent objections of Conservatives, the Dow wouldn't have stopped falling at 7062 from 13930 and unemployment would have sailed passed 11% which it never reached under Obama. To understand the devastation that would have been visited on America, you need to bone up on what happened after the Panics of 1873, 1893, and the depression of 1929, when the government followed the Conservative model of how to deal with economic downturns.

      Now, I do understand that the many who hold the Conservative philosophy (like Bourbon Democrat Grover Cleveland) think that is the way it ought to be, that government simply has no Constitutional business in helping out its citizens and businesses, even in times of crises, but, the rest of us do.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      9 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Obama is the one who claimed his bill would fix things....that is what I am saying. I clearly did not fix things....His people campaigned on this promise. He did not say, this bill will slow down the rate we are dropping.

      He has a track record of not doing things he said he would do.

      Close Gitmo...STILL OPEN

      Pull troops home.......STILL THERE (and now they may push back the dates of withdrawl)

      He made some tree huggers some promises that he recently broke...

      He said he would get tough on borders security...and he has done nothing but stop fences going up and diverted money alloctated to it, to other causes.

      He said he was going to "root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government"..this one may be the most ludicrous!

      He said he was going to renegoiate NAFTA...........crickets!

      He was NOT going to allow Lobbyists, yet one of the first things he did was hire William Lynn as deputy of the secretary of defense....he was a lobbyiest for Raytheon..

      this list can go on and on...but the fact IS, he is telling Ameicans he will do things he cannot do...and when it fails, he cannot man up, but simply points fingers.....he is NOT the leader he tried to sell us that he was...

      It is HIS failed policies that are keeping this country from returning to a thriving economy.

      and that is not being absurd, or putting myself into a is all a matter of facts.

      at least that is the way I clearly see it.


    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      9 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Think of the box you put yourself into Chris with that kind of thinking; you leave yourself wide open to absurdacies (and I can't spell). The 15% isn't a "strawman". Go back and look at all financial recessions/depressions/panics of this mangintude where the government did nothing to mitigate its effects and find me one where unemployment was less than 15%; many were above 20%. In the world where I spent my workinig career as a cost analyst, that is pretty solid evidence that 15% is a reasonable estimate.

      In another hub, I showed where job loss was around 400,000 in December (Bush), then 600,000 in January (Bush), then 700,000 in February (Bushes, no stimulus yet), then another 700,000 or so in March and unemployment is now over 8% (Bushes, stimulus just started); it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where this is heading if something isn't done. American businesses where just beginning to downsize because they saw the government doing nothing besides TARP which the Conservatives were bad-mouthing and making everybody nervous.

      Holding Obama to the 3rd Qtr 2008 numbers is just flat rediculous; that kind of logic makes Bush look like a total disaster, given what didn't happen that he said would ... do you remember his Iraq victory speech? Because Conservatives would let Obama adjust the stimulus to meet the threat suggested by the 4th Qtr numbers, it fell short of what was actually needed even though it met his primary goal of saving or creating 4 million jobs.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      9 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      ME, I think you are merely claiming a strawman pronouncement with the IF factor regarding unemployment hitting 15%.

      The fact is the administration TOLD the American people IF this bill is passed we would NOT climb above 8%. Now, it is his job to make sure he has his facts together when making such a claim. This whole "things were worse than we thought" is nothing more than a convinient cover up. To say things would have been worse without is just mere speculation by his administration. He was the one who promised "shovel-ready" jobs, which did not happen.

      The bottom line is this....The POTUS and the dem controlled house and senate pushed and passed this bill. It for the most part failed. Yet, they blamed the GOP and Bush. Three years later, they are basicly still doing the same thing. Is it remotely possible that this admin is NOT producing policies and the leadership needed to recover a very crippled economy?

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      9 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I appreciate you reading and commenting on my hub, Cinpit8812. Yes, the current batch of Conservative candidates look a bit strange to us, but they are quite good from the Conservative perspective. As you saw from CMerritt's comments, he sees the world entirely differently than you or I do, and, he is as sincere in his view as we are about ours. The key, of course, is how do the Independents see the world this time around.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      9 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I was hoping you would respond to this one, Chris, because of the many Conservatives I debate with, you at least read what I write, consider what I am trying to say, and if I present the right set of facts, might even concede a little bit.

      I only have time to resond to one of your points at the moment; the 8% unemployment number; it is a favorite one used by the Right, and quite wrong. First, I don't think Obama ever said that, but a couple of his staffers did (which, in politics is the same thing) and they did it in early January 2009. The KEY point is their 8% estimate was based on 3rd Qtr, 2008 economic data.

      The FULL impact of the near depression wasn't gleened from the numbers until until the 4th Qtr, 2008 data was finalized after President Obama took office and AFTER his stimulus plan was mostly developed.

      The Fact I would like you to take away from this is that unemployment was soaring past 7% and heading toward 8% BEFORE Obama ever became President.

      With the rate of layoffs gaining momentum in December 2008, through January and February 2009, it was a physical impossibility for unemployment to stay below the 7.?% when Bush left office. I guarantee you, that if Obama had followed the Conservatives prescription for recovery (research the Panics of 1873 and 1893 where the Conservative methodolgy was followed), that unemployment would have reached upwards of 15% or more, the minimum for these kinds of downturns.

      Obama kept it at 10%

    • Cinpit8812 profile image


      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      Good job, My Esoteric. Since President Obama took office,the Republicans have made a concerted effort to obstruct practically everything Obama puts forth in terms of legislation, even if it might or would help the country. It is a carefully coordinated crusade to defeat President Obama in 2012 by the Republicans at any cost to the country they claim to love so much. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, has stated that the Republicans number one goal is to defeat President Obama, NOT help this country. Unfortunately, the Republican Party is currently in shambles, evidenced by the current crop of nominees of presidiency. Once again, My Esoteric, good job at poitning this fact out.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      9 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Good morning ME,

      Why does one plan to one group sound reasonable and to another it does not?

      I know you are very articulate and intelligent. But, it seems so obviously clear to me, that in lieu of Gov handing out Tax payers dollars on ideas THEY think will create jobs....lets let those who actually ARE businessmen spend THEIR money to create jobs. THAT is NOT the business of our Government. THAT is the business of the American people.

      I feel the conservatives striking down this plan of Obama's IS doing if for the good of the country. His previous spending bill did NOT do as he said it would do. For starters he said IF we passed his (first) bill, unemployement would NOT climb above 8%. We know how wrong THAT was.

      •Repeal of Obama Care - That very well could spur consumer confidence and business growth immediately. Many business' do not know exactly HOW much this is going to cost them, but they DO know it WILL cost them.

      •Passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment - Again, this is going to tell Wall Street and the American people that responsibility is going to be practiced once again in Washington....THAT will stimulate confidence in the American people.

      •Repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill - I think this bill is one of the major contributors to the fall of this economy. Repealing it, will agian tell Americans that gov's intervention into this mess will stop...and contribute to MORE confidence.

      •Reduce marginal tax rate on wealthy to 25% - Again, along with the other conservative plans, the wealthy will begin to invest BACK into America.

      •Reduce corporate tax rate to 25% - IF, and only IF Corporations are investing BACK into USA.

      •Reign in EPA enforcement of environmental regulations - they are costing American jobs with many over-zealous plans. We need to find some common ground...until the rest of the world meets the same standards, the USA loses and China wins. I'm all for keeping our country clean and safe, but if we continue to hamper our economy what difference does it really make?

      this is just how myself, along with millions of other conservatives honestly believe is best for ALL Americans.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      9 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      My thoughts exactly, thanks HS.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      9 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      The conservative Republican plan is not a jobs plan at all. It is just another GOP platform for the base. It has nothing to do with jobs. The Obama plan would get people back to work immediately. They will not pass anything he wants now anyhow.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      9 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks for reading it Phoebe.

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 

      9 years ago

      Interesting hub.


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