Welcome to the Republican JobTopia

With Life So Good, Who Needs the American Jobs Act?

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal today, "From 2000 to 2010, median income in the U.S. declined 7% after adjusting for inflation, according to Census data. That marks the worst 10-year performance in records going back to 1967." The Wall Street Journal goes on to say that they don't expect incomes to recover until 2021, even then only about 5% will be regained. This announcement comes on top of our 9.1% unemployment with actual unemployment around 20%.

Welcome to the Republican JobTopia. This is what the party of "NO" gets you. Republicans are content to do nothing to stimulate the economy or jobs because they believe they are already doing it. They feel so strongly that nothing needs to be done, on Tuesday GOP Senators unanimously voted to filibuster the American Jobs Act, blocking it's passage in the Senate. This comes in a week when the Wall Street Journal also reported that the "job creators" aren't creating jobs or investing, but rather are hoarding cash as they wait for the economy to improve.

How do I know that this is the Republican JobTopia? I read their jobs plan. You can too, it will only take a few minutes because there really is no Republican jobs plan. If you read the plan, it boils down to two key points:

1. Cut Taxes
2. Deregulate

It doesn't matter to the GOP that it has been firmly established that these ideas will not and have not worked. We know of the futility of these policies because these two ideas have been in action for decades. Taxes are at near historical lows, in fact they are at their lowest point since around 1960. Even Alan Greenspan announced this week that "I stand with allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire." We've been deregulating since the Clinton era and even before. So if taxes are at historical lows and we have been deregulating for decades, it would seem that we have fully implemented the GOP jobs plan.

With this plan in effect for decades, it's clear we must be living in the Republican JobTopia. You have to hand it to them, their jobs plan has created an economy unlike any other. We work harder, we are more productive and our wages have remained flat for the last 40 years. It was recently reported that the Republican JobTopia has achieved a new level of American exceptionalism, in an article based on a recent Gallup poll, Americans have the new exceptional distinction of having more trouble putting food on our tables than do the average Chinese citizens. The Republican JobTopia deregulation also brought us the Wall Street collapse of 2008 and the mortgage crisis. It’s hard to argue with the results.

But maybe there is another option, maybe there is something we can do beyond cutting taxes and deregulating. Perhaps the Republicans could allow a vote on the American Jobs Act. After all, it contains a bunch of Republican ideas, it creates a lot of jobs, and it's easily paid for. Bob Cesca at the Huffington Post summarized the American Job Act in the following way:

“The bill would have reduced the deficit by $6 billion over ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Republicans filibustered deficit reduction.

The bill would have created nearly two million new jobs. The Republicans filibustered the creation of two million new jobs.

The bill would have increased the gross domestic product (GDP) by two points. The Republicans filibustered increasing the GDP.

The bill would have cut taxes for 98 percent of businesses. The Republicans filibustered a tax cut for businesses.

The bill would have offered a tax credit for military veterans returning from war. The Republicans filibustered a tax credit for the troops.

The bill would have reduced unemployment by a full percentage point. The Republicans filibustered a reduction in unemployment.

The bill would have been paid for by a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires -- a surtax that, again, a majority of Republican voters support. The Republicans filibustered paying for the bill.”

The GOP looks at this list and simply says “no”. One has to wonder why they say no. What are they saying no to? Do they dislike the idea of jobs for Americans? Do they not believe that Americans can rebuild this country and get our economy moving again? Perhaps they just don't believe they can win in 2012 if they act in the interests of the American people. Are they really this afraid of President Obama? Faced with this fear, the GOP runs to their safe place, the unanimous refrain of "NO".

Eventually, even everyday republican voters will tire of the party of "no". Even they will need jobs. Even they will want to see their incomes increase rather than decline. In the meantime, it's up to the rest of us to tell the Republican party that we won't take "no" for an answer. The GOP ran on jobs and they have done nothing to fulfill that promise. With control of the House of Representatives, the GOP shares the burden of governing, it's time they expand their vocabulary, if only on the jobs issue, and try saying "yes" to the American Jobs Act.

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    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
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