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Friday, August 5, 2011

Trade deals to be central in White House 'jobs' plan

Expect to hear a lot about the pivot to jobs during the August recess, from congressional Democrats back home in their districts and from the White House. For a lot of reasons, rhetoric is most of what we'll get out of this, because the discretionary spending cuts they agreed to in this deal will preclude any real investment in stimulus.

So what's left for President Obama and other Democrats to push, now that any real stimulus has been precluded? Steve Benen says to keep an eye on "the infrastructure bank, an extension of the payroll tax break, and an extension of unemployment insurance benefits." Let's hope they aim a little higher than that, though unemployment benefits are absolutely critical. The payroll tax break extension is much less so, with its capacity to further erode Social Security.

Obama has told us how he plans to “pivot to jobs:” he plans to focus his attention on three trade deals—with Panama, Colombia, and Korea—as a central part of his program to address jobs.
Nevermind that these trade deals will send jobs overseas. Nevermind that these trade deals will result in fewer jobs.

Obama plans to, nevertheless, claim he wants these policies in the name of jobs.

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