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View Diary: What's in the American Jobs Act? (148 comments)

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  •  they don't create jobs, but tax cuts for working (6+ / 0-)

    people do at least something to stimulate demand, which is what is really needed.  Alas, it is a drop in the bucket compared to what is really needed.

    Unless both parties are prepared to go all-in for full-on Keynesianism (and neither party is), then I fear this is all for naught.

    •  I hope (4+ / 0-)

      that the direct tax cut to employees will do something to help demand, but the last rounds of this sort of thing wound up being squirreled away or used to pay down debt. Both of which make huge amounts of sense right now for individuals -- they're smart things to do -- but don't help the economy. We'll see.

      Still, it's more stimulative than the employer tax breaks. Those are a total waste, IMO. I could probably find a few companies that would hire somebody if they could just pay 3% less on the tax front, but they'd be very few -- most businesses aren't hiring because they can't sell enough of their shit as it is, they don't want or need more people to not sell shit.

      •  I think in the short term, (2+ / 0-)
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        hester, mightymouse

        that's what's going to happen.  That's what I'm doing.  But as that debt gets paid down, then I'll have a little money in my pocket to spend.


        Republicans chap my ass


        by Marc in KS on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 11:55:30 AM PDT

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        •  Agreed. (4+ / 0-)

          I just don't think this is going to be enough for most people to feel comfortable spending -- I think most will go into paying down the credit card and rebuilding the savings people have been having to dip into for a couple of years, and won't be enough to go beyond that. Again, smart things to do -- they're probably what I will do, if this happens -- but not stimulative in any near term way.

          But we'll have to see, and at least it's aimed at the right problem.

          •  I wish there were more (0+ / 0-)

            on the jobs side.  That's what would get us the biggest return on the investment.  Give people good paying jobs, you get infrastructure development, you get people paying taxes, and you get people buying things which stimulates more jobs.

            I just don't get why they don't seem to understand this.

            And I keep thinking about Cheney saying "Deficits don't matter," and wish I had the chance to slap his sorry face.


            Republicans chap my ass


            by Marc in KS on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 01:05:26 PM PDT

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            •  YES (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              For a "jobs" program, this does almost nothing for jobs.

              I can't tell whether they actually understand the problem. I think some do, but I think policy makers, by and large, don't. This is a strong pull toward a deflationary environment powered by very weak demand, and they're giving us largely supply side ideas.


              And it is better than nothing, maybe. Maybe. The thing with the economy at this point is that getting it ok again is a little like launching a satellite into orbit -- it has to reach a certain height to stay up there. If you only get it halfway there, it will simply plunge right back to the ground.

              I honestly think this is vastly more about politics than it is about economics. I think they're trying to get the republicans into a very tight political spot, and they may win some better poll numbers out of that. I get that, and I'm glad for it, and I hope it's successful. But the actual policy itself is really, really disappointing to me, and while I understand the need to win political battles, I also just can't get that excited about the exchange of blows there when so many people are really, really hurting, and we're not doing much of anything about that. Not even fighting for ideas that would help in reality.

    •  hence, yes, they create jobs (2+ / 0-)
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      Brainwrap, zbbrox

      tax cuts can be Keynesian. I don't know where we got the idea that tax cuts can't be based on demand theory. Not from Keynes.  

      Paul Krugman supports this plan. I think thats all we need to know.  

      Infrastructure is an important piece of the puzzle but its a bastardization to assume that its the only thing worth doing.

      •  Hm. (3+ / 0-)

        "Paul Krugman supports this plan. I think thats all we need to know.  "

        I have massive amounts of respect for Krugman, but no, that's not all we need to know. He's an authority I look to for analysis, but that doesn't mean he's the only factor in my opinions.

        Tax cuts can be keynesian, but they have a far smaller multiplier than other forms of spending. I'm not opposed to tax cuts in all situations, and keynes would absolutely also tell us that raising taxes right now would be suicide, but in terms of "demand created for each dollar spent by the government," tax cuts are pretty inefficient. They're most efficient when they go to the people with the least disposable income in the first place, so I'm hopeful that the cuts for employees will have some effect on demand, but I don't predict it will be anywhere near enough to actually escape the pull of deflation.

        •  Not quite what Krugman said (2+ / 0-)
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          mightymouse, Spit

          He basically said that this was far better than nothing and more than he expected.  That is not the same as saying it is enough.

          Extending unemployment benefits and payroll tax breaks help and it is well that we are doing these things but the investment into infrastructure is too small.  Direct job creation does more than simply stimulate demand, it also reduces competition in the job market.  That should help a great deal to not just reduce unemployment but also underemployment.

          "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

          by Quanta on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 12:46:19 PM PDT

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      •  think WWII (0+ / 0-)

        Our biggest Keynsian event - it conclusively ended 10 years of depression.

        That was spending, not tax cuts.

        Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

        by mightymouse on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 12:41:11 PM PDT

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        •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          we aren't going to get another world war or even spending increases on that level. Not with 14 Trillion dollars in debt.

          I understand that government spending creates jobs. There's no need to have that argument with me. But there's a lot to like in the President's bill, and taking a steaming dump on it because it isn't twice as big or because it contains some stimulative items that aren't your ideal provisions hardly seems productive.

          This proposal is estimated to create 1.9 million jobs. I applaud that. If I had a representative in Congress (I don't), I would be calling them to support this. Instead, I'll just ask that you do the same, because helping 2 million people is a pretty good idea.

    •  While putting more pressure on SS. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      This night wounds time..

      by Alumbrados on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 03:31:12 PM PDT

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