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Chris Van Hollen
Rep. Van Hollen (Molly Riley/Reuters)

Sen. Jeff Merkley's proposal that the Super Congress agree to have the Congressional Budget Office "analyze their recommendations for impact on jobs, not just for impact on the deficit" was not embraced by the committee as a whole.

But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, one of the committee members, took the idea to heart and asked the CBO to analyze employment and the deficit.

"I asked CBO to estimate the size of the deficit if the economy were at full employment, and CBO's response confirms that our weak economy is the major contributing factor, accounting for over one third of the projected deficit for fiscal year 2012," Van Hollen said in a statement last night. "It's clear that the fastest and most effective ways to reduce the short term deficit is to put Americans back to work."

Here's how CBO puts it. Under full employment, "the projected federal deficit under current law in fiscal year 2012 would be about a third lower, or roughly $630 billion instead of the $973 billion projected in CBO's most recent baseline. That deficit would be equal to about 4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), compared with the 6.2 percent deficit projected for 2012 in CBO's baseline.

Republicans will undoubtedly react with "well, that's just their opinion," as they always do when the CBO tells them something they don't want to hear.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 09:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 09:49:32 AM PDT

  •  Just to be clear, the CBO used 5.2% as the (13+ / 0-)

    gauge of 'full employment'. They didn't even go as far as what we achieved recently under Bill Clinton (3.9%), or what we achieved under FDR (~1% in 1942).

  •  It's basic math (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, Mr Robert, Shockwave, JC from IA

    which the GOP rejects because it's too much like that hated "science".  Or it's a recipe.

    Start with:  People working at good jobs pay taxes.  When wages erode, so do the taxes they pay.  Less revenue for programs that help with upward mobility.

    Add in:  Radically reducing taxes for corporations and the mega-wealthy has the same effect.  Less revenue.

    Mix in massive spending on the national credit card for wars, bailouts, and a prescription drug plan that gives a great big pile of cash to the drug companies (and don't mention that the big beneficiaries of all of this money are corporations).  The debt goes sky high and gives a "good excuse" to eliminate needed programs (but, oh noes, don't raise taxes!)

    Slowly add:  Sending good jobs to slave labor countries and you increase corporate profit and add to the already increasing rolls of the unemployed.  Use fears of outsourcing to peel back wages and benefits of those still working.

    Allow to rise until:  Less money to spend, lower consumption tanks the economy leading to lower wages and less jobs since there is very low demand for anything besides the basics.

    Bake in a well funded (well-oiled)  propaganda machine that approves of all of the above and you get Faux Made Up Newzzzz and the GOP that supports the criminals and demonizes their victims.

    The crap that comes out should have a warning label attached.  It's poisonous.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:17:09 AM PDT

  •  Another data point for austerity being a disaster (8+ / 0-)

    I'm glad Van Hollen is pushing this.

    Creating Jobs = increased demand = improved economy = increased revenue = reduced deficit.

    Austerity = cuts that cause suffering = reduced demand = shrinking economy = even less jobs = even more suffering.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  I agree that full employment would reduce (0+ / 0-)

    the deficit, but employment is linked to GDP and it naturally fluctuates over time.

    So what exactly are the assumptions that the CBO is using in response to this request?

    It seems like the ups and downs in the economy are coming closer and closer. Is that being taken into account?

    I don't see how in this screwed up economy we can assume "full employment" over the long term. I don't even see how we can assume "full employment" over what was the mid-term given globalization and all that rot.

    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

    by Mr Robert on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:22:01 PM PDT

  •  This needs to get repeated by Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    every time the Republicans try to change the subject to deficit reduction.

    Every.  Frickin. Time.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:39:45 PM PDT

  •  Oh, it's that damned arithmetic again. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, Matt Z

    Republicans don't believe in arithmetic; they can't afford to.

  •  There cannot be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, Matt Z

    full employment here as long as most of the manufacturing jobs are outsourced.  


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:51:07 PM PDT

  •  is "full employment" a realistic goal? (0+ / 0-)

    it seems by now most/all "evil socialised european countries" have realized, that 10% unemployment is an undeniable reality in modern industrialized times.

    5% leeway, 5% simply unemployable. simple facts, isn't it?

    yet once again, "football america" wants 100% or nothing. "my way or the highway."

    "git a job or git out!"

    as scientifically realistic as denying global warming. the north pole for about the first time produced a stronger ozone hole than the south pole.

    HAVE AN ORIGINAL AND REAL OPINION. SHOUT IT LOUD, BOLD, ALL-CAPS IF YOU NEED EXTRA EMPHASIS. AND NEVER QUIT. BECAUSE THEY WILL ALWAYS HAVE MONEY FOR THEIR SIDE. STUPID PEOPLE PAY STUPID PEOPLE TO PROGRAM INFLUENCEABLE PEOPLE, TO KEEP TAKING THEIR MONEY.

    by theChild on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 06:04:14 PM PDT

    •  that's not to deny (0+ / 0-)

      the basic underpremise of the cbo here - "of course if you had 100% employment, you'd improve the economy!"

      but the IDEA that ANY COUNTRY COULD ACHIEVE 100% UNEMPLOYMENT IS FUCKING BOGUS. UNACHIEVABLE. HENCE, why pretend to reach too far for it? that could seriously debilitate an economy.

      reaching for long-retunables, like green energy, worth it. short-terms, fuck them. we're seeing what they are like lately; always volatile. no long-term. not even fossils. (amazing how much the gas prices drop with just a little sabre-rattling?)

      the euros don't have it good right now. but because, MAINLY,  OF US. THE UNITED STATES, AND OUR FERAL 170-YEAR-OLD ITCH.

      "HEY, LOOK AT ME, I'M FUCKIN' BUDDY HOLLY! SCOOT YOUR FAT ASS OVER, BIG BOPPER, I WANT MY MONKEY TO FLY THE PLANE!" - "The Kids In The Hall"

      HAVE AN ORIGINAL AND REAL OPINION. SHOUT IT LOUD, BOLD, ALL-CAPS IF YOU NEED EXTRA EMPHASIS. AND NEVER QUIT. BECAUSE THEY WILL ALWAYS HAVE MONEY FOR THEIR SIDE. STUPID PEOPLE PAY STUPID PEOPLE TO PROGRAM INFLUENCEABLE PEOPLE, TO KEEP TAKING THEIR MONEY.

      by theChild on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 06:13:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  another p.p.s... (0+ / 0-)

        so what, if being generous, overall unemployment is, what, 15%?

        but 100% employment would equal 33% of a deficit that our nation gdp does not even match?!?

        this is some REALLY BOGUS MATH HERE. is it mine or theirs? please research...

        HAVE AN ORIGINAL AND REAL OPINION. SHOUT IT LOUD, BOLD, ALL-CAPS IF YOU NEED EXTRA EMPHASIS. AND NEVER QUIT. BECAUSE THEY WILL ALWAYS HAVE MONEY FOR THEIR SIDE. STUPID PEOPLE PAY STUPID PEOPLE TO PROGRAM INFLUENCEABLE PEOPLE, TO KEEP TAKING THEIR MONEY.

        by theChild on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 06:17:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't anyone concerned... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that full employment would still leave us with a 630B deficit.  As I recall, repealing the Bush tax cuts on those making > 250k were 750B over ten years.

    If full employment reduces the deficit by 300B, than why do we want to spend 450B in a jobs bill that is only half as likely to generate full employment as the first stimulus?

  •  Does the CBO have a history of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    predicting anything like this accurately?

    It really seems like they could say anything and people would agree with it as long as it fit their preconceived notions.

    "Only idiots believe the earth is getting warmer. Besides, they've proven it's only getting warmer because of sunspots."

    by Carnet on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 07:11:02 PM PDT

  •  This is actually huge news (if many of us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    were thinking or wondering why it hadn't been brought up earlier).

    I'm perplexed as to why it hasn't had more eyes.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 11:50:13 PM PDT

  •  rationalizing unemployment is unacceptable (0+ / 0-)

    just as is rationalizing racism and every other thing we know to be wrong.

    "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

    by dkosdan on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 02:27:09 AM PDT

  •  I'm no ecnomist, but I can't help but wonder how (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    we ever get back to an ecnomy that works for nearly everyone and lets us pay down the debt as long as the wealthy keep taking a significantly large slice of the pie than they deserve.

    Given the exponential growth of our population - more people needing jobs at a faster rate than jobs will likely ever be created, allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire won't be enough. Taxes on the wealthy need to be raised well beyond that and/or wages for everyone else need to be raised.  

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 05:06:00 AM PDT

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