Ezra has the gory details:
Wasn't the jobs bill coming from Byron Dorgan and Dick Durbin? Well, yes, but the Finance Committee wants control of the process, so it's trying to muscle its way in front of them. And look how they did it:
While not addressed in the proposals in this package, there are two process agreements that are essential to completing action on it. Fulfilling these agreements has been a condition precedent to the bipartisan discussions that have occurred. First we will work to ensure that the scope of the Finance Committee package retains its bipartisan character. Second we are committed to timely consideration of permanent bipartisan estate and gift tax reform.
In other words, in order to get Republic cooperation on an $80 billion jobs bill, Democrats have promised them estate and gift tax reform, which will come to many hundreds of billions of dollars. This is the compromise that appears to have led to this package: not a better or bigger or more tax-focused jobs bill, but massive tax cuts for the rich.
As Ezra asks, why in the hell aren't Dems using reconciliation to pass a real jobs bill? There's one critical thing the legislation is going to do, which is to extend unemployment insurance and COBRA subsidies. But one thing it's becoming increasingly unlikely to do is create many new jobs.
As for the bill's effectiveness, tax experts and business leaders said companies are unlikely to hire workers just to receive a tax break. Before businesses start hiring, they need increased demand for their products, more work for their employees and more revenue to pay those workers.
''We're skeptical that it's going to be a big job creator,'' said Bill Rys, tax counsel for the National Federation of Independent Business. ''There's certainly nothing wrong with giving a tax break to a business that's hired a new worker, especially in these tough times. But in terms of being an incentive to hire a lot of workers, we're skeptical.''
Rick Klahsen, a tax expert at the accounting firm RSM McGladrey, said his clients need to see business pick up before they can hire more workers.
''If demand were increased, they are saying it will take care of itself because I will then have the motivation to go out and hire new employees,'' Klahsen said.
Tax credits don't create jobs--spending creates jobs. Which in turn creates disposable income, which creates more demand, which creates even more jobs. Massive tax cuts for the rich don't create jobs, either. We've been down that route before, and with the chronic unemployment we're suffering now and the poor prospects for real job growth, this would be a really good time for Dems to learn from past mistakes.