[image via AP/ABC]
ABC News endeavors to help us understand why Harry Reid is stripping down the jobs bill. The article plods along like you might expect; leading us to believe it's just as good an idea as any other right now and that it is backed by the White House. Its price tag is dramatically lower than the bipartisan proposal from Baucus and Grassley (supported by many on both sides of the political divide), so it surely must be an attempt at some modicum of fiscal responsibility. Right?
What you won't find in this piece is the assumption on Reid's part that none of us dolts out here in the hinterland will actually notice that an even bigger Government takeover of the private sector lies directly behind what his bill means to accomplish; paying employers to hire unemployed workers (and paying them to retain these new hires for a year) whether there is enough work to justify expanding payroll or not, serves only the Democrats in the upcoming elections. If Reid's calculation that Republicans can't afford to say no to this bill is accurate and it becomes law, he will have effectively increased taxes, blocked proposed tax cuts, reduced payments into the Social Security slush fund, extended the Fed's encroachment on the private sector, and set up an inevitable future increase in taxes and/or spending to make up the difference.
I'm on record as being no fan of the larger bill, either, but it's incredibly cynical of Mr. Reid to assume that Americans will be more captivated by the Federal government "adding jobs" than by the fact that he has no qualms about cutting 70 billion dollars from a fairly popular proposal to do so. And this at a time when we would all like to see MORE spent on jobs than on any other issue before us right now. Remember, this is the same Harry Reid that was all-in for hundreds of billions of dollars for the stimulus, health care, and cap and trade.
It's fascinating that Mr. Reid can hand out hundreds of millions of dollars to his colleagues in the Senate in order to buy health care votes, but now finds himself a born-again tightwad on jobs creation in the name of political expediency. Quite a gamble for a man from the gambling capitol of America. Clearly he thinks he's holding an inside straight his own constituents appear ready to bet against.