Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Close Enough

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is not supposed to endorse specific bills or take sides in political discussions over financial proposals, but according to TPM, it’s hard to read the testimony of the CBO chief on President Obama’s jobs bill as anything other than a tacit endorsement of it.

“If policymakers want to achieve both a short-term economic boost and long-term fiscal sustainability the combination of policies that would be most effective according to our analysis would be changes in taxes and spending that would widen the deficit today, but narrow it in the coming decade,” [CBO Director Doug] Elmendorf told the panel’s 12 Democrats and Republicans. “The combination of fiscal policies that would be most effective would be policies that cut taxes or increase spending in the near-term, but over the medium and longer-term move in the opposite direction.”

This is a generalized version of precisely what President Obama is proposing — a $447 billion jobs bill that will increase spending on hiring programs, and reduce payroll taxes; accompanied by deficit reduction measures that take effect in 2013, to more than cover the cost of the jobs bill.

So far the only reason the Republicans have given for opposing the bill is because it was put forward by President Obama.