photo: inoneear via Flickr

It has been a fun thing to shout “Speaker Boehner where are the jobs?” on the blogs and in real life, but the question is starting to become more than rhetorical. The Republicans spent most of 2010 talking smack and outright lies about jobs. You all know the story, they claimed, loudly and constantly, that the stimulus program did not create a single job (a flat lie) while at the same time going to ribbon cutting ceremonies for projects that were going to be built with stimulus money.

They’ve called everything “Job Killing” from the ACA to the trying to assure the safety of deep water drilling rigs before we had even started to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. It was all about how regulation of any kind was killing jobs. It was all about how if we did not make sure that millionaires and billionaires keep their undeserved Bush era tax cuts that there could not be “certainty” in the market and jobs could not be created.

And you know what the American people bought it, for the most part. They looked around and took a stick the body that actually passed lots of things which would have addressed these issues, the House of Representatives. While the Republicans might think that this was a mandate for their policies (it wasn’t) the more likely answer was that the public, dealing with unemployment numbers they had not seen in a generation and persistent unemployment they had not seen in nearly a lifetime wanted to put the people they heard talking the loudest about jobs in the driver seat for a while.

All of which makes it more stunning that the House Republicans have not put forward a single jobs bill. Not one in the whole month of January. Congress can be a busy place, lots of things can be moving forward at the same time, but isn’t it strange that the supposed high priority item of jobs for the people has not had a vote?

We’ve seen votes on repealing the ACA, which would actually cost jobs and is not really what the people want according to all the polling. We have seen proposals on limiting abortion rights. We have even seen a snap vote on a Patriot Act extension, which went down because they could not wait for the regular calendar rules and had to have a 2/3 majority.

If I wanted to be charitable I might say that they were working on it and these were things that they could get going right away. Maybe the committees are hammering something out? Not very likely. What we are hearing from the committees is more of the same. Rep. Darrel “Viper” Issa is talking about subpoenaing all the names and records for every Freedom of Information Act request under the guise of seeing if the Obama Administration is playing politics with them. This is a particularly galling example of the pot calling the kettle black after the criminal Bush years and its countless violations of the Hatch Act.

Then there is Rep. Peter King who claims that he has been told by law enforcement officials that leaders in the Muslim Community are not cooperating with them to identify radicalized people. He plans to hold hearings where no law enforcement official will testify but just Muslim leaders. Can you say McCarthyism?

Then there is Majority Leader Cantor who is saying that his party is going to vote in a budget that will forbid the use of any money to implement the ACA. Which, of course is not going to help with the jobs situation either. Of course Cantor is also the guy that thinks Congress should only have two weeks on then one week off, even in the midst of all the crises the nation faces.

In fact it is hard to see where any Republican is talking about jobs except in the context of saying that X or Y piece of legislation is “job crushing” or “job killing”. It seems that Republicans think that the reason we are in the jobs situation we are is all the fault of the Obama Administration. I know they are masters of living with cognitive dissonance but lets remember which administration had a net zero job creation number. That was the Bush administration.

For all the free market and hands off policies of the Republicans and Bush administration the economy netted zero jobs for all eight years. By the end of the Bush administration we were losing nearly 1 million jobs a month. We saw the greatest loss of wealth in this nations history due to lax enforcement and deregulation and that was a Republican plan.

The Republicans have talked and talked and talked about jobs and job creation, but like so much of their rhetoric it is based on articles of faith instead of empirical evidence. I know that Republicans don’t value critical thinking very much, how could they hold the positions they do if they did? But when we are talking about the problems of 5% of the population of the nation in terms of unemployment, you would think that this culture war bullshit would take at least second place.

Still, when you have members of Congress who don’t understand that their health care is government subsidized or that they are considered government employees it is a little easier to see where this comes from. Not that it makes it any better.

In the end it comes down to having to push them and push them constantly. So, with all seriousness, Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs? When do we get a jobs plan from the Republicans? What is it exactly that redefining rape and limiting abortion rights is doing to put our 15 million plus unemployed citizens back to work? And why is it that you don’t want to do the work of the people when you are pulling in nearly three times the national average salary?

The floor is yours

Bill Egnor

Bill Egnor

I am a life long Democrat from a political family. Work wise I am a Six Sigma Black Belt (process improvement project manager) and Freelance reporter for Govtrak.org

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