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Conservative Jobs Plan Is a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Policies Would Kill Growth and Investment

SOURCE: AP/Jacquelyn Martin

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), left, looks on as House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House Republican "jobs agenda" released yesterday by Rep. McCarthy takes us in the opposite direction from what the U.S. economy needs to get back on track creating middle-class jobs, investment, and technological innovation critical to economic growth.

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Yesterday, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released a Republican “jobs agenda” platform. In reality, the agenda is a laundry list of resounding jobs killers.

The primary problem is that the House Republican agenda pulls the rug out from under aggregate demand. Doing so is the number one impediment to job creation, business investment, and reducing the deficit. There is widespread agreement on this from across the spectrum, including conservative economists such as Martin Feldstein and Bruce Bartlett.

But that’s not all. The House Republican “jobs agenda” also:

  • Undermines the financial position of middle-class families, who are the engine of economic growth
  • Cuts public investments that can create jobs now and are critical to the competitiveness of U.S. private businesses
  • Blocks development of a new advanced technology renewable energy manufacturing industry in the United States
  • Recreates the conditions for more jobs- and growth-killing financial crises

The most complete articulation of the House Republican policy approach to job creation and economic growth is their budget plan, which passed in the House of Representatives in April on a party-line vote:

The House Republican “jobs agenda” Rep. McCarthy proposed yesterday presents a litany of bills that in fact provide explicit subsidies for big corporate oil, coal, and gas producers. By now you’ve surely heard about the tax subsidies these companies enjoy at the expense of fiscal policy. But privileges for Big Oil and coal companies and the stranglehold they have on national energy policy also are blocking the development of renewable energy—a fledgling advanced technology manufacturing industry that will create jobs right here in the United States:

But perhaps no policy is a bigger jobs-and-growth killer than the unregulated financial predation and speculation that created the bubble, financial crisis, and economic weakness the U.S. economy now faces. The House Republican “jobs agenda,” however, actually will recreate the financial policy conditions that got us into this mess. On their agenda are plans to:

On all fronts, this House Republican agenda offered by Rep. McCarthy takes us in the opposite direction from what the U.S. economy needs to get back on track creating middle-class jobs, investment, and technological innovation critical to economic growth.

Adam Hersh is an Economist at American Progress.

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