A Republican thinker did something radical this week: He proposed an agenda for job creation.
Michael R. Strain’s “A Jobs Agenda for the Right” includes all of the right’s compulsive instincts to cut taxes for the rich, eliminate environmental regulations and suspend the minimum wage. But it begins with the premise that long-term unemployment is a crisis and a crisis that can’t just be solved by doing those who have been out of work for months the “favor” of cutting off their only income, as Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested.
Strain even seems to be in favor of a program that would feature infrastructure spending.
“Um, OK. There are people who’ve been trying to do just that. And not only Barack Obama,” The Daily Beast‘s Michael Tomasky pointed out. “John Kerry led this effort in the Senate, and he was joined by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison (who’s since retired). Their attempts to fund a modest infrastructure bank were supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But it could never get anywhere because of rock-solid GOP opposition.”
Tomasky notes that Republican obstruction is the key element that prevents any sort of job creation. This has continued past 2012, when it seemed the GOP’s only goal in life was to keep unemployment over 8 percent. And it will continue as 1.3 million being cut off from benefits likely sends the unemployment rate even lower as hundreds of thousands of Americans in the prime of the work lives decide to give up even looking for a job.
And there’s no better explanation of why we shouldn’t expect any movement toward job creation from the right than to point out that the person who replaced Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Senate was Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Cruz understands the base of the Republican Party better than any Canadian citizen alive.
He knows the only things that truly unite it are opposing anything President Obama does and pissing off liberals. Unfortunately for Cruz, it seems that major funders of his party recognize that these fixations of the right wing-media and the primary electorate are actually what will prevent it from winning the White House.
When it comes to bashing Obama and infuriating the left, it doesn’t get better than the last few months. Republicans have been blessed by the fumbled rollout of HealthCare.gov as they’ve collectively pretended that millions of people getting health insurance is a terrible thing.