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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Boehner’s Ten Big Lies About Protecting Jobs and Growing the Economy

There is literally no bill too small for Boehner to lie about and claim it is a jobs bill.…
John Boehner: Stupid and Lying
John Boehner Playing Stupid and Lying
John Boehner, in his latest parcel of lies about all the things Republicans haven’t been doing, makes claims that while the House has been busy serving the “people’s priorities” that Obama has been doing nefarious deeds, like vetoing the dozen or so jobs the Keystone XL Pipeline would have created, or vetoing their attempt to, as they put it, “restore the 40-hour work week,” which was, in fact, an attempt to deprive millions of Americans of their healthcare. There is literally no bill too small for Boehner to lie about and claim it is a jobs bill.
According to the narrative, the House has been struggling bravely on against every attempt Obama has made to stop them from creating jobs. The truth is, the House has not created any jobs. It has not even attempted to create any jobs. It has attempted to deprive Americans of their healthcare. It has attempted to further enrich the wealthy at the expense of American workers.
Listed here are some of the things that Boehner claims “Republicans have done to protect jobs and grow our economy”:
1. We’ve paved the way for stronger trade agreements, which means more jobs and higher wages for America’s workers. Trade is good for our country: it supports more than one in five American jobs, and manufacturing jobs tied to trade pay 16 percent more. New trade promotion authority (TPA) will ensure that the country makes better trade agreements. This is a big win for American workers, and will help us sell more goods stamped with “made in America.” (H.R. 2146, 114th Congress)
In point of fact, like it or not (and many do not), the White House fully supported the TPA, calling it “a good thing.” According to the administration, “Now, thanks to the new rules of the road laid out by Congress, our latest trade deal — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — can put in place high, enforceable standards that reflect our values on the environment, on workers’ rights, on transparency, and more.” This was not a victory of House over White House but a rare convergence of viewpoints between the two. In fact, Jeffrey Zients pointed out on the White House blog this spring that “Trade authority has a long bipartisan history, dating back to President Franklin Roosevelt. In the decades since the New Deal Congress passed the first trade negotiating legislation, Congress has renewed and modernized that authority 18 different times, under both Democratic and Republican Presidents alike.”
2. We’ve protected 99 percent of Americans from permanent tax hikes. On January 1, 2013, income taxes were scheduled to go up on just about every American. Republicans were able to protect 99 percent of Americans from permanent tax increases while locking in lower rates on the estate tax and the tax on capital gains and dividends. (H.R. 8, 112th Congress)
Boehner and the House Republicans are not interested in protecting 99 percent of Americans from tax hikes. They are interested in protecting 1 percent of Americans from tax hikes. The estate tax, the tax on capital gains, and on dividends, as Boehner well knows, have nothing to do with the average American. For example, the latest Republican attempt to repeal the estate tax, H.R. 1105, would not only have added “hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit to provide large tax cuts exclusively to the very wealthiest Americans,” but would have shifted “a greater share of the tax burden onto working Americans at a time when the top one percent already holds more than 40 percent of the Nation’s wealth and wealth disparities have risen to levels not seen since the 1930s.” At a time when Obama’s plan is to tax the rich and help the middle class, the GOP is trying to do the opposite.
3. We’ve cut government spending by $2.1 trillion and counting. Republicans have won the most significant spending reductions in modern history – more significant than under Reagan & O’Neill and Clinton & Gingrich. These spending cuts have helped reduce the deficit and improve confidence in our economy. (H.R. 83, 113th Congress)
This was in fact, as Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan put it last December, a “bipartisan compromise,” which is not exactly a “Republican win” as Boehner would have it. In fact, H.R. 83 “Avoid[ed] a dangerous government shutdown that would have hurt our economic progress” which contained “ideological and special interest rider provisions” put their by the GOP and objected to by the White House, designed to further weaken Wall Street reform and provided less than a full year of funding for the Department of Homeland Security. All this bill did was keep things going – temporarily. It is at the least disingenuous of Boehner to claim it in any way “protected jobs” or “grew our economy.”
4. We’ve backed American energy production, the biggest driver of jobs and growth in America. From supporting the shale revolution and fighting for the Keystone XL pipeline to blocking new fees on producers and cutting funding for the EPA, we’ve done all we can to blunt the Obama administration’s attempts to decrease American energy production. This has helped make America the world’s top oil and natural gas producer. (H.R. 83, 113th Congress; S.1, 114th Congress)
John Boehner (as did Mitt Romney in 2012) likes to pretend that Obama is opposed to energy production. In 2012, InvestmentWatch proclaimed “Fact: Under Obama, U.S. energy production is at an all-time high.” And the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated in 2013 “that the United States will be the world’s top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons…surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia.” Far from trying to decrease American energy production, Obama has been advocating energy independence.
5. We’ve protected small businesses from ObamaCare mandates that make it harder to hire. In addition to repealing a paperwork mandate in ObamaCare, we recently gave small businesses relief from rules that make it harder to hire veterans. (H.R. 4, 112th Congress; H.R. 3236, 114th Congress)
As the Statement of Administration Policy describes it, the so-called “Jobs for America Act” H.R. 4 “would undermine [the Affordable Care Act] by shifting costs to taxpayers and causing fewer Americans to have employer-sponsored health insurance coverage,” and “throw all major regulations into a months-long limbo,” as well as ” impose other unnecessary requirements on agencies that would seriously undermine their ability to execute their statutory mandates.” Boehner can frame this any way he wants to (and has), but in essence, H.R. 4 was just another Republican attempt to deregulate “while at the same time allowing taxes to increase on 26 million working families.” In other words, it was not intended to “protect jobs” or “grow our economy.”
6. We won passage of three free trade agreements that are already paying dividends for American workers. The Republican majority successfully won passage and implementation of long-delayed trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. (H.R. 3078, 3079 & 3080, 112th Congress)
The Statement of Administration Policy for H.R. 3078, which was a piece of bipartisan legislation, shows White House support for this bill, stating that it “forms an integral part of the Administration’s larger strategy of doubling exports by the end of 2014.” The Statement for H.R. 3079 shows the same executive branch support, stating that “The Agreement is an important part of the Administration’s efforts to spur economic growth, increase exports, and create jobs in the United States, while promoting our core values.” In other words, this is just another case of Boehner pretending something was done despite, not because of or in agreement with the White House.
7. It is now easier for entrepreneurs to acquire the capital they need to start and grow a business. It shouldn’t be easier to start a business in Belarus than it is in the United States, but it is, the experts say. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act helps aspiring entrepreneurs overcome government barriers to starting and expanding a business. (H.R. 3606, 112th Congress)
Boehner pretends the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act is a Republican victory over White House obstruction, but in fact, the relevant Statement of Administration Policy points out that “The President outlined a number of ways to help small businesses grow
and become more competitive in his September 8, 2011, address to a Joint Session of Congress on jobs and the economy, as well as in the Startup America Legislative Agenda he sent to the Congress last month. In both the speech and the agenda, the President called for cutting the red tape that prevents many rapidly growing startup companies from raising needed capital.” In other words, far from representing a victory over Obama, H.R. 3606 is just an example of the House finally doing what President Obama had urged it to do a year previously.
8. It is now easier for inventors and innovators to launch new products and businesses. The America Invents Act, the most significant update to our nation’s patent system in 60 years, cuts down on costs and speeds up the process by which patents are approved while better protecting intellectual property. (H.R. 1249, 112th Congress)
According to the Statement of Administration Policy, “The bill represents a balanced and well-crafted effort to enhance the services to patent applicants and America’s innovators provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).” Again, H.R. 1249 does not represent a House victory over an unwilling president. The Statement makes clear that “House passage of H.R. 1249 would foster innovation, improve economic competitiveness, and create jobs at no expense to taxpayers – all of which are key Administration goals.”
9. It is now easier for job-seekers to find the right skills to land the right jobs. Millions of good-paying jobs in America go unfilled because workers lack the proper skills. With the SKILLS Act, we modernized the nation’s workforce development system by eliminating programs that weren’t working and giving flexibility to the states. (H.R. 803, 113th Congress)
Boehner pretends H.R. 803 was a step forward, but the Statement of Administration Policy makes clear this bill was not an attempt to improve, but rather to hinder, job access, stating that, “While H.R. 803 takes some positive steps, the bill does not adhere to the Administration’s key principles for reform. The bill would eliminate, or allow the consolidation of, many targeted programs, without providing the critical assistance needed by vulnerable populations such as veterans, low-income adults, youth, adults with literacy and English language needs, people with disabilities, ex-offenders, and others with significant barriers to employment. H.R. 803 would freeze funding for the next seven years and would fail to support efforts to innovate and replicate effective approaches.” As the statement puts it, “any effort to streamline the current system must allow for sufficient funding to meet the needs of workers and job-seekers.” Boehner put a lot of talk into the SKILLS Act, but not much action.
10. It is now easier for graduates to get a good start in their careers. We took the politics out of student loans, plain and simple. By linking interest rates to the markets, people will see more stable and predictable rates over time, making it easier to pay for college and start contributing to the economy. (H.R. 1911, 113th Congress)
Here again Boehner is pretending his bill did something it did not do. He talks about lower interest rates, but as the Statement of Administration Policy points out, “the bill would not guarantee low rates for today’s students,” and “changes would impose the largest interest rate increases on low- and middle-income students and families who struggle most to afford a college education.” Furthermore, “the bill does not include the President’s proposal to extend repayment options to borrowers who have already left school and often face the same debt burdens as current and future students.” H.R. 1911 promoted the idea that interest rates should be raised to reduce the deficit. That’s right. Far from “stable and predictable rates over time,” the rates proposed would be unpredictable and subject to change, and force students to pay more so Congress could spend more elsewhere.
As noted, the public’s approval of Congress and of John Boehner is dropping. This endless repeating of “people’s priorities” lies is not helping the speaker’s case one bit.

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