Obama's jobs plan speech harked back often to Republican proposals that engendered parts of this plan. Time and again, he used the phrase, "Â…as proposed byÂ…" followed by a Republican's name or the GOP. To repudiate it, they must repudiate themselves.
If Congress passes this bill, or anything close to it, the government will spend almost half a trillion dollars, primarily on infrastructure improvements. But it seems more likely, given the careful crafting and steady drumbeat of 'credits' to Republican proposals of the recent (and some not-so-recent) past, that the President does not expect the TEA Party dominated House to allow any action on the plan described in Obama's jobs plan speech, a plan that might actually work, and thus boost Mr. Obama's political stock. This speech seemed to be more about setting up the Republicans as the fall guys for any failure of jobs encouragement by the federal government over the next two years than about any expectation of success in getting it adopted.
In addition to positioning Republicans to take the blame if nothing gets done in the way of passing a jobs plan, the President also pointed out that the GOP was adamantly anti-tax... for everybody except the Middle Class - American workers, when he said:
"I know that some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live. Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes..."
House Republicans offered up a four-page rebuttal... before the President delivered his speech; more than a day before, in fact. While making no specific proposals of their own, they delivered the standard Republican/TEA Party bromides, primarily urging House members to play up:
"...the "House Republican Plan for America's Job Creators," which they unveiled in May. The plan contained few new ideas, mostly rehashing points from past conservative wish lists: lower tax rates, pass pending free trade deals, get rid of regulations and increase domestic energy production."
It appears the House Republican/TEA Party plan is to remain the "party of 'No'," and hope the American people are so disappointed in the President that they won't notice that the plan outlined in Obama's job plan speech died in the House, and that the people now asking to replace him let their jobless benefits run out and simultaneously denied them opportunities for employment. However, House leaders Cantor and Boehner have endorsed, somewhat tepidly, some parts of Obama's jobs plan; subject to revision. Whether they can persuade TEA Party members to go along, is the question.
Obama's jobs plan speech may have introduced a jobs plan that died aborning, but it certainly set the tone for the rest of the Presidential campaign. Republicans will keep hammering that the stimulus didn't work (when it clearly did), and Democrats, especially the President, will keep telling American workers the Republicans have denied them both unemployment insurance and employment at the same time.