I was reading a breakdown by economists this morning on how a highly touted (by Republicans) jobs package they’ve been so excited about in the House of Representatives actually won’t go all that far to create the kinds of jobs needed to help turn around the economy, and if it did it’d be too far off in the future to make any difference to what’s needed much sooner.
That’s just dandy.
Things like …
HR 3630 – The Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act of 2011: Freezes federal workers’ pay for three years, requires issuance of a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline in advance of the proposed routing by Nebraska, suspends the newly-issued mercury regulations, and extends 100% expensing of business equipment (including private jets); cuts the 99-week maximum for unemployment insurance (UI) down to a 59-week maximum by mid-2012, allow states to drug-test UI recipients, and allow states to reduce state unemployment benefits and substitute federal funds; cuts funding for key provisions of the Affordable Care Act coming online; auction more broadband spectrum and reclassify the 700mhz D Block as public safety broadband use only; repeals the new timing rules for estimated corporate tax payments for companies with assets of $1 billion or more so that they can use payments of estimated taxes as a timing tool for fourth quarter profit declarations.
HR 1633 – Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011: Prevents the EPA from issuing or finalizing regulations revising air quality standards under the Clean Air Act, and excepts farm dust from all references to “particulate matter.”
HR 10 – Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2011: Guts the regulation process by mandating that every regulation promulgated be approved by Congress after an onerous submission process, while exempting any Congressional finding from judicial review.
HR 3010 – Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011: A modified, somewhat less onerous version of HR 10, setting guidelines for whether any regulations are warranted at all even if called for under a statute.
HR 527 – Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011: Reduce regulatory requirements on small businesses by forcing an impact study with specific focus on small business before regulation is adopted. It would limit EPA, OSHA and CFPB regulations while presumably protecting “small” closely-held Subchapter S corporations like Koch Industries.
HR 3012 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2011: Expand job immigration beyond current limits by eliminating employment-based immigrant visa caps and raising the percentage of total visas granted to 15% from 7%. Which helps American workers in what way?
HR 2930 – Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act: Exempts startups raising less than $1 million in venture capital from small investors from SEC registration and oversight.
HR 2940 – Access to Capital for Job Creators Act: Repeals prohibitions on solicitation or advertising of a securities offering, a companion to HR 2930, and is intended to allow people with no relationship to a startup company to invest in it without any oversight by the SEC.
And the list goes on, geared more toward getting rid of regulations that have little to no impact on creating jobs as much as they do saving headaches for businesses. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that just under 16,000 jobs, or 0.4 percent, have been lost because of “government regulations/intervention.”
That’s not even putting a dent in a massive problem with creating jobs for Americans. More like seeing the entire front end of a vehicle caved in and choosing to focus on the crack in the windshield.
What’s also infuriating is how the GOP is focusing on weakening laws that are designed to protect the health of the workers, including those in coal mines where cases of black lung disease have seen a marked increase through recent years. It was reported a week ago that language in the House bill covering appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 for the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services says:
“SEC. 118. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to continue the development of or to promulgate, administer, enforce, or otherwise implement the Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Coal Mine Dust, Including 20 Continuous Personal Dust Monitors regulation (Regulatory Identification Number 1219-AB64) being developed by the Mine Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor.”
All that MSHA is trying to do is cut coal miners’ exposure to harmful coal dust in half to cut the numbers of those afflicted with black lung disease or any other coal mining-related diseases. And House Republicans are fighting it.
Maybe their idea of “job creation” is to maintain a steady flow of a need for workers to replace those who can’t work a job any longer due to the health concerns they’re facing due to the relaxed regulations House Republicans are after.
Yeah, there’s your Republican “jobs bill” right there, in a nutshell.
Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media
- Proposed Republican Bill Would Defund Efforts to Stymie Black Lung (smartsign.com)
- Black Lung Disease Protections under Attack by Industry-Funded Republicans (ecowatch.org)
- The Republican ‘war on coal miners’ continues (blogs.wvgazette.com)
- Black Lung Cases on the Rise, Miners Demand Increased Safety Regulation (smartsign.com)
- House GOP wants to keep block on black lung rules (blogs.wvgazette.com)
- House Republicans say the heck with black lung disease, have a coal miner postage stamp instead [The Pump Handle] (scienceblogs.com)
- Investigation: As Black Lung Cases Doubled In The Last Decade, The Coal Industry Fought New Health Protections (thinkprogress.org)
- Republican Lawmakers Seek To Block Funding On Black Lung Regulation (wnyc.org)