House Republicans, “promising not to be flat-footed on efforts to revive the economy,” are preparing what they’ve called a “one-two punch” this week, in an attempt to counter the jobs summit that is being held at the White House tomorrow. With the CBO report yesterday showing that the stimulus package — derided by Republicans for months — has saved or created between 600,000 and 1.6 million jobs, the GOP is trying to roll out a jobs plan that it can call its own.
The administration’s summit will feature “more than 100 business, union and nonprofit leaders and economists,” so House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has organized an parallel economic roundtable, to provide a platform “for economists who have a different perspective on how Obama’s agenda has affected the economy.”
So who is the GOP betting on to design policies adequate for combating the effects of the great recession? Mostly former Bush administration and McCain campaign staffers, who have advocated disastrous tax and budget policies. Here’s a rundown:
Bush Tax Cut Architect Larry Lindsey: Lindsey was Director of the National Economic Council under President George W. Bush, and Bush’s “closest economic adviser.” Lindsey was the architect of the Bush tax cuts, which he characterized as an “insurance policy” against a recession. He responded to charges that the cuts overwhelmingly favored the wealthy by saying “”I don’t think that jealousy is what matters to the American people.”
Deficits Double-Talker Douglas Holtz-Eakin: Despite being a former CBO Director, during the campaign, Holtz-Eakin repeatedly asserted that McCain’s economic plans would balance the budget (which wasn’t true) and that McCain would cut taxes for everybody in America (also not true). Since leaving the campaign trail, he has been pushing the absurd notion that repealing the estate tax would create millions of jobs.
Kevin “Dow 36,000” Hassett: Hassett was chief economic adviser for McCain’s 2000 presidential bid, and advised both the Bush ’04 and McCain ’08 campaigns. He is best known for penning the 1999 book Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market, which predicted a huge surge in stock prices. As of last night, the dow stood at 10,485, after falling below 7,000 for a time.
Diana “No Recession” Furchtgott-Roth: In December 2007, when the U.S. was already in a recession, Furchtgott-Roth penned a piece saying that it was unlikely that a U.S. recession would occur. She also claims that medical bankruptcy is a “myth,” despite the fact that “the proportion of all bankruptcies attributable to medical problems has increased by 50%” since 2001.
Stimulus Critic Alex Brill: Brill served on President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers and blasted both the stimulus package for not working (though it is) and President Obama’s tax plan for raising taxes on the middle class (which it isn’t).