Over the weekend, an email popped up in my inbox announcing that “the Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) will hold an important hearing on jobs creation” on Wednesday. “This is a terrific opportunity to learn more about the job creation legislation as it is developed, and to hear competing policy recommendations from top experts from both Democratic and Republican administrations,” the email said.
Earlier this month, House Republicans held a similar economic roundtable, and I pointed out that the GOP was counting on a slew of former Bush administration and McCain staffers for advice on job creation. House Democrats evidently agreed that such a lineup was worth disparaging.
So then why are Senate Democrats calling on two of the same people: Bush tax cut architect Larry Lindsey and deficit double-talker Douglas Holtz-Eakin? These two will be balanced, supposedly, by Gene Sperling, a counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and Martin Baily of the Brookings Institution.
The single best jobs action that President Obama could take would be to reverse course on a dangerous agenda of debt-financed spending, crippling regulation, expensive mandates, and intrusive government expansion.
Is that a call for repealing the stimulus? After spending the McCain campaign ludicrously asserting that McCain’s economic plans would lead to a balanced budget and mischaracterizing McCain’s tax plan, Holtz-Eakin has of late been championing the idea that repealing the estate tax will somehow spur job creation, despite the fact that exceedingly few small businesses are affected by it.
So on one hand, it’s great to see the Senate acknowledging that a new jobs bill needs to be looked at, and holding a hearing to flesh out ideas of what should make its way into the legislation. But why the reliance on the same old crew of tired economists pushing solutions that aren’t viable? There are some conservative minded economists out there (Bruce Bartlett jumps to mind) who, though I disagree with their policy prescriptions regarding job creation, are at least approaching the problem without sounding like RNC Chairman Michael Steele.