House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor have taken every opportunity to tout the work that the GOP has done on jobs. From carrying around cards that lists the “more than 30 jobs bills” to bringing it up in every press conference or campaign ad, Republicans have been keen to publicize their jobs package in light of accusations that they are “do-nothing obstructionists.” However, expert economists who have analyzed the jobs package now say that the package has no meaningful impact on job creation.
In interviews conducted by The Huffington Post, five senior economists, including Gary Burtless, Mark Zandi, Carl Riccadonna, Joel Prakken, and Jesse Rothstein, have indicated that the GOP jobs package would accomplish nothing positive and would go so far as to even potentially damage the economy. According to Gary Burtless, a senior economist at Brookings, the notion that the Republican proposals might boost jobs is absurd and laughable:
A lot of these things are laughable in terms of a jobs plan that would produce noticeable improvements across the country in the availability of employment in the next four or five years. Even in the long run, if they have any effect at all, it would be extremely marginal, relative to the jobs deficit we currently have.
The economists interviewed agreed more with environmental advocates, who argued that the GOP proposals were more likely to kill people than create jobs, than they did with Republican claims that the bills would lead to job creation. Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, was concerned with the ramifications of environmental deregulation which would offset any new jobs — “If you increase employment but you have a lot more sick people, you have to ask yourself, ‘What’s the trade-off?’”
GOP antics were not lost on the senior economists. Each expert clearly expressed that they felt the Republican jobs plan remains much more a political maneuver than any earnest effort to combat unemployment. Carl Riccadonna, senior economist at Deutsche Bank, indicated that “jobs are a second- or third-order effect, not the main priority.” According to Jesse Rothstein, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, the jobs package is purely political fodder: “It’s game playing to try to pretend like they’re doing something,” he told HuffPo. “It’s silly season, and so they know they have to put up something that has the label ‘job creation’ on it, whether or not it would work.”