Greg Sargent gets some intelligence about how Congressional Democrats plan to proceed with trying to get the Catfood Commission II to include job creation measures in their final plan:
(Rep. John) Larson and other senior Dems are also gravitating towards several new proposals to get the current super-committee to adopt job creation as a core mission, along with deficit reduction. This basic idea already has broad support among Congressional Dems.
Larson and Dems plan to introduce several proposals next week along these lines to amend the current law creating the super-committee — and they will ask Congress to pick from among them. One proposal would simply amend the super-committee’s current mission to include job creation. The second would ask each of the four Congressional leaders to appoint one more person to the committee, bringing its membership to 16 — and create a sub-committee on job creation that would produce a jobs proposal as part of the final deficit reduction package [...]
Larson tells me that both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are on board with this plan.
More power to Larson. But this is the ultimate “train has left the station” proposal. If this were happening before the debt limit deal, maybe it had a shot. But that’s not where we are. There were reportedly some extensions of things like the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance in the Obama/Boehner grand bargain, but Boehner rejected that, as surely as he would reject this.
You have to distinguish between plans that are being pushed forward because they have a chance of becoming law, and plans that get pushed forward so politicians can have a talking point and draw a contrast. Both have their place, but they are two very different things. This falls into the latter category. Democrats can build the perfect jobs program but it’s not really valuable in terms of job creation. It may be valuable in terms of drawing contrast, and it’s worth putting Republicans on the defensive. Who knows, maybe some minds get changed (though it’s unlikely), and more important, you’re fighting on issues that will surely come up in the future. But it’s not a serious proposal as policy, only as politics.
Then there’s the really pessimistic view that this is part of a long-term structural unemployment trend and that we’re doomed without a short-term solution. I don’t buy that. I think it’s a matter of political will.