Scott Brown and Do-Nothing Senate Will Cause 900,000 More to Lose Jobs

Count me among those who are grateful that Harry Reid scaled back the Senate jobs bill instead of letting MaxTax Baucus and Chuck Grassley use it to push through another estate tax break for Paris Hilton. That said, what he is pushing is another poorly-designed tax break that will do little to support jobs. More importantly, it offers no relief for states, trying to keep teachers and cops and firemen on the job. And that means as many as 900,000 people will lose their jobs because the Senate is unwilling or unable to do what the House has already done. (h/t Calculated Risk)

Federal aid to the states was among the top priorities in an early Senate job creation bill, as well as in a $154 billion measure passed by the House in December. But it has fallen off the list as Senate Democrats look to craft legislation that will attract bipartisan support.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Thursday unveiled a jobs bill that does not contain state aid. A Senate Democratic aide said Reid hopes to back a state aid measure in the future. Republican support, however, remains questionable.


States are looking at a total budget gap of $180 billion for fiscal 2011, which for most of them begins July 1. These cuts could lead to a loss of 900,000 jobs, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s

The article goes on to describe CA’s well-publicized woes. But it also notes that Senator Scott Brown’s state of Massachusetts may have to dramatically cut back because it is not getting $600 million in federal Medicaid funds they were counting on.

Just so long as we make it clear that Scott Brown bears a great deal of responsibility for holding that money up.

  1. BayStateLibrul says:

    I’ll go one further any Democrat that voted for Scotty Boy to send a message, in my opinion, are also responsible, for the law of unintended

    consequences is real.

    • kking says:

      I’ll go one further that the White House, Senate Democrats and Congress Democrats that choose to do the work for corporate and special intress behind closed doors is the reason Scott Brown was elected.The responsiablity belone to the Democrats.

  2. perris says:

    here in long island new york they’re talking about closing 10 parks because of their budget problems

    10 parks

    that means how many jobs, real living wage jobs, and these people will be competing for jobs that are far too scarce now

    man o man, trouble ahead

  3. PJEvans says:

    There are way too many people in Congress who aren’t willing to do anything that might help people who aren’t rich and powerful, because people who aren’t rich and powerful don’t give them lots of money and can’t promise them cushy jobs after they lose in the next election.

    (Yes, I am feeling cynical today.)

  4. allan says:

    Unemployment? What unemployment? Via Atrios:

    For those wondering why luxury spending is back even as unemployment hovers close to 10%, consider this: unemployment among the affluent is only 3%.

    According to a study from Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Studies, unemployment for those in the top income decile–individuals earning more than $150,000 a year–was 3% in the fourth quarter of 2009. That compares with unemployment of 31% for the bottom 10% of income, and unemployment of 9% for the middle decile.

    • klynn says:

      That would make a great post. Especially, if there was a breakdown by employment sector, or job types, that are at 3%.

  5. Teddy Partridge says:

    Metaphorically speaking, if the Senate ceased to exist tomorrow, think how much better off America would be. I mean, really, as a thought experiment: we would have health care reform with a public option, signed and on its way to implementation, we would have financial reform signed and on its was to implementation, we would have an energy/environment carbon market signed and on its way to implementation. We’d have Obama’s nominees confirmed (presuming confirmation in the House) and we’d have DADT repealed. ENDA would be law and DOMA would not.

    There’s no question that Nancy Pelosi, her early table-setting error aside, is on track to become one of history’s best Speakers. Not that she can ever make up her table-setting error, mind you. Nonetheless, her record is unblemished.

    Imagine if she alone were Obama’s legislative partner. That’s some hearty “make me do it” right there.

  6. Blutodog says:

    The Senate is the modern version of the House of Lords and it was meant to be just that. Its now the House of Corp. Overlords and its going to suck the Treasury dry taking care of its masters. We need a movement in this country to get people to stop donating to or voting for candidates of any party that take Corp. $$. Its’s the only way we can stop this madness.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Tax breaks principally benefit those already wealthy or making enough money to need them. They don’t help people just getting by or not making enough to do that. For them, if there is cash value to a tax credit or deduction, it comes too late to be of practical benefit. They need help, money or opportunity now, not a lower tax bill a year from now.

    Helping bidness, not people, is the welfare model Congress finds acceptable. It is useful in limited amounts. But money spent there is recycled more slowly (sometimes not at all, as with banks who take federal money and refuse to lend, cleaning up their crappy balance sheets instead), than it is when it goes to people who live paycheck to paycheck. They recycle money immediately and within their own communities.

    Meanwhile, average people have to live with GOP-stymied state legislatures, who refuse to raise taxes to pay for their own government, much less necessary social programs or education.

    California’s legislature, for example, is considering making landlords withhold tax on payments to independent contractors – everyone from Roto-Rooter to the guys and gals who clean or fix toilets, wash windows and clean laundry rooms. It’s a great example of pushing the burden of paying and collecting taxes to the lowest income groups, while refusing to tax the wealthy. (It’s also an example of trying to curb barter, as well as attack a slice of undocumented workers.)

    Heaven forbid, though, that the legislature should reform its abusive tax system. Even Warren Buffett thinks its a joke that his modest home in Omaha costs him as much in real estate tax as his coastal California mansion.

  8. ezdidit says:

    When Obama gets angry at Republicans, we’ll know he is listening to us. When he threatens to act with executive orders, emergency orders, or whatever, we’ll know he means business.

    Until then…fail. He’s better than Republicans, but he’s not delivering the change he sold us at all.

  9. Kassandra says:

    Well,if it hadn’t been Brown, it would have been Liebermann if it hadn’t been Liebermann it would have been Nelson.
    And on it goes.
    I just find it so interesting that Brown was in Washington the NEXT DAY after the election to be sworn in, whereas Al Franken……….was allowed to hang for months. I think that pretty much sums up this whole administration’s approach to things.

  10. lawguy says:

    I’d have to agree with Kassandra @ 13. There would have been some reason it couldn’t be done without massive give aways to the wealthiest no matter who had been elected from Mass. However, this does provide another opportunity to blame the DFHs again.

  11. nomolos says:

    Harry knows he is in tough for his re-election. He, hopefully, will not make it. That said I am expecting that he will position himself for a good lobbying job post his Senate career.
    He. like many so called “Democrats” in the House and Senate are in the game for monetary gain. Dodd is quietly doing all he can to help big banks as he goes out the door all the while blustering about how he supports a “bill of rights” for consumers. They are all, I have to say, full of bullshit and give not a hoot about the citizenry unless said citizen comes with a hefty bank account.

  12. oldhippiejan says:

    Just a simple question here. If tax breaks for the rich and for multi-national corporations create jobs, why the hell aren’t we ass deep in jobs after all the tax cutting that’s been going on for 30 years?

    It’s a matter of time before the entire US is one big state of California if those that have the money don’t begin to pay their fair share. Billionaire socialism and corporate welfare have given us this fine kettle of fish. Until those things are fixed, our downward spiral toward third-worldom will continue

    • MarkH says:

      If tax breaks for the rich and for multi-national corporations create jobs, why the hell aren’t we ass deep in jobs after all the tax cutting that’s been going on for 30 years?

      Having seen Bush try in a slight recession and in good economic times and in war and having seen Dems try in a recession with various and not great results it certainly is a strong political argument that this should NOT be our first approach to unemployment.

      Also, the multipliers for various kinds of stimulation indicate it’s not so good.

  13. Prairie Sunshine says:

    Fareed Zaharia comment on Peterson and Greenspan from last week’s MTP, gutless cowards with nothing to lose pander on the Bush tax cuts expiring. Bush tax cuts the big black hole of the deficit. If they don’t have the courage of their convictions [they have convictions? /s] then how can anyone expect the politicians to have any….

    For shame, says Fareed.


  14. Bluetoe2 says:

    The experiment in self-governance started by the Founding Fathers at this point could be considered a failure. A corrupt and ossified system is beyond reform by merely tweaking at the edges. Until there is a progressive movement that is willing to put feet on the ground to force decision makers to move in a more progressive direction it will only continue to get worse for most Americans. If people are unwilling to be bothered with direct action then the people deserve the government that is forced down their throats.

  15. onitgoes says:

    I’m no fan of Scott Brown, but I’m not sure whether it matters or not that he’s been elected. The US House of Lords (as one prior post says) is there to benefit the corporations, and so it shall be. It would be nice to see Harry Reid voted out, but I doubt that will make any difference to the status quo.

    And I also have similar thoughts to another prior post: all this g-damned tax cutting & special breaks for the wealthy & corporations: gah, we should all be rolling in jobs & trickle down money, money, money. Why more conservatives don’t “get this” very simple fact – that tax breaks for the uber-rich & the corporations has resulted in a nothing good for the peons – remains one of life’s enduring mysteries. I mean, we’re not talking about rocket science here, nor is it even about statistics.

    Onwards into the frustrations of the 21st C. Watch the Olympics & weep: most of the USA athletes have to clean toilets & other menaial jobs, plus live with their parents, in order to compete in these games. Corp. sponsorships, despite all the mega-tax breaks, have mostly dried up (gone to big fat bonuses for the fat cats), and we all know that we’re not quite dreaded commiepinkos yet, so gawd forbid that our gov’t should sponsor these follks “representing” you & me up there in Vancouver. Somewhat shameful, that is, but of course, conservatards will cheer them on unthinking of the consequences to those athletes’ lives.

    • MarkH says:

      that tax breaks for the uber-rich & the corporations has resulted in a nothing good for the peons

      I don’t argue however with the big stimulus last year. It had tax cuts and everything else anyone thought might be helpful. In that kind of situation you press all the levers.

      In less horrendous situations you can be more focused. Right now that focus is on unemployment and people won’t employ unless they’re making sales and that only happens when people are buying and working people are only buying what they can afford. That leaves unemployed people who need gov’t money to buy. Knee bone’s connected to the brain bone via some others.

  16. dottyoliver says:

    All we have to do to balance every budget in the country is end the war on drugs. What a waste of resources and human tragedy associated with it? Let those DEA goons get real jobs like building solar panels for poor neighborhoods instead of policing them like they are animals.

  17. dstrong says:

    Come on now, the “jobs” bill is about getting Obama a “bipartisan” victory under his belt, not actually doing a damn thing about creating “jobs”. That word is becoming synonymous with failure. Everytime I hear that word I get mad as hell, because I know it is being used as a cover for passing business friendly legislation, to hell with the people. More tax cuts for businesses and rich people to create jobs, have these people not been paying attention the last 8 years. Of course Republicans have never seen a tax cut they don’t like, and they don’t care who suffers from their disastrous policies. Now the Democratic party is the second party of “fiscal conservatism”, which is a metaphor for helping the rich and punishing the poor and working class. WE ARE SCREWED!

  18. karmi says:

    Hey, let’s also blame the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on Scott Brown! He helped China with that one – Stimulating Green Jobs For China:

    ..nearly $2 billion in money from the American Recovery and Investment Act has been spent on wind power. The goal was to further energy independence while creating American jobs. It has done neither … The project is expected to create some temporary construction jobs in America … Of the 1,807 turbines erected on 28 wind farms receiving grants, foreign-owned manufacturers built 1,219, according to the workshop report. The installation of these turbines may have created as many as 6,838 manufacturing jobs overseas.

    • Leen says:

      thanks for that link

      “10 members of the same family died when a rocket hit a house in Marjah.”

      You really have to wonder just how many civilians have been killed as a direct consequence of our invasion and occupation. Never see an accumlative number. How many families have been paid of the death of their loved ones to silence them?

  19. xargaw says:

    If it is true that the American public for the most part can only digest the simplist of concepts spoon fed to them by the media, how about if the Democrats simply start pointing out that the GOP perpetually puts “Country Last.” Every vote is a poltical calcuation to vote against any Democratic idea or piece of legislation even when it was their idea to begin with solely because it is part of a Democratic Bill. By playing politics first, they are putting “COUNTRY LAST.”

      • fatster says:

        Plus it takes courage to stand up for what’s now called “Main Street”. Whatever happened to courage? It’s in short supply these days.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      By playing politics first, they are putting “COUNTRY LAST.”

      I like it! I also like Derelict’s slogan from TBogg’s post. Death Before Taxes!!

  20. selise says:

    am i missing something here? is the premise that if the dems in the senate put up a bill with only the aid to states in it, that it would not pass by one vote?

  21. gonalb says:

    So much for the idea that by staying home the Progressives in Massachussetts were sending a loud message to Senate Democrats to get cracking with passing meaningful legislation. What a total waste the Senate is.

    Apparently that message is just not loud enough. Progressives might just have to scramble to find viable alternative Senatorial candidates in time for the fall elections. Of course that should have begun long ago. Running out of time for this is just symptomatic of people being unwilling to see what lies clearly in front of their eyes.

    The Democrats in the Senate are worthless and alternative third party candidates funded by grassroots leftist is the only path remaining out of this quagmire that is the Senate.

  22. kevincharlottenc says:

    I’m going to come at this from a different direction: This state aid should not even be a factor for many of these states who are still digesting huge $$$ of Stimulus funds. I disagree that this bill being scaled back is going to leave them high and dry. They will need more funding, and there will be other bills to cover that. What have the states done with all the money they’ve received since 2008? They are either using it to “balance” their budgets, or banking it. Consider the states who have Republican governors and legislators, they receive the money, but they sit on it. Another 154 Billion just pushes the deficit meter that much higher, that much more bad press, and that much more money thrown at Republican state senates who will either lock it away, burn it on stupid wasteful projects that create 1 or 2 jobs for researchers, or otherwise squander it.

    And, on the other hand, why cry about the Senate? It’s like crying over the mountains- they will not move. How frustrating.


    Reconciliation is, and has always been, a tactic that could be used to push through these crucial bills. Reconciliation would render Scottie The Freeballer irrelevant. WHY was this extremely important piece of legislation not started in reconciliation from the get-go??? Because the Demo’s wanna be spineless and play nice, and playing nice= FAIL.

  23. selise says:

    kevincharlottenc @47 –

    Reconciliation is, and has always been, a tactic that could be used to push through these crucial bills. Reconciliation would render Scottie The Freeballer irrelevant. WHY was this extremely important piece of legislation not started in reconciliation from the get-go??? Because the Demo’s wanna [pretend to] be spineless and play nice, and [because] playing nice= FAIL.

    fixed it for you.

  24. captjjyossarian says:

    as Senate Democrats look to craft legislation that will attract bipartisan support

    Here we go again with the bipartisan line….

    The Democrats are proving that they are unfit to lead this nation. And the Republicans are completely insane.

    So what does that leave? The Army? Am I going to see tanks parading down Pennsylvania Ave live on CNN?

  25. bobh says:

    If we accept that 45,000 Americans die each year from lack of health insurance, as a Harvard School of Public Health study indicated, then about 4000 will die each month as a consequence of Brown’s election.

    That is more of us than Al Qaeda has ever killed.

  26. MarkH says:

    emptywheel wrote:

    Just so long as we make it clear that Scott Brown bears a great deal of responsibility for holding that money up.

    Amen to that!

  27. freepatriot says:

    dint we used to do sumtin on sundays ???

    the day seemed to have a purpose in teh past

    now, I caint remember what it was all about

    anyway, if it’s Monday, the douchehat musta said something stupid

    see ya in the train wreck

    PS: I’m experimenting on a life outside of slavery to television (can’t afford to pay the cable bill no more) so I’m gonna be a bit less informed in teh future (or better informed maybe)

    jes soes ya know …

    • fatster says:

      I had my tee vee service turned off not too long after 9/11, in reaction to my growing unease that “they” were indoctrinating me. It’s not bad at all. I do miss things like Moyers, The Daily Show, Colbert (and k. d. lang last night), etc., but usually videos are posted pretty quickly and I go there. And, of course, you could always go visit friends/relatives/neighbors when something very important is being shown, thus enhancing your social life.

      It ain’t bad.

      Plus, Spring is coming and Nature’s annual spectacular will be upon us (don’t even think about the 110-degs awaiting us a bit later, though). Enjoy.

  28. freepatriot says:

    (don’t even think about the 110-degs awaiting us a bit later, though).

    after 4 months in the 40s, I’m lookin forward to that 110 degree day

    life’s different in Cali’s central valley

    • fatster says:

      Here in Cali’s central valley those 110-deg days can last up to three weeks. The nights offer little relief. I remember Herb Caen writing about people here in his childhood keeping their sheets in the ice-box during the day and putting them on the bed at night, hoping to go to sleep before the sheets warmed up.

      Wish I had the means to go to Machu Picchu during those sizzlers.

      • PJEvans says:

        And we won’t go into those three-week-long fogs, either. (I’m in LA: we know about summer. Oven mitts can be handy for opening doors.)

        • fatster says:

          Ah, the tule fog. During very early morning 35-mile commutes on I-5, I’ve seen that stuff so thick that you could barely see beyond the hood ornament (not that I had one, but where one would be if I did). I probably sweated as much in anxiety on those mornings while gripping the wheel as I have during that first hour of a summer’s day when the temp soars past 100.

          • PJEvans says:

            I saw a couple of nice patches Friday morning on the way to work. From the train. One was in the Burbank airport overrun, and the other in the cemetery across the tracks from the airport – that one was ten or fifteen feet deep. Classic cases, if small. (The cemetery is a usual location for it.)

            • fatster says:

              Ah, the little airport that time forgot. I always flew into Burbank whenever I had to go to LA. It was like something out of the late 50’s/early 60’s. Slower pace and delicious artery-clogging hamburgers with gobs of fries served while you sat there in a vinyl-covered booth (red? orange?).

              Seems I read they remodeled Burbank Airport and that’s too bad.

                • fatster says:

                  Eeeek! At least my planes stopped on the runway. Maybe the cemetery PJEvans referred to is the reason for the “spookily short runway”? (Please don’t banish me for that comment.)

                  BTW, the teriyaki burgers were the best.

                • PJEvans says:

                  I remember seeing that one while it was parked in the corner, before they took it apart for recycling. They had the nose in a cradle, and they painted over the airline insignia – although mustard, orange, and red isn’t exactly an anonymous paint job.

                  The service station it almost hit is long gone, though.

                  • fatster says:

                    Well, hell, if the service station is long gone, where do the airplanes go to re-fuel? Just taxi on down a few more blocks to the next filling station?

                    (I gotta quit now, or bmaz will throw me out.)

                    • bmaz says:

                      I flew in there for the Rose Bowl one morning so hungover I could hardly walk. I swear to god I thought we were gonna blow right through those catch plates and fencing at the end of the runway; reverse thrusters were at full power – thought the freaking plane was going to explode. And that all, again, was just moments after that cute little cutting of the engines thing they do on Burbank approach. All extremely disconcerting…..

                    • fatster says:

                      Well, at least, not a single one of those condors flew into your plane. Thank heavens!

                      I guess condors are smarter than some ducks and geese we’ve heard of.

                    • PJEvans says:

                      Ah, the short runway.

                      Burbank is from the era when travel was supposed to be an adventure …. Just maybe not the kind you sometimes get. (I spent a couple of hours on the apron once, on a Southwest flight, waiting for thunderstorms to clear the flight path. By the time we left, everyone was a little silly: the safety lecture included mention of ‘drop-down Designer Dixie cups’.)

                      Haven’t seen condors in that area; there are hawks and falcons in the overrun, though. And occasionally coyotes (of the four-legged kind).

              • PJEvans says:

                Not much: no jetways yet, so you still climb the stairs to the plane door. I think the remodel was adding a wing for more gates.

                They can get in the newer short-runway jets, but jumbos will never make it. The long runway is just under 6900 feet!