With Unemployment In Double Digits…
…do we REALLY want to be pursuing legislation that costs jobs?
If that seems like a no-brainer, consider that non-partisan FactCheck.org analyzes health care reform and cap-and-trade, and concludes both are job-killers.
First, health care reform:
The truth is the House legislation would likely have a “small” effect on jobs, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. A RAND Corp. expert says the job loss would be “quite minimal.” A third estimate puts the job loss at several hundred thousand low-wage jobs, or well under one-half of 1 percent of all jobs. Furthermore, the bill doesn’t kick in until the year 2013, and by then the economy is expected to be much improved, with unemployment down to 5.8 percent according to CBO’s projections.
Now, it’s true that the article emphasizes the small nature of the job loss, and the expected improvement in unemployment by the time most of the job losses kick in.
But I ask you: does the loss of several hundred thousand low-wage jobs seems like a small thing to you? Sure doesn’t sound “minimal” to me, nor does the loss of 1/2 of 1% of the nation’s jobs seem trivial. Legislation that drops a half percent off of employment seems to me to be legislation you would want to avoid.
But that’s a veritable party next to cap-and-trade:
It’s true that limiting carbon emissions would create some jobs – building wind turbines or insulating homes and businesses, for example. But it’s equally true that raising the cost of burning coal and oil would act as a drag on the entire economy, slowing down job creation in other industries.
According to projections by the Energy Information Administration and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the net effect of the House cap-and-trade bill will likely be to slow future job growth. Using 11 different possible future scenarios, EIA projects that future job growth might be constrained by something between 388,000 (under the most optimistic assumptions) and 2.3 million (assuming everything goes badly) 20 years from now. CBO also says employment would likely be lower than it would without the legislation – but only “a little.”
So claims that the bill would create hundreds of thousands of “green jobs” are misleading, at best. The government’s own official economic projections indicate more jobs will be lost than created.
So, let’s consider the impact of both bills together – under the ROSY scenario, mind you, we’re pursuing legislation that will drop employment by a full percentage point. And since when does the rosy scenario come true? Far more likely is an outcome between the two extremes. But let’s be generous – a 1% drop in employment it is.
Just TRY selling that to middle America right now…and shame on the Republicans if they don’t point out these numbers at every opportunity…