Memo: Speaker Boehner’s Groundhog Day Speech


To:  Reporters, Editors, Interested Parties and Bill Murray Fans   
Fr:   Democratic Leader’s Press Office
Dt:  September 14, 2011
Re:  Speaker Boehner’s Groundhog Day Speech

Tomorrow, Speaker Boehner will attempt again to defend the GOP’s indefensible record before the Economic Club of Washington: 253 days in the majority and no jobs agenda.

    “…Boehner will take a skeptical view of short-term fixes and gimmicks that are labeled ‘job creation’ by politicians, but which actually impede economic growth.”

Hmmm. Sounds familiar, huh?

When Speaker Boehner trots out the same old talking points on the GOP no jobs agenda – keep these things in mind:

1. When Boehner says the focus should be on the deficit before job creation…

  • By a 36-point margin, Americans would rather see Congress pay more attention to creating jobs than reducing the deficit. [CNN, 9/14]
  • By more than 2 to 1 (46 percent – 18 percent),  Americans say ‘unemployment and jobs’ rather than ‘government spending’ is our nation’s most important issue,). Just 12 percent picked ‘the federal deficit.’ [Bloomberg, 9/14]

2. When Boehner attacks President Obama’s plan – the American Jobs Act …

  • He will ignore the fact that is based on bipartisan proposals that Republicans have supported in the past including:
    • INFRASTRUCTURE – Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor: “We are not opposed to initiatives to repair and improve infrastructure.” [Joint letter to President Obama, 09/06/11]
    • PAYROLL TAX CUT FOR WORKERS – Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell: “It would put a lot of money back in the hands of businesses and in the hands of individuals…Republicans, generally speaking, from Maine to Mississippi, like tax relief.” [US News, 01/13/09]
    • TAX BREAKS FOR HIRING VETERANS – House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller: “I am delighted that President Obama is willing to join forces with Congress to stem veteran unemployment.” [Press release, 08/05/11]

3. When Boehner says the President’s plan isn’t what Americans want…

  • By a 13-point margin, Americans say they want their member of Congress to vote for the President’s jobs plan (45 percent – 32 percent). Independent voters support the President’s jobs plan by a 12-point margin (44 percent – 32 percent). [Gallup, 9/14]
  • More than seven in 10 Americans (71 percent) support President Obama’s plan to help states prevent laying off teachers and first responders. [Bloomberg, 9/14]
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) favor more federal funding to build and repair roads, bridges and schools. [CNN, 9/14]
  • By a 32-point margin, Americans support cutting the payroll tax for American workers (65 percent – 33 percent). [CNN, 9/14]
  • By a 14-point margin, Americans support repealing tax cuts for households making $250,000 or more a year (54 percent – 40 percent). [Bloomberg, 9/14]

4. When Boehner says the President Obama’s American Jobs Act won’t help the economy…

  • Jobs Bill Could Help Economic Growth, Forecasters Say  
    • Macroeconomic Adviser projected that the plan would add roughly 1.25 percentage points to gross domestic product and create 1.3 million jobs in 2012.
    • JPMorgan Chase estimated that the plan would increase growth by 1.9 points and add 1.5 million jobs.
    • Most bullish is Moody’s Analytics, which forecast that the package would add 1.9 million jobs, cutting the unemployment rate by a point, and increase growth by two percentage points. [New York Times, 9/13]
  • Economists Support Obama Job-Growth Plan
    • “Payroll tax cuts are very powerful," says Allen Sinai, chief economist of Decision Economics. "They provide a boost to direct income and, in turn, spending, which is important to growth."
    • Michael Hanson, a senior economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and a former Federal Reserve economist, predicts the additional jobs would lower the unemployment rate by nearly half a percentage point in 2012
    • Wharton School’s [Susan] Wachter calls Obama’s plan a serious proposal that should be politically acceptable "across the board." [AP, 9/9]

5. When Boehner talks about “excessive regulations”…

  • Regulations, taxes aren’t killing small business, owners say
    McClatchy surveyed small business owners and found that none of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it. Some pointed to the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its grim aftermath. [McClatchy, 9/1

6. When Boehner says cuts are the only way to grow the economy…

  • G.O.P. on Defensive as Analysts Question Party’s Fiscal Policy
    The boasts of Congressional Republicans about their cost-cutting victories are ringing hollow to some well-known economists, financial analysts and corporate leaders, including some Republicans, who are expressing increasing alarm over Washington’s new austerity and antitax orthodoxy… Among those calling for a mix of cuts and revenue are onetime standard-bearers of Republican economic philosophy like Martin Feldstein, an adviser to President Ronald Reagan, and Henry M. Paulson Jr., Treasury secretary to President George W. Bush, underscoring the deepening divide between party establishment figures and the Tea Party-inspired Republicans in Congress and running for the White House. [New York Times, 8/12]
  • Bruce Bartlett, former deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department under President George W. Bush
    It is not class warfare to suggest that the richest 1 percent of people in society pay one-third of their income to the federal government, as they did under Ronald Reagan… We can no longer afford such low effective tax rates on those with the greatest capacity to pay at a time when total revenues as a percentage of G.D.P. are at their lowest level in 60 years and we are facing a debt crisis. The issue is not whether the rich should pay more, but how best to accomplish it. [8/23]
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