Friday, November 4, 2011

Unfair But Balanced: GOP Blocks Infrastructure Jobs Bill; Media Blames Both Parties

As The New York Times reports today, job growth is barely keeping up with population growth and is doing little to reduce the backlog of 14 million unemployed workers.  What is being either ignored or misleadingly reported is that the Democrats introduced a jobs bill yesterday, the infrastructure investment piece of Obama's American Jobs Act, which would have passed in the Senate but was filibustered by Senate Republicans.

Steve Benen provides the details:  The bill "would have invested 50 billion in direct spending on transportation projects, another $10 billion to get the National Infrastructure Bank up and running, and it was fully paid for with a 0.7% surtax on millionaires and billionaires, representing just 0.2% of the population. Estimates showed the legislation would have created hundreds of thousands of jobs."  Republicans unanimously filibustered the bill, not only preventing it from coming up for a vote but blocked the motion to proceed, preventing a debate on the bill.

And the GOP alternative?  As Think Progress reports, the Republican proposal, "in addition to providing some highway funding, would cut $40 billion in discretionary spending and implement a cockamamie House Republican proposal known as the REINS Act."  The product of Republican anti-regulatory obsession, the REINS Act "would cripple the government’s ability to regulate just about anything."

In sum, as Benen puts it:  "The contrast between the two parties’ approaches couldn’t be more obvious. Dems offered a real policy, including provisions that have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, and which polls show the American mainstream backing enthusiastically.  Republicans offered a joke."  And then the Republicans blocked the real jobs bill.

But you wouldn't know any of this from the mainstream media which, as Greg Sargent, says are "unwilling and incapable of explaining what actually happened to their readers and viewers."  So we get, for example, from CNN: “Competing infrastructure spending measures fail in Senate.”  And from Politico:  "Senate Gridlock:  Both Parties Block Jobs Bills."  

With this kind of reporting, the GOP has no incentive to do anything but stymie all Congressional efforts to create jobs and boost the economy.  Both parties but ultimately the President will be blamed, which has been their strategy all along.


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