Democracy Has Prevailed.

October 18, 2011

Occupy Pittsburgh, One Pittsburgh and Senator Toomey

Lauren Daley of the C-P's Slag Heap wrote:
Participants in the Occupy Pittsburgh movement ventured out from their Mellon Green encampment and to protest outside Sen. Pat Toomey's office today, demanding he "[s]top working for Wall Street and start working for us."

The Occupy campers joined One Pittsburgh and its offshoot action, the People's Lobby, in front of Toomey's Station Square office building at noon today. There, they denounced the Republican Senator's vote against the American Jobs Act. The action was among those that Occupy participants consented to supporting this week. They also plan to picket BNY Mellon -- which owns the Mellon Green site they are camping on -- this Wednesday.
As part of the coverage, Daley quotes Toomey's statement on the act:
President Obama's latest stimulus bill contains hundreds of billions of dollars in increased spending and more tax hikes, which won't create jobs any more than his last stimulus bill did. With the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, we do not have time to waste on political games and big tax increases that will only make our economy weaker for all Americans.

Instead, I support a real jobs plan, which will reduce burdensome regulations that are preventing businesses from hiring; ratify three pending free trade agreements that will increase Pennsylvania's exports; simplify and reduce business and individual tax rates to encourage job-creating business expansions; and get our federal deficits under control, among other pro-growth measures. This plan will actually create jobs.
Ahhhh, now we get to check his statement.

Here's the text of the bill if you (and Senator Toomey) wish to read it.  Here's the White House summary and the CRS summary.

On the first part "...hundreds of billions of dollars in spending and more tax hikes..." we see from the White House Summary:
The President’s plan will cut in half the taxes paid by businesses on their first $5 million in payroll, targeting the benefit to the 98 percent of firms that have payroll below this threshold.
The President’s plan will completely eliminate payroll taxes for firms that increase their payroll by adding new workers or increasing the wages of their current worker (the benefit is capped at the first $50 million in payroll increases).
Not sure how that equates to Senator Toomey's assessment. This analysis, from the New York Times, may give us a clue:
The centerpiece of the bill, known as the American Jobs Act, is an extension and expansion of the cut in payroll taxes, worth $240 billion, under which the tax paid by employees would be cut in half through 2012. Smaller businesses would also get a cut in their payroll taxes, as well as a tax holiday for hiring new employees. The plan also provides $140 billion for modernizing schools and repairing roads and bridges — spending that Mr. Obama portrayed as critical to maintaining America’s competitiveness.

The bulk of the plan –- some $400 billion over ten years — would be paid for by tax changes that would limit itemized deductions, such as those for charitable contributions and other expenditures, that may be taken by individuals making more than $200,000 a year and families making over $250,000 a year. In Mr. Obama's proposal, the rest would come from provisions affecting oil and gas companies, hedge funds, and the owners of corporate jets. [emphasis added.]'s clearer now.

Then there's the part about job creation.  From, in a page titled:
Did the Stimulus Create Jobs?

Yes, the stimulus legislation increased employment, despite false Republican claims to the contrary.
And here's their analysis:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as the stimulus bill, has been featured in more than 130 TV ads this year, according to a database maintained by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group. In many of those ads, Republicans claim the bill has "failed" (a matter of opinion) or state (correctly) that unemployment has gone up since President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Feb. 17, 2009. The national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in February 2009, and it now stands at 9.6 percent, having peaked at 10.1 percent in October 2009.

But it’s just false to say that the stimulus created "no jobs" or "failed to save and create jobs" or "has done nothing to reduce unemployment" – or similar claims that the stimulus did not produce any jobs.

As we have written before, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report in August that said the stimulus bill has "[l]owered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points" and "[i]ncreased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million."

Simply put, more people would be unemployed if not for the stimulus bill. The exact number of jobs created and saved is difficult to estimate, but nonpartisan economists say there’s no doubt that the number is positive.
Not exactly what the Senator said. Though to be honest he did say the Act "won't create jobs any more than his last stimulus bill did" not that the last stimulus bill created no jobs.  All he actually said was that it won't create any more than the 3.3 million jobs (or maybe only 1.4 million) than the last stimulus created.

But why didn't he say that more clearly?

Why do you think?

Pat Toomey, helping his friends, the 1%, ignoring rest of us, the 99%.

Occupy Pittsburgh.

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