Congrats to Pres. Obama, Pelosi and the Dems for passing the Edujobs Bill despite near total opposition of the Limbaugh Party. Doesn't it feel good to stand up for a change? The vote, as expected, was basically along party lines with Boehner and his boys calling the jobs bill, nothing but a "a payoff to union bosses and liberal special interests."
As the Wonk Room explained, this bill is deficit neutral, so there is no “tax hike” necessary. But more importantly, does Boehner really consider teachers, firefighters, and police officers “special interests”? Overall, the funding will save the jobs of about 300,000 workers, including about 140,000 school employees, and according to the Department of Education, 5,000 teaching jobs in Boehner’s home state of Ohio will be preserved. (Think Progress)
But the problem is that nearly half of the "deficit neutral" $26 billion temporary patch on the bleeding public school artery came largely at the expense of poor families who still put dinner on the table only with the aid of food stamps. Currently, some 40 million people, or 1 in 8 Americans, receive food stamps. Nearly half (49.2%) of this country's children depend on food stamps, including 26.1% under the age of 5.
"The cutbacks in food stamps in the bill are plain wrong,'' said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, (D-WI).Having won the edujobs battle, it's now up to the Dems to "find their spine," as my brother puts it, and come back with a bill to restore the food stamp cuts.
We also need to recognize that the bill remains a limited and temporary fix until some of the more fundamental and systemic issues are dealt with.
Despite those expenditures, the economy continues to struggle. The prospect of layoffs or tax increases by state officials who are almost uniformly required to balance their budgets remains a major worry. The package approved Tuesday represents less than a quarter of the $116 billion shortfall that states face over the next two years, according to the National Governors Association. "This isn't plugging the hole. This is helping to transition," said David Quam, NGA director of federal relations. (WaPo)
Where's the money going to come from? How about $2 billion/week going to the eternal war in Afghanistan, for starters.