Killing a jobs bill due to deficit concerns when unemployment is flirting with double-digits and interest rates are rock-bottom is insane. On the other hand, the jobs bill isn't all that stimulative to begin with, notes Howard Gleckman:
First, the bill's short-term $80 billion price tag is loose change, at least by Washington standards. It is one-tenth the size of Obama’s 2009 stimulus. And in a $14 trillion economy, its impact on the overall economy is hardly measurable. Similarly, adding another $80 billion in one-time initiatives (assuming they are one-time) to a $1.4 trillion deficit is hardly going to waken a complacent bond market.
But the argument over the total cost completely misses the real question: Will the subsidies and incentives in this bill create jobs? It is not the size that matters, but how the dollars are spent. And here, there is a strong case to be made that a lot of this bill is money wasted.
Start with the roughly $32 billion in expiring tax provisions (aka the extenders) that the bill would continue for another year (or in a few cases two). Some of my favorites: $46 million in tax subsidies for movie producers and $38 million for NASCAR racetrack owners. As I have written in the past, most of these highly targeted subsidies will do little or nothing to create new jobs.