Government Spending

What Does President Obama's Jobs Bill Tell Us About the Federal Budget Deficit?

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They took our jobs (bill)!

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used an unusual procedural manuever in order to avoid a vote on President Obama's jobs bill. But tonight, the Senate is expected to vote on the legislation, a $447 billion package of tax cuts and stimulus spending, including the estabishment of an infrastructure bank. The White House has all but admitted that they don't expect the bill to pass with the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster; Obama has already started talking about what he plans to do after the bill fails.

One of the reasons why it's not likely to pass is the financing mechanism. When Obama first announced his jobs bill, he promised that it would be fully paid for. And according to the Congressional Budget Office, it is, through a surtax on households with income over $1 million, which is projected to raise $553 billion. So the bill would fund almost half a trillion dollars in spending now with a tax on high earners over the next 10 years. 

Since the bill is unlikely to pass, this doesn't matter all that much. But the scoring of the pay-for does tell us something about the options for dealing with federal budget deficit. As ZeroHedge points out, last year's deficit clocked in just above $1.2 trillion, or a little more than $100 billion each month. Which means that for all the president's talk about taxing millionaires and billionaires and ensuring that they pay their fair share of any deficit reduction proposal, the special millionaire's surtax attached to this bill wouldn't even pay for five months of the last year's deficit, and it would take a full decade to do it. And Obama didn't even want to use that money to pay down the deficit; he wanted to spend it on temporary tax cuts and stimulus spending. 

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  1. Which means that for all the president’s talk about taxing millionaires and billionaires and ensuring that they pay their fair share of any deficit reduction proposal, the special millionaire’s surtax attached to this bill wouldn’t even pay for five months of the last year’s deficit, and it would take a full decade to do it.

    Suder-man…c’mon man. Do the math. Did word problems really trip you up in Algebra 1?

    Better phrased…

    “The surtax wouldn’t even pay for 2 weeks of last years deficit.”

    Because you can’t take 10 years worth of tax collections and directly compare it to a single year’s deficit. It just doesn’t make sense.

  2. I’m trying to figure how this is politically good for the president when the Democrats still hold a majority in the Senate. Can’t even get his own party to vote for something? This is good for him?

    1. an’t even get his own party to vote for something? This is good for him?

      In his strategy of running against congress, having the GOP filibuster his jobs bill makes it easier, rhetorically, to claim that Congress is controlled by the GOP…rather than just the house.

      1. Yeah, um, whatever. Apparently, if there is anyone anywhere in opposition to him, even if they make up a tiny minority, they must be removed.

      2. Yeah, and that’s why they’re whipping like hell to keep wavering conservative to moderate up-for-election Senate Dems from voting against or abstaining. If the Republicans can say, “But you didn’t even get 50 votes in the Senate for it amid bipartisan opposition” then it really hurts their narrative.

  3. Strangely, I was just thinking how it’s the perfect time for South Park to revive that story line. With smelly hippies this time…

  4. Yes, because expectations of fixing the deficit this year when the deficit was created by ten years of tax reductions on the country’s wealth concentrations is an expectation based on a comparison that makes perfect sense.

    I mean, it makes perfect sense as long as you read it as a regular on a heavily subsidized oil billionaire’s pet website.

    Elsewhere, not so much.

    For example, it makes no sense among the growing crowds of the formerly middle class taking to the streets.

    That growing crowd that this bunch of apologists for plutocrats can only nervously and impotently shit upon.

    Ha ha.

    Really:

    Ha ha.

    1. Retard troll is retarded. Big surprise.

      1. It shocks me that some real people still accept that meme. Tax cuts aren’t even a microscopic blip on the deficit radar, of course. Spending trillions of money we don’t have is.

        1. KOCH BROTHERS!!!!!!!!!!

        2. That people accept that meme doesn’t surprise me.

          I’m a bit more surprise that retard confuses deficit and debt, but then again people do that all the time.

          It is amusing that retard decided to helpfully italicize the part “ten years” that indicates that he doesn’t know the difference between the deficit and the debt.

        3. According to this calculator (can’t verify accuracy) if you were to have a flat tax of 50% with no deductions you could get rid of all other taxes (FICA, gas, corporate, tariffs etc. and we wouldn’t have a deficit.

          I doubt any takers.

            1. That’s fun.

      2. Somebody thinks we can’t remember the these year/decade trade-offs were created by politicians whose actions we libertarians opposed. We opposed them under Democrats. We opposed them under Republicans. Now we oppose them again under Democrats.

        1. “Somebody thinks we can’t remember the these year/decade trade-offs were created by politicians whose actions we libertarians opposed.”

          I totally agree. It stinks and we can remember big business peddled free-market claptrap and used it to buy politicians and the tax code.

          Oh wait, that’s not what you said?

          Sorry, I thought you said something else. It’s a little hard to hear because its so fucking loud out here.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggp9dLF2Jo8

          1. Stupid troll is stupid. You like being stupid? Is being stupid working out well for you?

            1. “Stupid troll is stupid. You like being stupid? Is being stupid working out well for you?”

              I know! The group is totally huge! And it’s going to propel down Fifth Avenue!

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wRtpfpOvwU

              1. I guess you do like being stupid. Big surprise.

                1. “I guess you do like being stupid. Big surprise.”

                  What? Yeah, it’s so huge, there’s sure to be spies!

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vnbZyDuwvs

                2. I like the fact that he thinks this protest is “gonna be huge!”

                  Great. And at the end of the day all you’ve done is cost the city $2mil extra a day in police overtime, ruined a few bathrooms and reminded everyone that the left has no business running an economy.

                  Well done!

    2. Yes, because expectations of fixing the deficit this year when the deficit was created by ten years of tax reductions on the country’s wealth concentrations is an expectation based on a comparison that makes perfect sense.

      We’ve had a continuously growing deficit and continuously growing cost of government since 1957.

      Ha ha.

      Really:

      Ha ha.

    3. “For example, it makes no sense among the growing crowds of the formerly middle class taking to the streets.”

      Ha ha.

    4. “For example, it makes no sense among the growing crowds of the formerly middle class taking to the streets.”

      I don’t think unskilled laborers like humanities majors should really count as middle class.

      The university system made massive bank by deceiving a whole generation or two of white bourgeois idiots into thinking that they were earning their future through talent and effort, when they were really just buying venal offices (right before the Revolution, as it seems to be turning out).

      Unfortunately, the aristocratic/theocratic tendencies of the university system are starting to be rejected by the pragmatic side of society. Bad timing for the “99%” (a hilariously and aptly delusional name), but it’s no one’s fault but their own.

      They have to wake up to the fact that in an egalitarian society, you are judged by your value to society, not whether you’re a child of the white middle class or were accepted into the Marxist priesthood. A womyn’s studies or poly sci major has all the marketable skills of a Mexican day labor or burger flipper with Down’s, but without the work ethic or sunny demeanor. Well, I’m overstating the case — if they can swallow their pride and self-righteous hate and convert their ability to kiss their professors’ asses into kissing their bosses’ asses, they might have a future in corporate middle management.

    5. Yeah, jacking up spending 44% in five years had nothing to do with it.

  5. Heyyyyyyy.

    How much, then would the “rich” have to pay just to balance a year’s budget- let alone start to reduce the debt. That’s an additional 774 billion (approx, right?) they would need to provide over 10 years to balance the budget from last year? So, that’s $1.3 trillion paid over 10 years. That’s almost 10% of total US GDP in 2010 (right, i’m not a math guy, I’m a motorcycle fixin’ guy who lives upstairs from Mr. and Mrs. C).

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