One thing you'll get to look forward to in the new year is hearing from the resurgent GOP about how everything the White House does is causing jobs to literally fall out of the sky and land on the streets of Arkansas, so much so that it will offset all of the jobs created there, scooping up blackbirds, with stimulus money. Over at the Washington Post, Steven Pearlstein cautions us all that if we wake up at 9 a.m. to turn on C-SPAN and start playing the "job-killing" drinking game, we'll all be blackout drunk by noon:
In the fevered Republican imagination, the entire federal government is a "job-killing machine" or -- my personal favorite -- a "job-killing beast."
And if you're a Republican, it is now a violation of House rules to utter the word "taxes" or "tax increase" on the chamber floor without the "job-killing" prefix. (Okay, I'm exaggerating -- but only slightly.)
Type "job killing" into Google and you'll get more than 1.2 million hits. On the Factiva news database, it comes up 11,115 times during 2009 and 2010, compared with 1,373 times during the previous two years. A Republican talking point, a Fox News broadcast or a Chamber of Commerce press release is now incomplete without it.
Pearlstein wryly notes: "What's so curious is that it's hard to find almost any Republican concern about employment homicide during 2008, when George W. Bush was president and the economy was shedding 4.4 million jobs." Ha-ha, yes: I noticed that too!
The GOP has got their game on, though. This morning, as the Repeal Health Care Kabuki played on, I marveled at the sight of freshman Representative Quico Canseco (R-Texas) hitting all his talking points in under a minute. He got in "job-killing," "rammed down the throat," "confidence, not capital, crisis" -- it was like watching an Olympic-class figure skater perform a compulsory routine. (Can't wait to see Canseco's free program!)
Nevertheless, Pearlstein's throwing some heat:
What's particularly noteworthy about this fixation with "job killing" is that it stands in such contrast to the complete lack of concern about policies that kill people rather than jobs.
Repealing health-care reform, for instance, would inevitably lead to thousands of unnecessary deaths each year because of an inability to get medical care.
Although lack of effective regulation led directly to the deaths of 78 coal miners last year in West Virginia, Republicans continue to insist that any reform of mine safety laws is bad for miners' employment.
Add to that the fact that new House Oversight Committee Chair Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) is planning to start speed dating with various industries to determine what onerous regulatory processes need to be done away with on the grounds that they are -- wait for it! -- job-killing, and you basically set up a regime in which more people will continue to die in mining disasters.
Of course, the good news there is that there will be more job openings. Creative destruction, after all.
READ THE WHOLE THING:
'Job-killing' regulation? 'Job-killing' spending? Let's kill this GOP canard. [Steven Pearlstein @ Washington Post]