The election-year jobs agenda promised by President Barack Obama and Democrats has stalled seven months before voters determine control of Congress.
Democrats have no money to pay for the program. That's because both Republicans and the Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee objected to taking money left over from the fund that bailed out banks, automakers and insurers and using it for the jobs bill.
Such a move, they insisted, would add tens of billions of dollars to the $12.8 trillion national debt.
An $80 billion-plus Senate plan promised an infusion of cash to build roads and schools, help local governments keep teachers on the payroll, and provide rebates for homeowners who make energy-saving investments. Two months after the plan was introduced, most of those main elements remain on the Senate's shelf.
Ummm... since when did not having any money to pay for legislation ever stop this particular Congress? Something's not printing out with respect to the no-money angle and it's precisely because much of the verbage contained in the paragraphs above are completely redundant, as in, we've seen this movie before.
It's not for a lack of money. Let's all bear in mind that this, ahem, jobs bill is not to be confused with $787 billion porkulus bill signed into law over a year ago and which promised via infrastructure work like road and bridge building/repair would not let unemployment get above 8% if passed. Nor is it to be confused the $15 billion son of porkulus jobs bill signed into law a couple of months back which was advertised as a providing a quick infusion of cash into the economy for... road and bridge projects and bailing out the states so they could keep teachers employed but in reality was a congressional photo-op to prove to the public that bipartisan legislation could indeed pass in Congress.
No, this isn't about money. This is about the red-face test that Congress, along with this piece of legislation, would be unable to pass with the American public.
Could it be that even this congressional body has discovered the limits of their shame in that they wouldn't dare ask for another couple of hundred billion dollars because even they know it wouldn't do the unemployment figures a damn bit of good and for the fact that it would only hasten their removal from office in November?
Waking up to economic common sense or poltical self-preservation, either way, we'll take it.