Congressional Republicans are still trying to persuade Americans that they are focused on job creation, but each time they propose another piece of legislation, it is exposed as a gimmick that will do little, if anything, to create jobs. Such was the case with their anti-regulatory policies, their attempts to repeal health care reform, and virtually every other policy proposal they have brought forth.
Next up in that line, unfortunately, is a rehashed form of a radical Balanced Budget Amendment, a plan that according to recent analyses would actually cost America 15 million jobs. But thanks to the conservative wing of the Democratic Party, the Republicans won’t be alone in their chase for a radical budget amendment that could help push the country back into the throes of recession.
Despite the fact that House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said yesterday he would encourage his party to vote against the radical plan, Blue Dog Democrats endorsed the amendment on a press call today, Politico’s Marin Cogan reported on Twitter. ThinkProgress confirmed that endorsement with a spokesperson for Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), the Blue Dog Coalition’s co-chair for communications. According to the Hill, Ross said on the call that Blue Dogs favored such an amendment “before balanced budget amendments were cool”:
“We were advancing a balanced budget amendment when balanced budget amendments weren’t cool,” a co-chairman of the coalition, Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), told reporters on a conference call. […]
“If any Blue Dog does not vote for it, I’d have to question how much they’re a Blue Dog,” [Blue Dog Rep. Jim] Matheson [D-UT] said.
It’s hard to overestimate the negative effects such an amendment would have on the country’s economy. In addition to destroying millions of jobs, it would force such massive spending cuts that House Republicans’ own budget would be unconstitutional. According to a recent study by Macroeconomic Advisers, enacting a BBA now would double the nation’s unemployment rate and cause the economy to shrink by 17 percent — a far cry from the 2 percent projected growth that would occur with no such amendment.