Two Peas in a Political Pod: ObamaCare and Stubborn Unemployment
The bill notes that the law "imposes 21 new or higher taxes on American families and businesses, including 12 taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year" and stresses Congressional Budget Office predictions that health insurance premiums for private coverage will increase by $2,100 in 2016.
Off the Hill, the union of ObamaCare and the jobs numbers also provided valuable campaign talking points, though wrapped in an answer to a question at today's New Hampshire press conference about whether conservatives had pressed Mitt Romney to abandon his belief in the individual mandate.
"I said the right course for the federal government is to allow states to create their own plans. And by the way, the proof is that I was right. Because ObamaCare is costing jobs in America," Romney said. "When three-quarters of small businesses say that they're less likely to hire people because of ObamaCare you know the president has put his liberal agenda, ObamaCare, ahead of the interest of creating jobs."
Facing next week's ObamaCare-costs-jobs onslaught in the House, the Obama campaign sent out its surrogates in the wake of the jobs report to fix the blame spotlight back toward Capitol Hill.
"That's why we're so frustrated with the Congress, they're not working together on a bipartisan basis, they're putting party before country," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said today on MSNBC. "They're not working to create the jobs that we need."
Not an issue to be left out in the cold, the Keystone XL pipeline shared screen time with ObamaCare in Republican responses today as it has in many months' worth of reactions to unemployment reports.
"The Keystone XL pipeline would have immediately created tens of thousands of American jobs," said Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph M. Hall. "Instead, the ‘green jobs’ agenda reflected in the President’s Stimulus Bill has predictably fallen short."
For example, Hall said, a single green energy program created under Section 1603 of the Stimulus Bill spent roughly $9 billion from 2009 – 2011. According to a report by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, this massive spending resulted in only 910 direct jobs and another 4,600 indirect jobs.
"So while giving billions of taxpayer dollars to expensive wind and solar energy projects, each actual job created cost the taxpayer roughly $1.63 million," Hall said.
"He even bet taxpayer dollars on companies like Solyndra while blocking popular projects like Keystone XL that would create tens of thousands of new American jobs," Boehner said.
Neither issue is likely to be divorced from the GOP's jobs message anytime soon, especially if labor statistics don't pick up soon and as Republicans run with Chief Justice John Roberts' ruling of the individual mandate as a tax.