What the House Did Last Night

The House of Representatives spent most of yesterday and last night voting on amendments to H.R. 1, the bill that authorizes continued federal spending through the end of the fiscal year. The continuing resolution is necessary because last year’s Democratic majority never adopted a budget.
In the early hours of the morning, H.R. 1 passed on a near party-line vote. The Associated Press says the bill cuts $61 billion in spending, and itemizes some of the more significant cuts. Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the cuts add up to $100 billion; I assume the number depends on what you use for a base line.
Some are disappointed that the Republicans didn’t cut more; others are happy to see spending going down rather than up for the first time in memory. I think both views have merit, and would add that the Republicans might as well have cut deeper, since the Democrats’ howls will be the same in either case. Nancy Pelosi makes the absurd claim that the GOP’s spending bill would destroy 800,000 jobs. This pretty well sums up why she is no longer Speaker of the House. If federal spending were the key to job creation, we would be living through the greatest boom in American history. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy: federal spending doesn’t necessarily create jobs; often, it kills them, as this chart illustrates. Click to enlarge:
Jobs:Spending Comparison.001.jpg
Spending is shown in billions of dollars, jobs in thousands.
The Democrats are planning on shutting down the government and blaming the shutdown on the Republicans. That worked for them in the 1990s; recalling those events, it is hard to understand why. The Democrats think their ploy will work again. Perhaps so, but we are living in a very different time.


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