Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pelosi, Jobs, and Obamacare

Ahead of tomorrow morning’s jobs report, it’s worth pointing out another excerpt from former Speaker Pelosi’s interview with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo last week.  At about 8:40 of the interview (transcript available here), Bartiromo asked an obvious and telling question about why Democrats were seemingly obsessed with passing a massive health care bill at a time the economy was struggling:  “Do you regret pushing health care as aggressively as you did instead of pushing a jobs package when you had the chance?  Maybe we wouldn’t be in this position right now if you had all the guns behind this jobs package as opposed to what you had with health care?”  Pelosi’s response was telling – she claimed that “the health care bill was part of a jobs bill,” and that “health care jobs are the fastest growing element of jobs in our country…That [Obamacare] is a jobs bill.”

Unfortunately, the former Speaker’s assertions that Obamacare was a “jobs bill” are contradictory and incoherent.  Pelosi’s claim at the White House health summit that Obamacare would “create 4 million jobs – 400,000 jobs almost immediately” was based on a Center for American Progress report that claimed the law would create jobs by slowing the growth of health care costs – i.e., by taking away those fast-growing health care jobs Pelosi said made Obamacare a “jobs bill.”  Anyone who wants to preserve American economic competitiveness – and ensure entitlements won’t bankrupt the government – should WANT health care growth to slow, even if it means some new health care jobs aren’t created. (Of course, Obamacare actually increases health care spending, thus undermining this argument, but that’s a trifling inconvenience.)

It’s also worth pointing out that earlier in the interview, Pelosi claimed that the companies who received Obamacare waivers were “very, very small companies” that “will not have a big impact on the economy of our country.”  So it’s worth listing some of the corporations that did in fact receive waivers – and thus by Pelosi’s own definition do not have a big impact on the American economy*:

  • McDonald’s
  • Dish Network
  • Aetna
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Jack in the Box
  • Foot Locker
  • Pepsi
  • Cigna
  • Jamba Juice
  • The Container Store
  • Crate and Barrel

As with Pelosi’s comments about employers dropping coverage and “taking money out of Medicare,” this portion of her CNBC interview revealed the fatal flaws behind Democrats’ economic policies.  Granted an overwhelming 60-vote majority at the time the economy was struggling, the party instead focused on passing an ideologically-motivated health care law.  Having done that, those same Democrats now can’t figure out whether the law will create jobs by controlling costs, or by exploding them in such a manner that more Americans will go into health occupations.  And Pelosi does not seem aware that big-name companies have a significant impact on American economic growth.  All in all, three reasons why the former Speaker is in fact the former Speaker.


* Many of the other waiver recipients were union-run multi-employer plans; does Speaker Pelosi therefore believe that unions do NOT have a big impact on the American economy…?