In a rather depressing consensus, political observers on the left and right agree that President Obama's $300 billion jobs package isn't going to make a significant dent in the country's 9.1 percent unemployment rate. The president won't introduce the plan until tomorrow night but White House sources have leaked the details to the Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters. The broad outline goes like this: The $300 billion gets divided between infrastructure spending, tax cuts and transfer payments to state and local governments. In terms of proportions, more than half of the total package goes into extending the payroll tax cut and cancelling the expiration of unemployment benefits. Here's what observers are saying:
Don't be fooled by the sticker price: It's not enough, writes Jed Lewison at the left-leaning Daily Kos, noting that about two-thirds of that package goes into continuing current fiscal policies. "That leaves just $100 billion in actual new stimulus and it would be split between more tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and aid to states... Especially in light of the inadequacy of the original stimulus, $100 billion in new spending and tax cuts won't be enough to get the job done, even if it were to pass... The $300 billion price tag may sound like a lot, but this is a fairly modest proposal."