Jobs Plan: Agreeing With Cantor
October 13, 2011
President Barack Obama agrees with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. After the Senate effectively scuttled his jobs package on Tuesday, Obama said he would welcome votes on specific items in the plan.
When the White House released the initiative, Cantor indicated that he supported aspects of the plan although he opposed passing it in its entirety. His approach reflected political prudence. It was not, as shrill voices claimed, an exercise in partisan obstruction.
The Times-Dispatch favors a similar approach. The paper supports extending cuts in the payroll taxes on employees and favors applying those cuts to employers. Regarding taxes generally, Democratic Sen. Jim Webb says intriguing things: "I again emphasize my long-held belief that taxes should not be raised on wages or ordinary income. This legislation, if passed, should be paid for by other means, such as raising capital gains or ending costly subsidies and tax loopholes." Increasing taxes on capital gains would not be desirable, but ending subsidies and closing loopholes define sound policy.
Although he voted to allow debate on the jobs act to proceed, Webb said he would have voted against the legislation itself. Threatened filibusters continue to distort the process. Super-majorities should apply only in limited circumstances, yet they have become routine. Webb's sentiments and the cloture vote suggest skeptics could have defeated the Obama jobs program on an up-or-down roll call. The filibuster was not necessary. And we hope Cantor will lead the House to approve the attractive planks in Obama's jobs platform.