Well, sure, okay, it was an article in the Huffington Post, and the economists interviewed were presumably selected by them. But, knowing the narrowness and already-shown-to-be-ineffective-ness of the R view of job creation, is there reason to doubt the conclusions? The Republican "job-creation" plans are nearly worthless. It's a meaty article, worth reading in full. And the economists are from a broad background, with non-unanimous opinions:
"A lot of these things are laughable in terms of a jobs plan that would produce noticeable improvements ... in the next four or five years," said Gary Burtless, a senior economist at Brookings. "Even in the long run, if they have any effect all, it would be extremely marginal..."
Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody's Analytics, agreed that the bills would have almost no effect on job creation in the short term, though he was slightly more optimistic about their long-term prospects.
"These kind of changes will matter over a period of three to five years," Zandi said. "It takes that long before businesses can digest changes and respond to them."
He noted, though, that legislation as narrowly targeted as the Republican package is unlikely to do much for real job creation.
Carl Riccadonna, a senior economist at Deutsche Bank, said some of the bills could create jobs, but that they would amount to more of an afterthought in terms of achieving broader policy goals.
"They are very narrowly targeted, and it gives the impression that maybe some of this is special interest really pursuing these, not really taking a macro view ..."
Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, warned that any potential job creation from environmental deregulation could be offset by health concerns.
"If you increase employment but you have a lot more sick people, you have to ask yourself, 'What's the trade-off?'" he said. ...
Indeed, environmental advocates argue that many of the GOP proposals are more likely to kill people than create jobs.
"It won't save them jobs, it won't even save them that much money, but it is going to cause illnesses, deaths ...,” said Scott Slesinger, legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “That's why we have all these environmental laws.”
On the matter of cutting taxes on business, the article is fair and balanced:
Even one of the more popular bills in the mix -- a small business tax cut -- won't do much for job creation, some of the economists said. They argued that it's not that businesses need more money for hiring, but that they need a sufficient demand for their products. [Interjection from your host: It's not only obvious, but what I've been saying, over and over.]
"They know that if they hire people to produce more widgets, they won't be able to sell the widgets," Prakken said. "Giving them a tax break just increases their profits," but doesn't encourage hiring.
Riccadonna disagreed. He acknowledged that weak demand is the biggest problem facing businesses, but said the small business tax cut is still the most likely of all the GOP bills to create jobs.
.... "... anything that makes life or operating conditions a little bit easier for them, that I would certainly be in favor of. That will have a meaningful jobs impact."
On one point, there was unanimity:
Ultimately, each economist was clear on one point: The GOP package is far more political than practical.
[...]Boehner spokesman Michael Steel demurred when asked for a response. He reiterated that Senate Democrats are holding up their job-creation bills.
Of course they are, and well they should: plans that will gut environmental regulation but do nothing to create jobs ought never see the light of day. What's left of it, that is.