By Molly K. Hooper - 12/03/09 06:55 PM EST
House GOP lawmakers came away from a Thursday morning discussion with
economists convinced that the “jobs-killing policies being offered by
this administration” will not aid the ailing economy.
Members of the GOP leadership team “polled” seven conservative economists, including Larry Lindsey, former National Economic Council adviser to President George W. Bush, for an assessment of the economic outlook, including a status of the labor market.
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters following a 45-minute forum with the conservative economists that it’s “no surprise to us” why small businesses are not creating jobs: uncertainty.
“When you look at all these policies that are being proposed at the tax rates that are so uncertain, it’s no surprise to us that employers continue to do nothing,” the former small-business owner said after his event designed to counter the jobs summit being held less than three hours later at the White House.
Boehner questioned the usefulness of a “jobs summit” that didn’t include representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, the “nation’s largest organization representing employers,” he said.
“The fact that (the Chamber is) not at the White House gives some indication that they are considering policies that are not going to help employers be more confident about the future of the economy,” Boehner said.
Though Boehner was not invited to attend the White House forum, Republicans would be represented by former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin.
Holtz-Eakin, who participated in Boehner’s discussion, said that he would not mince words at the White House meeting.
“I can go and say that they are part of the problem, that their agenda is dangerous and I find their budgetary outlook indefensible,” the former adviser to then-presidential candidate Sen. John McCain told a gaggle of reporters.
“They are engaged in a trajectory of what looks like a third-world debt crisis. We know how that ends – it ends with currency problems, higher inflation, higher interest rates, that’s damaging for the economy,” he continued.
House Democratic aides disparaged the GOP’s counter-event to the job summit by sending out a breakdown compiled by left-leaning blog Think Progress, funded by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
“So who is the GOP betting on to design policies adequate for combating the effects of the great recession? Mostly former Bush administration and McCain campaign staffers, who have advocated disastrous tax and budget policies,” the document read.