Annals of Forgotten Stimuli

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 3 2012 10:17 AM

Annals of Forgotten Stimuli

Only one part of the great lost Jobs Bill actually passed. Back in November, the VOW to Heroes Act -- a tax credit for companies that hired veterans -- sailed through the Senate, losing only Jim DeMint on the way to Barack Obama's office. (DeMint called it a distortion of the tax code and a political trick. He wasn't going to be hornswaggled into backing some special benefit just because it had the word "heroes" in it. He's also not running for re-election in 2016.)

Did it work? It's barely gone into effect, but one of the biggest shifts in the new employment report was the rate for male veterans. In one year the unemployment rate for all veterans has fallen from 9.9 percent to 7.5 percent, from above the national average to below it. DeMint's "no" vote was totally defensible (if you want to simplify the tax code, you have to be ready to deny sweet benefits to high-polling interest groups), but this is a fine result for the people who want stimulative tax credits. Oh, and a reminder of how much easier Obama's re-election would be if the jobs bill had made it through.*


*Reading Ryan Lizza on Obama's memos to and from economics aids, you learn how often he fretted about supporting something politically useful that would require yet more deficit spending. He nixed that stuff, and... got more heat for deficit spending anyway.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 12:43 PM Occupy Wall Street How can Hillary Clinton be both a limousine liberal and a Saul Alinsky radical?
Sept. 23 2014 1:04 PM Which States Should Secede From the Union?
The Eye
Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 11:48 AM Punky Brewster, the Feminist Punk Icon Who Wasn’t
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.