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.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?