If this is the pivot to jobs, it needs some work

IF THIS IS THE PIVOT TO JOBS, IT NEEDS SOME WORK…. A Politico report noted this morning, “House Republicans know they’re struggling with their economic message.” Apparently, when the GOP focuses its attention on everything except job creation and economic growth, it gives the impression that Republicans have flawed priorities.

But at least the GOP seems to realize it has a problem. After this morning’s jobs report came out, for example, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) argued that “far too many people remain out of work,” which is why “all” of the GOP’s efforts “are centered around jobs.”

This is laughably false. After one month on the job, Cantor’s House Republican caucus has tackled a pointless health care bill, a dangerous anti-abortion bill, school vouchers, D.C. marriage rights, and vague threats about spending cuts, all of which would undermine job creation. The number of GOP bills that have received any attention and/or consideration related to job creation? Zero. Republicans went from obsessing over “where are the jobs” to ignoring the issue altogether.

As of today, though, the party hopes to get back on track.

In light of today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing lackluster job creation in January, even as the unemployment rate dropped and the private sector added jobs for the eleventh consecutive month, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) attempted to resuscitate his party’s pro-job mojo. In a press release attacking President Obama’s “job-crushing” “spending binge,” Boehner boasted that Republicans “have a plan” to pick up the pace of the recovery:

“Republicans have a plan to help our economy get back to creating jobs: the Pledge to America. Instead of relying on ‘stimulus’ spending and debt, our plan creates a better environment for job creation in America by stopping job-crushing Washington rules, cutting unnecessary spending, and ending the Washington spending binge, which is hampering job creation by eroding confidence in our economy, crowding out private investment, and adding to the uncertainty small businesses face.

Um, what?

Let’s unpack this a bit. Republicans aren’t going to create jobs; they’re going to create an “environment” for jobs. How? With a silly p.r. stunt that even Republicans have long since forgotten about, and vague talking points that never made any meaningful sense anyway. (Seriously, John? You’re still going with “uncertainty”? Didn’t we debunk that one months ago?)

I’d also pay good money to hear Boehner put some policy flesh on these bones. When the Speaker says he thinks public investment is “crowding out private investment,” what do you suppose he means — or thinks he means? Does he imagine all kinds of private enterprises, eager to pump capital into the economy, holding off because their funds have been “crowded out”? Or is he just throwing this out there because some pollster told him it’d sound good?

Boehner & Co. are apparently convinced their problem is “a failure of communication, not policy.” If the first step is admitting you have a problem, it only works when you acknowledge the actual problem.