The JOBS Act: A Bad Joke

The recent Republican bill, the so-called JOBS Act is meant to create confusion and mislead the American people. Similar to other bills with names that are intended to trick people such as the Bush2 initiative called Clear Skies. Clear Skies, if it had been enacted would have had dire consequences on the environment. Another example is the Financial Services Modernization Act passed in 1999. It modernized us right back to 1929 and in large measure is the cause of the world’s economic woes.

Lest we forget, the P.A.T.R.IO.T. Act which as we’ve seen has been the impetus for numerous unconstitutional privacy infringements. It is the excuse to seize journalists’ and others’ laptops at airports as well as invasive scans. The name gives the false impression that it is patriotic in nature and hence would be unpatriotic to oppose. What exactly is patriotic about warrantless wire tapping? It includes nothing regarding patriotism. The acronym is Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. No doubt it was quite an exercise to come up with such a misleading name and matching words. Why not simply the more honest Stop Terrorism Act? Or if acronyms are necessary: The TECH Act: Terrorism as an Excuse to gut the Constitution and Hoodwink the people.The idea for the name shows a conscious effort to misdirect the American people.

The JOBS Act is also an acronym. Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. It has nothing to do with actual jobs for the actual people who need them. The bill contains new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and defines business startups as those that have capitalization of up to $1 billion. A billion! It contains no mention of any provision of Obama’s Jobs Bill which actually would have helped create some (not enough) jobs. It is a continuation of the disproved and disastrous trickle down theory of unhindered free market economics.

In fact, much of the (weak) regulations that have been enacted in the shadow of the Enron debacle and the financial meltdown, with this bill are summarily overturned. It gives businesses, from the initial stock offering a five year window until an outside audit is required. Five years to make stuff up about what an innovative and profitable company they are so anyone would be crazy to not invest. The rationalization is that all those pesky regulations put a burden on business and the financial services sector. We have seen how much better the banks and investment houses do without regulations. The fraud abounds and the execs make a whole bunch more money and the average taxpaying citizen foots the bill.

Sadly, the bill has received enthusiastic bi-partisan support with a promise to sign it by the president. Funny, at a time when partisan divisions are at an all time high, Congress and President can all agree on something that will work against their constituents. Oh wait, it promises to work great for the people who pay them and are their true constituents… the banks and other multi-national corporations.

Not to downplay its importance, this problem won’t be entirely solved by overturning Citizens United. It will require strong restrictions, backed up with heavy penalties on who can become a highly paid lobbyist or board member/employee of the same business interests that have a stranglehold on government. While campaign contributions are strong motivators, a promise for future riches is the real incentive for legislators to act so shamelessly. The issue of greed has been around since the beginning. It will take some creative laws to dissuade the greedy bastards from their piggish money and power grubbing ways.

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