White House economic adviser Gene Sperling promoted President Obama’s American Jobs Act in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Friday, saying that only the president's plan would have an immediate impact on the economy.
Republican alternatives “are not designed to create jobs in the immediate term or to address the current crisis of long-term unemployment," the National Economic Council director wrote.
There is “an overwhelming imperative for action now,” Sperling wrote. He drew particular attention to the plight of the long-term unemployed, calling the current situation “the worst legacy of long-term unemployment in our lifetimes.” The longer workers remain unemployed, the harder it is for them to find a new job—and the more miserable they become, he said.
The president's jobs plan provides “a strong and immediate boost to demand that could create up to 1.9 million jobs,” Sperling wrote, adding that the American Jobs Act is “specifically designed to take on the problem of long-term unemployment” by incentivizing hiring unemployed workers, funding job-training programs, and reforming unemployment insurance.
“We are disappointed that Republicans have so far blocked passage of the American Jobs Act,” Sperling wrote. “Yet what is most surprising and disturbing is that Republicans have thus far made no serious attempt to put forward a strategy that would ensure that growth is strong enough over the next 12 to 18 months to start bringing the unemployment rate down.”
Independent analysts have said that the latest Republican jobs plan, the Jobs Through Growth Act, would “do nothing to create jobs in the short term and could even make matters worse,” he argued.
The best Republican proposals are actually the administration’s proposals, he added. “Some of our Republican friends" have "repackaged a variety of long-term measures and stuck a 'jobs plan' label on them,” Sperling said, citing patent reform and free trade agreements as examples.