Ron Johnson, Senate candidate from Wisconsin, is seen in the clip above, from Countdown with Keith Olbermann, addressing the central issue in this year’s election: Jobs, jobs, jobs.
What is Ron Johnson’s jobs plan?
His jobs plan is spending cuts.
Which is to say that Ron Johnson has no jobs plan. He simply has the same old plan that Republicans have been peddling for decades: Tax cuts for the rich, supposedly offset by spending cuts, and maybe magic will somehow trickle down on the rest of us. George H.W. Bush himself mocked this as “voodoo economics” when he was running against Ronald Reagan (but then, of course, supported it as Reagan’s vice-president).
Reagan took office with a 7.5 percent unemployment rate. Twenty-three months later, unemployment was 10.8 percent. During his administration, Ronald Reagan presided over the USA turning from the world’s largest creditor nation to its largest debtor nation. Our national debt quadrupled under Reaganomics. The average per-capita income growth rate under Reagan was less than it was under either Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton.
Ron Johnson has cited Reagan as an example he wants to follow. Reagan achieved less job growth than Clinton, less than Carter, less than Lyndon Johnson. As PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter points out, job creation under Democrats is nearly three times better than under Republicans since World War II.
Russ Feingold’s record on jobs
Russ Feingold entered the U.S. Senate through the same election that made Bill Clinton president, and over the next eight years they shepherded the largest peace-time economic expansion in American history. More jobs were created during the Clinton administration than during the administration of Reagan and both Bushes combined.
Just how important is the support of Congress is to a president’s policies? The key piece of this enormous successful Clinton economic plan — the Deficit Reduction Act of 1993 — was passed after Vice President Al Gore broke a tie in the Senate on both the Senate bill and the conference report. Every Republican in Congress voted against the bill.
Sadly, all this progress was itself erased after George W. Bush entered the White House and the Republicans took over Congress. Only one-sixth as many jobs were created during the Bush years as compared to the Clinton years, and a senator cannot pass and sign policy into law by himself.
Since President Obama took office, Sen. Feingold and his Democratic colleagues have finally had an administration they can work with. Together, they stopped the hemorrhaging job losses that began a full year before Obama took office.
Ron Johnson, Russ Feingold debates: Streaming video
(Updated) All three Feingold/Johnson debates are now all available via online streaming as follows:
C-SPAN: The 1st Feingold vs. Johnson debate in Milwaukee on October 8, was a fairly pointless exercise in journalists ticking off issues, and the two candidates responding with their standard talking points.
C-SPAN: The 2nd Feingold/Johnson debate at the University of Wisconsin, Marathon County in Wausau on October 11, was more worth watching, because it included some actual back-and-forth debate during “open discussion” periods.
C-SPAN: The 3rd Feingold/Johnson debate was an “UPFRONT Town Hall Challenge” held on the Marquette University campus in Milwaukee on October 22. UPFRONT with Mike Gousha is statewide Sunday Morning political talk show hosted by the former Milwaukee TV journalist, now a distinguished fellow in law and public policy at Marquette University.