More Evidence the Uncertainty Meme Is Nonsense.

Like Jon Chait, I think this from future House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is nonsense:

"No one gets everything they want in a deal, but our top priority is to restore certainty to the private sector so that businesses small and large can start hiring again."

It is not certainty to postpone an argument for two years when you could have decided it now, and when certainty was an option. As Ed Andrews and Jim Tankersley point out, "The deal worsens one of the tax code’s biggest underlying problems: almost every major part of it, from rates to breaks, is literally temporary." If Republicans really thought uncertainty was the problem -- "a big portion of the lack of job creation as a direct result of the uncertainty," Cantor said recently -- they would not have supported this policy.

Well, actually, to draw a finer line: Either Cantor and his colleagues have been overselling the uncertainty case all along -- and there are many good arguments that uncertainty is simply a useful political buzzword lacking policy substance -- or they simply believe that cutting taxes for the wealthy is more important than American jobs.

Cat's Out Of The Bag Update: Dave Weigel catches Speaker-to-be John Boehner pointing out that a temporary extension does not limit the specter of uncertainty. 

-- Tim Fernholz

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