Missing in Action: The NAT GAS Act
Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) sent a letter to President Obama outlining a path forward on job creation. The letter is less notable for the policies in contained than the policies it excluded, including the NAT GAS Act.
Nine months ago, Congressmen John Sullivan (R-OK) and Dan Boren (D-OK) introduced H.R.1380, the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011. Heritage Action and many other groups have criticized the bill, which has bipartisan support, as unnecessary and wasteful corporate pork.
Supporters of the measure claim it would create jobs by providing targeted tax subsidies intended to spur the natural gas vehicle market. But this morning’s Wall Street Journal editorial notes that President Obama’s targeting strategy has failed:
…the Obama Administration’s penchant [is] for policies that “target” jobs rather than improving overall incentives for job creation. So we have had policies for “green jobs,” or construction jobs, or teaching jobs, or automobile jobs, or temporary, targeted tax cuts for jobs—even as the economy struggles.
In their letter, Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor wisely reemphasized their commitment to “pro-growth tax relief.” Words have meaning, and the exclusion of the NAT GAS Act is a powerful signal that the era of gimmicky subsidies has come to an end.