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Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin has a nifty idea to create jobs: Another stimulus spending plan with new taxes

June 13, 2011 | 11:48 am

With unemployment back up above 9%, President Obama stops off in North Carolina today to do more talking about jobs, en route to some Democratic National Committee fundraisers in Miami.

On Sunday, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz looked at a 'Meet the Press' chart showing unemployment up 25% since Obama's inauguration, the national debt up 35% and gas prices up 104%.

Then she tried to claim that her party was "able to, under President Obama's leadership, turn this economy around.Debbie Wasserman Schultz 6-12-11"

However, a growing number of Senate Democrats lead by Iowa's Tom Harkin have become increasingly concerned over what they regard as the president's passive rhetorical approach to the issue of job creation, which polls indicate has been and remains the top national concern of voters.

Here, according to Alexander Bolton of The Hill, is Harkin's stunning solution: A massive new federal spending package on the country's infrastructure funded by -- wait for it -- new taxes.

The first massive federal stimulus spending bill in 2009 of $787 billion didn't work (54,000 new jobs created last month vs the oft-predicted 200,000+).

So, Harkin thinks another one would.

"We really do need some economic pump-priming by the federal government," Harkin says.

"There's very broad support," adds West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller, who claims to see "no other way to get at this problem."

A calendrical coincidence may help explain the bizarre thinking of these two: Both are in their fifth six-year term working in Washington now. And neither senator must face strapped voters next year.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: William B. Plowman / NBC (Wasserman Schultz).