Opinion: GOP More Concerned with Winning than Fixing Economy

Remember that time Democrats stood in the way of the Republican plan for creating jobs for the American people? When a Democratic minority slowed the already sluggish pace of Washington, killed every proposal that bore a different party affiliation and offered none of their own?

Neither do I.

I do remember when John Boehner took the gavel as Speaker of the House of Representatives, promising to get Americans back to work, and immediately focused on Planned Parenthood and PBS funding. I do remember when the House dedicated its time to pushing the federal government to the bring of a shutdown, the edge of default and a standstill over disaster relief.

But I don't remember Boehner's jobs plan.

I also remember when the Senate Republicans - with a couple of Democrats - formed a minority strong enough to stop the Senate from further discussion of the American Jobs Act, the only plan actually being discussed right now.

But I don't seem to remember Mitch McConnell's alternative.

The fact is, after months of talk, the GOP has offered no ideas. They've put forward no bills. They've offered no steps to create jobs.

They've spent time on the budget, debt, taxation - all of which are pieces of an economic discussion - but they have not prioritized putting Americans to work.

When President Obama kept promising a plan, I critically called for more actual plans and fewer coming attractions. The president has given us a real plan. It's not enough, but it's more than we've got now. And it's infinitely more than the GOP Senate and House have proposed.

So it's your turn, Republicans. Where's your plan? Maybe you're waiting to see who wins your primary and follow suit. Will Mitt Romney's 59-point economic vision boost domestic manufacturing? Will Rick Perry's emphasis on domestic energy exploration put Americans to work? Will Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan encourage businesses to hire?

But if your plan is to wait, it's not a plan the American people can afford. If Romney, Perry or Cain is right, propose their plan in Congress now. If you're waiting to find out who the GOP primary voter thinks is right, then you're telling unemployed Americans that they have to wait longer -- as benefits run out, services are slashed, and no new jobs are there for the taking.

There are four Americans looking for every one job available. Despite Cain's claim that it's your fault if you're not rich, the fact is that there aren't jobs.

President Obama has a plan to create some. Maybe you believe it's too expensive. Maybe you believe it's too limited. Maybe you believe we shouldn't add to the deficit. Maybe you believe we shouldn't balance the budget with fair taxation on the wealthiest. But, whatever your reservations, you can't deny that his plan would put Americans to work.

And your lack of plans will not.

So, GOP, what's your priority? Winning an election or getting America going again? Balancing the budget (we won't debate here how it gets balanced) or increasing employment? Because you might not be able to do all of it at once. And for most Americans, the priority is clear: Let's get back to work.

Justin Krebs is a political organizer and writer based in New York City. He is the founder of Living Liberally, a nationwide network of 250 local clubs that create social events around progressive politics, and author of "538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal."