09.09.11

What I wanted to hear

Posted in Around The Nation, Commentary, The Economy, jobs at 12:07 pm by wcnews

This is what I wanted to hear from President Barack Obama last night and did not.

I will do everything in my power to make sure that every American that needs a job can get a job.

Of course I didn’t get that. I had hoped for, (didn’t expect), more New Deal solutions from Obama the n we’ve gotten. And I’ve come to understand that what we got last night, is the best we can hope for from this President. A speech with policy proposals in it that sound good, are too small to begin with, and likely to get smaller as a compromise with the GOP is worked out.

It seems that Obama believes that the government is there to support business and corporations so they can hire more Americans. Instead of believing the government being there to support the people, and when the people are taken care of the rest will follow. The best part about this plan is that much of what is in it is needed and will provide help and jobs to some, but not all, that are in dire need of work.

I agree more with Robert Reich, Two Cheers and One Jeer for the American Jobs Act

I’m having a dizzying sense of déjà vu. The first $800 billion stimulus (spread over two years) wasn’t nearly large enough given the drop in aggregate demand. And half of it was in the form of tax cuts. The reason it wasn’t bigger and contained so many tax cuts was to get Republican votes. But its apparent ineffectiveness — it saved around 3 million jobs, but that didn’t save it from appearing to fail — made it harder for the White House to do anything more to stimulate the economy, and ward off what’s likely to be a double dip.

That’s been the heart of Obama’s dilemma. Big and bold enough to make a difference, and Republicans are certain to reject it. Small and focused on tax cuts, and maybe Republicans will bite. But even if they sign on, what’s the point of the exercise if it won’t have a measurable effect on jobs and growth?

And why would they sign on this time, anyway?

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell scoffs “This isn’t a job plan. It’s a reelection plan.” That’s precisely the problem. McConnell and company have stated publicly that their number-one objective is to unseat Obama and regain the presidency in 2012. They don’t want to give the President anything he could possibly claim as a victory. And they’re not terribly worried if the economy stays awful through Election Day because that’s the best way to fulfill their number-one objective.

..and McBlogger, It’s just not enough

The problem with these half measures is that it gives an opportunity to an asshat like the Princess from Paint Creek the ability to say the spending doesn’t create jobs. Never mind that even Republican economists acknowledge that the stimulus saved millions of jobs and lessened the impact of the Great Recession which was caused, largely, by the same economic plan Governor Perry now says will pull us out. Only an idiot would recommend more of the cause rather than the cure, but then again I guess Perry’s never been mistaken for a smart man.

That debt quote deserves special ridicule. Had Perry been running for President in 1940, and had he beaten FDR, it goes without saying that we wouldn’t even be the US right now. Half of the country would belong to the Germans and the other half to the Japanese. Why? Because World War 2 spending required us to pile on far more debt, as a percentage of GDP, than we have now. What pulled us out was economic growth and it can again if only people who think too small (like The Weakness) and people who don’t think at all (like Perry) would shut up.

..then I do with …Steve Bennen, Austerity will have to wait

Ari Berman noticed something missing from President Obama’s speech last night: “austerity economics.” This comes as something of a relief.

There were no references, for example, to growing the economy by focusing on deficit reduction. Obama talked about reforming some outdated government regulations, but immediately said he will not allow Republicans to “wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.” He added, “I reject the idea that we have to strip away collective bargaining rights to compete in a global economy.”

The president also noted that some prefer to “just dismantle government, refund everyone’s money, let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they’re on their own,” a sentiment that’s increasingly popular in far-right circles. But, Obama said, “that’s not who we are.”

 

..or David Atkins, This is what happens when you go on offense

I’m not going to go into too much detail on Obama’s jobs speech. It was a very good speech in terms of the rhetoric, though it lacked a bit in terms of policies proposed. Even so, I do understand and sympathize with the argument that with the economy on the precipice of “another” recession (though for most of America’s workforce, we never really left the last one), it matters most that something be able realistically to be passed.

But what I do want to focus on is the direct result of taking a bold and more aggressive rhetorical approach: you get good media coverage.

Further Reading:
Unions, Allies Back American Jobs Act.

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