Archive for the ‘Jobs’ Category
In the next few days, President Obama will unveil his jobs plan to the nation. In the short time since he announced his intention to talk about this new plan, the latest employment numbers have come out and they were not good. According to the August numbers, there was no change in jobs at all – zero. Whether this is good or poor timing for the White House remains to be seen. For instance, the President could use these numbers to his advantage and reach big. Most Democrats and economists certainly want this. However, there is always the possibility the President could play it very conservatively. He could rehash programs designed to spur job growth by emphasizing tax cuts and other breaks for businesses. In other words, small programs, little risk. This, however, would be a big mistake.
The plan the President is going to unveil is much more than a jobs plan – it is a lifeline for his Presidency. Recent high-profile retreats from EPA regulations, deficit measures, and tax cuts for the rich have infuriated most middle-class Americans. Many on the left and center are now openly questioning the President’s leadership and ability to take on a tough GOP opposition without simply caving. While this may or may not be entirely accurate is now not relevant. The media (left and right) have hammered on this over and over to the point where it has started to become mainstream thought. To counter this, the President must take bold action to spur job growth. He must take a risk.
Breaks to big business and banking have not added more working capital to small businesses in the form of lending nor have they encouraged most businesses to hire more people. It is up to the government to help hire Americans by creating a jobs program that rebuilds our national infrastructure, repairs our crumbling schools, creates a coast to coast rail and broadband internet initiative, and helps rebuild areas of our country decimated by natural disaster including – especially – New Orleans. Recent studies have shown that the US gets a D for overall infrastructure. That is an abysmal grade for one of the richest countries in the world. Unemployment remains at close to 9.2%. Why not create a bold jobs initiative that will not only help repair our country’s infrastructure but also reduce unemployment below 9%?
It’s not only the smart thing to do, for our crumbling infrastructure and schools, it is also the right thing to do – for our citizens and our economy.
Newly minted House Leader John Boehner recently commented that, although the GOP now has control of the house, that President Obama is still in charge. It seems that even with control of the House that the GOP has no intention of taking any responsibility for setting the agenda for the people’s business. Instead, and this should be no surprise, the GOP will simply block the Democrats attempts at passing legislation and helping stimulate the economy. After all, why not do this if they can successfully use this political tactic against the Democrats time after time?
Sadly, even though the Democratic Party did pass health care reform, Wall Street reform, stop the free fall loss of jobs, and create a new consumer protection bureau, the GOP was more successful at whining about jobs and how the cost of these programs were sinking the economy. The result was nothing short of a disaster for the Democratic Party in the recent midterm elections.
If, however, the Democrats are following the correct legislative strategy, then why weren’t they more successful in the midterm elections? It is very clear that the Democratic Party has a messaging problem. They cannot seem to be able to energize their own base nor do they seem able to adequately respond to the GOP and Tea Party attacks without looking like they are ready to fold. The result of all this was a sound trouncing by the GOP. The President, incidentally, has the right strategy, but at the wrong time. His attempts to take the high road and avoid division with the GOP is the better way. Unfortunately, however, all this did was to make the Democrats appear weak in the face of constant 24/7 GOP campaigning.
In the end, despite all their gains in the midterms, the GOP plans to continue the strategy of blocking everything the Democrats do while simultaneously blaming them for getting nothing done. The only sound response to this GOP strategy, is for the Democratic Party to come out fighting hard and to compromise less since the GOP will simply sink anything the Democrats attempt to compromise on. Put simply, the President and his party need to force the GOP to come up with alternatives to their legislation, every hour of every day and hammer at this until the American people wake up and realize that the GOP is truly the party of no.