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.