President Obama, in a speech in front of a joint session of Congress, repeatedly told Congress to pass the new jobs plan he unveiled as the American Jobs Act. The jobs plan would add approximately 1 to 1.5 million new jobs to the ailing economy by raising the GDP approximately 1.3 percent. Estimates vary, but many economists believe this could lower the unemployment rate to 8.6% by end of 2012. This all sounds great. New jobs to help rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and schools, tax breaks for middle class Americans and small business, funding to help teachers keep their jobs, and a new program to help homeowners that own property that has lost value, to refinance.
Wonderful, right? Of course. But the concern on the part of many Americans is twofold: Will the Congress pass the bill without gutting it and will the President stand firm and fight for this plan or compromise key sections into oblivion – much like the public option part of the health care debate. Remember the public option? The President and his staff would prefer you forget it.
I applaud the President’s latest speech. It seems like he has found his voice again. However, I share many Americans skepticism on whether the President will fight for his own bill and not compromise with the GOP. After all, these are not all Democratic party ideas. Many of the ideas in the bill the President proposed are Republican ideas. That point, however, is lost on the GOP who has made it clear that they will fight the President no matter what idea he supports – even theirs. In fact, they have at times scrubbed their web sites to remove ideas that the President has embraced in speeches. This makes it painfully obvious that they do not want to work with President Obama under any circumstances.
We can only hope that the President realizes this and fights for an intact version of the American Jobs Act before he becomes one of the many unemployed in this country in 2012.