Saturday, September 10, 2011

The New "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" Obama

The economist and blogger Mark Thoma whose Economist's View blog has recorded his opinion of Obama's big "jobs" address to Congress. He tries to remain a good "team player" and emphasize the positive, but he is worried by a few things:
However, there are some concerns. First, the speech itself lost its focus on job creation toward the end. Instead of jobs, the speech talked about the deficit, red tape regulation, the need to accept painful cuts in social programs, and so on — all favorite GOP issues. If that’s an indication that the commitment toward job creation will be similarly derailed by these issues in the future, then that’s worrisome.

Second, and more importantly, I didn’t like the way the package would be paid for:
The agreement we passed in July will cut government spending by about $1 trillion over the next ten years. It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas. Tonight, I’m asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act. …

So we can reduce this deficit, pay down our debt, and pay for this jobs plan in the process.
Too many of the proposed budget cuts are front-loaded already, and this would likely make it worse. It would be much better to pay for the package when the economy is on better footing. Paying for a significant portion of the job creation bill immediately, e.g. in 2013 and 2014 (as would likely be a condition of it passing Congress), will offset some of the stimulus and make it less effective
Sadly, those who were sold in 2008 by candidate "The Audacity of Hope" Obama have discovered the 2011 president "I'm terrified of the Republicans" Obama. Nobody in 2008 thought they were voting in the 2011 model. They were duped. They were promised "change you can believe in" and ended up being delivered "whatever petty changes I can convince the Republicans to give me". So much for elections and for politicians. Obama ended up being a pig in a poke.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Obama is going to find it very, very hard to gather those enthusiastic "hope" and "change you can believe in" crowds in 2012. I guess he will have to sell his campaign on fear: if you don't vote me in with my give the Republicans what they want but drag it out and make it painful, then you will be electing Republicans and they will sell your momma into slavery so they can give the rich folks one more big tax break.

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