Thursday, August 18, 2011

Help Wanted: A Jobs Bill That Can "Do The Job"

A major jobs bill is promised to be forthcoming from President Obama in September. Many Democrats are concerned that insider advisers are watering down the proposals, still hoping for some sort of compromises with Congress as "the art of the possible" or "good optics for independent voters."

In my view, the "compromise with the GOP" train never even got out of the station except as a signal of Democratic weakness in the current toxic Beltway environment. What was done with Bush tax cuts and deficit ceiling extension may have been preferable to the alternatives, but neither was  forged as meaningful compromise.

Moving forward, the President must draw the clearest of lines between the Democratic agenda and the GOP's nihilistic, obstructionist assault on government . Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich offers a jobs bill strategy that would give the President a strong foundation for his 2012 campaign message -  a bold and coherent alternative to address the economic concerns of anxious voters. We hope the White House is listening:
The President is sounding like a fighter these days. He even says he’ll be proposing a jobs bill in September – and if Republicans don’t go along he’ll fight for it through Election Day (or beyond)...

The Economist has full confidence in presidential aspirant Michele Bachmann's cheap energy promise

Iowa GOP Straw Poll winner Michele Bachmann may appear clueless in most of her campaign spiel, but her promise to bring down gasoline prices is likely one "Bachmann economic plan" we can believe in according to The Economist's Washington correspondent:

REPRESENTATIVE Michele Bachmann, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, is getting a lot of flack for this statement:
"The day that the president became president gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. Look at what it is today," she says on tape at an event in Greenville, S.C., as chronicled by Politico. "Under President Bachmann, you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again. That will happen."
How on earth could she accomplish this, the critics ask. Where will she find the new supply? But supply is only one half of the equation. Petrol plunged from above $4 a gallon in July of 2008 to below $2 a gallon in January of 2009 thanks to the impact of economic collapse on oil demand. Ms Bachmann, meanwhile, was a strong opponent of an increase in the debt ceiling. Failure to raise the debt ceiling would have produced an immediate cut in government spending of 44%, leading to a larger output decline than was observed in 2008. Personally, I have total confidence that Ms Bachmann can bring back cheap petroleum, one way or another.