Monday, October 17, 2011

'Too many folks are hurting to do nothing'

The Observer's editorial for Tuesday, Oct. 18:

Yes, the bus is a gimmick. No, it’s not an accident that President Barack Obama picked North Carolina and Virginia, two swing states he won in 2008 that he could easily lose in 2012, for his three-day tour that continues Tuesday outside Greensboro.

So while voters surely recognize that this is as much campaign event as it is governing, that shouldn’t undermine the substance of what Obama is campaigning, or leading, on: jobs.

Does it hack you off that Obama is spending taxpayer money holding campaign-style events talking about his jobs plan? This should hack you off a lot more: The Senate, fresh off a vacation, can’t take up any jobs legislation until November, its leaders say, because they’re going on vacation again next week!

Are they kidding? With millions of people out of work and many millions more underemployed, the Senate will stall jobs legislation because they’re taking a week off? Maybe they should cancel their recess and tackle the biggest issue facing this nation. Debate Obama’s plan. Debate the Republicans’ plan. And then compromise on something that will move the economic needle.

We could have done without some of Obama’s blatant campaign rhetoric Monday, including when he sarcastically said Republicans couldn’t understand his whole jobs bill and so he needed to break it into smaller pieces.

But he did say one thing that was dead-on:

“We can’t do nothing. Too many folks are hurting out there to do nothing.”

With a presidential election around the corner, though, that’s probably what we’ll get. The economy will remain paralyzed so that no one gains a political advantage by actually doing something about it. A USA Today-Gallup poll taken over the weekend found that Americans blame Washington over Wall Street for the poor economy, 64 percent to 30 percent. Those numbers will only tilt further that way if Congress doesn’t act soon.

The first “bite-sized” piece congressional Democrats will push is $35 billion to hire and retain teachers, police officers and firefighters. It’s a small step that shouldn’t be controversial.

Other parts of Obama’s plan are improvements over the first Recovery Act. A big chunk of the cost would continue a payroll tax cut for workers and businesses, a provision both parties have supported before. Another big piece is specifically targeted to jobs in construction by paying for new schools, roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

Clearly, politics underlies the calculations on all sides of the debate. But Americans are weary, and Obama and Republicans playing chicken over whom voters will blame for inaction could make them both roadkill.

Taylor Batten, on behalf of the editorial board

6 comments:

Charles said...

In early 2009 Obama published a document claiming that WITHOUT his $787 billion stimulus package, unemployment would peak at 9% in mid-2010 and be under 8% by now. It said that WITH the stimulus, unemployment would peak at 8% in late 2009 and be under 7% by now.

So what actually happened? The $787 billion package passed, unemployment immediately went to 10%, and has stayed above 9% ever since.

Since it is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, this latest Observer piece worshiping at the altar of government as our economic savior is proof positive that the paper's editorial board is certifiably insane and they should immediately resign en masse.

bjwtaylor said...

Doesn't matter if the Senate takes a vacation or not. They haven't done anything in years, so there's no point in their being, or rather pretending to be, at work.

We need to send them all on a permanent vacation and elect some people who actually care about the state of the nation and the American people.

But that's impossible, of course, because Big Business will crush anyone who can and will work for the people.

John said...

"We could have done without some of Obama’s blatant campaign rhetoric Monday, including when he sarcastically said Republicans couldn’t understand his whole jobs bill and so he needed to break it into smaller pieces."

Two things that have to be said... #1 That Senate leadership you are crying about is Obama's OWN PARTY!
#2 I think most of us are getting sick and tired of hearing the President imply that anyone who disagrees with him are just "too stupid to understand"! No respect is deserved, by a politician who consistently refuses to respect the voters. That's why Obama will lose in 2012!

John said...

bjwtaylor,

What does "big business" have to do with it? If you listen to the Democrat rhetoric, "big business" supports Republicans (who do NOT control the Senate) and Harry Reid (D) recently changed Senate rules to silence the Republican minority.

Obama's policies are all about Unions and a handful of Billionaires like George Soros with Socialist leanings... of course, in their version of socialism... the elite few keep their money while taking away everyone else's!

Ghoul said...

The first “bite-sized” piece congressional Democrats will push is $35 billion to hire and retain teachers, police officers and firefighters. It’s a small step that shouldn’t be controversial.

Why should we spend federal dollars on local government employees, that is a state or local issue.

Of course all of those targeted are union Govco employees, and Obama has to keep them happy.

Larry said...

But our www.OutOfBusiness.us is going full guns and we are selling America to those who had mindset to save money, mainly from other countries.

For the last few years while people like me have been on these boards begging for change and going to Washington and being ignored, the media has been silent or actually supportive of close to a trillion in waste.

So if we think the Observer is a little late to the party, please forgive us. My Mcclatchy is down to 1.54 a share.