There is a rumor going around that the President would like to reside in the White House for another four years. If indeed the President has such aspirations then he had better take a long hard look at last month’s Jobs number and find a way to improve it…now.
In case you missed it the country generated a whopping 54,000 new jobs in the month of May. That stinks. The White House tells us not to be concerned. They tell us that we need to focus on the improving trend in the job numbers rather than the specifics of last month’s paltry figures. They are whistling past the grave yard. They are correct that the economy as a whole is improving and the disappointing May job figure is probably a minor soft spot in the trend. Probably! Be that as it may the Republicans will be sure to point out that that the President’s policies have failed to return the country to the robust growth of years gone by. They will point to the May figures as proof of the President’s failures. The 16 million unemployed folks sitting at home will take notice.
The White House had it all going their way just a few short weeks ago. Paul Ryan had just offered his Medicare killing budget proposal; a concept that was met with all of the enthusiasm of a trip to the dentist. The Republicans had yet to find someone to run against Obama that could walk and chew gum at the same time. The front runner, Mitt Romney, made his candidacy official only to have his thunder stolen by Sarah Palin…who just happened to be in the neighborhood. Ms. Palin, who generates a crowd wherever she goes, has refused to confirm whether or not she is running. She was however able to state with great certainty that Paul Revere warned the British that the Americans were coming#*!? The Republicans were in disarray and the President had just silenced bin Laden once and for all.
And then the jobs number came in.
Suddenly it appears that if the Republicans can find a candidate who can run two cogent sentences together they have a chance.
The elections in 2012 will be about the economy and jobs, jobs… jobs. That was the case when Obama took office and it is the same today.
The President needs to propose a jobs bill…and the means to pay for it. He needs to do it for the sake of the country and for his political future. Every non-partisan economist has said that the President’s stimulus plan worked. It just wasn’t big enough nor was it focused on providing jobs. The President cannot propose another stimulus plan now. The country cannot afford it and the Republicans won’t support it. But he can propose a jobs bill focused on improving our disintegrating infrastructure. The Republicans will spit and sputter but they will have to support it. Nothing says political suicide like voting no on new jobs for Americans.
The question then becomes: "how do you pay for it." May we suggest rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the rich?