Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Jobs Program: Is Mr. Obama a Canny Political Strategist, or a Naïve Political Optimist?

It’s One or the Other, Can’t Be Both

On the same night as the kickoff of the NFL season President Obama addressed a joint session of the Congress and put forth a jobs plan that he say he hopes will be enacted.  The question is, does he really hope that it will be enacted or is this all part of a diabolical plan for re-election. 

To start with, the jobs plan is not going all that well.  So far this is what is happening.

Democrats in Congress Balking at Obama’s Jobs Bill

Yes, that’s right the headline reads “Democrats”

Here are some details.

Many Congressional Democrats, smarting from the fallout over the 2009 stimulus bill, say there is little chance they will be able to support the bill as a single entity, citing an array of elements they cannot abide.

And some specific Democrats are unhappy.

Some are unhappy about the specific types of companies, particularly the oil industry, whose tax loopholes would be closed. “I have said for months that I am not supporting a repeal of tax cuts for the oil industry unless there are other industries that contribute,” said Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana.

A small but vocal group dislikes the payroll tax cuts for employees and small businesses. “I have been very unequivocal,” said Representative Peter DeFazio, Democrat from Oregon. “No more tax cuts.”

As for Republicans, well the President said he wants to pay for the program with tax increases after 2013 when the economy has recovered (or the election is over).  It does not take a political genius to figure out how that's going to treated by the House Republicans.  If fact the House Republican leadership has just about said "no how, no way" to the program.

House Republican leaders came out against nearly all the major proposals in President Obama's $447 billion job-creation plan Friday, including his middle-class tax cuts and his approach to federal spending on transportation and school construction

So how does a cynic like The Dismal Political Economist interpret all this?  He would say this is Mr. Obama’s plan:  put forth a jobs plan in such an incompetent manner that the Congress could not and would not even consider it in its entirety, and then run in 2012 against the “do nothing” Congress who would not pass his jobs plan and so they were responsible for the high unemployment. 

Of course, a cynic like The Dismal Political Economist would also say this level of political planning is beyond the political brain power that advises this White House.

So what is the real plan?  The Dismal Political Economist reports, you decide.

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