From Robert Reich’s blog as published on Truth-out we have the article The White House Needs a Real Jobs Plan. The article starts with the following remarks:
Today the President met with business leaders on his “jobs and competitiveness council,” who suggested more public-private partnerships to train workers, less government red-tape in obtaining permits, and more jobs in travel and tourism, among other things. The President then toured a manufacturing plant in North Carolina, and made an eloquent speech about the need for more jobs.
Doesn’t the White House get it? The President has to have a bold jobs plan, with specifics. Why not exempt the first $20,000 of income from payroll taxes for the next year? Why not a new WPA for the long-term unemployed, and a Civilian Conservation Corps for the legions of young jobless Americans? Why not allow people to declare bankruptcy on their primary residences, and thereby reorganize their mortgage debt?
Or a hundred other ways to boost demand.
Fluff won’t get us anywhere. In fact, it creates a policy vacuum that will be filled by Republicans intent on convincing Americans that cutting federal spending and reducing taxes on the rich will create jobs.
Most Americans are smart enough to see through this. But if the Republican snake oil is the only remedy being offered, some people will buy it. And if the President and Democrats on Capitol Hill continue to obsess about reaching an agreement to raise the debt limit, they risk making the snake oil seem like a legitimate cure.
As indicated by the above excerpts from the article, it’s not like there aren’t many voices and many proposals for an alternative to what the Republicans are proposing. For the President to add his voice to the promotion of the alternatives, he first has to know about the alternatives, and then he has to remember that a politician’s primary job is to educate the public on policy matters.
As I have tried to make it clear to Democratic politicians before, you cannot beat something with nothing. Rather than merely explain what is wrong with the Republican plan, the Democrats have to come up with an obviously better plan. If they have an obviously better plan, they don’t even have to talk about the Republican’s plan. Staying positive was a lesson that Obama taught us all in his campaign for the Presidency.
As for the President and Democrats on Capitol Hill continuing to obsess about reaching an agreement to raise the debt limit, the President should instead think of coming out with a statement harking back to my satirical post Obama Vows To Veto Tax Cut For The Wealthy. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to come up with the appropriate statement of conscience.