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It's The Jobs, Stupid

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Message Brent Budowsky
Third, the president needs to fight for a major jobs bill that would create large numbers of jobs rebuilding America's roads, ports, bridges and schools.



I emphasize I am not proposing a presidential photo op in front of a bridge, or a news cycle public relations maneuver that is wheeled out with a bad jobs report and returned to the closet after a few news cycles.

Obama needs to contemplate the possibility that his legacy will be "the jobless president." He should fight to become "the jobs president."

Republicans need to contemplate whether they want to run for reelection in 2014 and run for president in 2016 as the party that fights to the death against jobs bills and fights to the death to cut Social Security and Medicare.

But above all, government leaders throughout official Washington and in state capitals across the nation need to understand that austerity during high joblessness is economic disaster. It was economic disaster in 1937; it is economic disaster today. It was economic disaster under Sarkozy in France; it is economic disaster under Cameron in Britain; under Merkel in Germany; it is economic disaster for Italy, Spain and Greece.

Yes, there is a deficit problem that must be addressed. The original Simpson-Bowles proposal included stimulus spending for the short term with significant and honest budget-cutting for the medium and long term. This makes eminent sense. Let's do it.

What does not make sense is harsh austerity today with the jobless rate so high and with economic growth so modest.

It's the jobs, stupid, and it is time to end the policies of stupidity that have caused and now continue the crushing pain of joblessness.

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Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill's Pundits (more...)
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