From the Republican point of view, I would not want to be an incumbent House Republican running against Democratic challengers at a time of high joblessness while they fight for cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
It's the jobs, stupid.
It's the austerity, stupid.
It's the reactionary notion that at a time of slow growth and few jobs, governments should be imposing austerity and cutting back. History has proven this ancient theory wrong from the moment that Franklin Roosevelt allowed conservatives in Congress to win austerity in 1937, until today, when conservatives and submissive liberals in nations such as Great Britain throughout Europe are imposing austerity, which deepens recession.
It was a draconian mistake for the president to surrender to, and congressional Republicans to claim victory, for the sequester.
The sequester will destroy jobs, and has begun to destroy jobs, as the Congressional Budget Office warned it would destroy perhaps 750,000 jobs this year. Exhibit A: today's jobless report. Exhibit B: Thursday's jobless claims report.
I would suggest that former President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might team up, through the Clinton Global Initiative, to devise proposals for domestic and global job creation. For now:
The sequester should be repealed.
Second, it was a major mistake to increase payroll taxes with the jobless rate so high as this year began. This took money out of the hands of workers and consumers at the worst possible time.
The payroll tax should be cut. Or, in the alternative, the president and Congress should enact a refundable tax credit, or a tax rebate, or some other means of restoring support to workers and consumers.