Next Wednesday President Obama will unveil his jobs plan.
The big question is whether he'll choose Plan A or Plan B.
Plan A would be big enough to restart the economy (now barely
growing) and reduce unemployment (which continues to grow). That means
spending another trillion dollars over the next two years -- rebuilding
the nation's infrastructure, creating a new WPA and Civilian
Conservation Corps, and lending money to cash-starved states and cities.
Republicans will oppose it, of course. They'll say the stimulus
didn't work the first time (they're wrong -- it saved 3 million jobs but
it was way too small given the drop in consumer spending as well as
budget cuts by states and cities), and we can't afford it (wrong again --
the yield on 10-year Treasury bills is now 2 percent, meaning this is
the best time to borrow). But their real hope is to keep the economy
anemic through Election Day 2012 so voters will send Obama home.
That means the President would have to fight for it. He'd have to
barnstorm the country, demanding Republican votes. He'd build his 2012
campaign around it, and the Republican "do nothing" Congress.
Plan B would be a bunch of policy miniatures that would have almost
no effect on the economy or employment but would nonetheless be good
things to do (extending the Social Security tax cut, extending
unemployment benefits, reauthorizing the highway building trust fund,
giving employers a tax incentive to hire the long-term unemployed,
ratifying trade agreements).
Republicans will oppose it, of course. They'll say this is no time
for new initiatives, that our biggest problem is the size of government,
debt, and over-regulation. They've been saying almost exactly the same
thing for 80 years.
The President would present each of his policy miniatures as a
separate piece of legislation, hoping he could attract enough Republican
votes to one or more of them to get something -- anything -- enacted and
declare a victory. He'd then campaign as a leader who can "get things
done," even though the economy is still a basket case.
Which will it be? Early indications suggest Plan B. The President is
now saying his upcoming plan will generate "up to a million jobs." But
with 25 million Americans looking for full-time jobs that's chump
At exactly the same time the President is laying out his jobs plan
next Wednesday night, Republican presidential hopefuls will be holding
their first big debate. The winner will be the one who comes off as the
toughest fighter for average Americans.
And the winner of the 2012 presidential election will be the person
who comes off as the toughest fighter for average Americans.
Earth to Obama: Remember Harry Truman.
Here's Truman's acceptance speech at the Philadelphia convention that nominated him prior to the 1948 election:
Senator Barkley and I will win this election and make those
Republicans like it ... We will do that because they are wrong and we are
right" [T]he people know the Democratic Party is the people's party, and
the Republican Party is the party of special interests and it always
has been and always will be ... The Republican Party ... favors the privileged
few and not the common, every-day man. Ever since its inception that
Party has been under the control of special privilege, and they
concretely proved it in the 80th Congress. They proved it by the things
they did to the people and not for them. They proved it by the things
they failed to do.
Give em hell, Barack.