I have a few thoughts about the jobs bill that President Obama sent to Congress this morning.
- Why didn’t Obama make this speech and propose this bill two and a half years ago? He would actually have gotten it passed. But he got caught up in passing health care. That was also worthy, but much less urgent than stimulating the economy and putting people back to work.
- It’s also nice to see Obama show a bit of a spine. He’s let the Republicans set the agenda and control the debate for quite awhile. It’s about time Obama realized that he’s the president and has a huge megaphone. He can drown out the Republicans and make them smaller if only he’d actually do it.
- It’s a good bill. It’s not perfect, but what would be perfect? It would put a lot of people back to work. Working people spend money and pay taxes. Deficits are reduced when people pay taxes. In any case, deficits are long term problems. Unemployment is a short term issue. We have to get the economy off the dime and get people working again.
- The bill is paid for by new taxes on the rich. Republicans immediately complained that this would tax the very people who would create the jobs. This overlooks a couple of things. First, most jobs are created by small business. Most of them aren’t really rich. Second, this bill is paid for. That’s saying something in this age, where interest rates are historically low and the cost of borrowing is incredibly cheap. It also bows to the reality that Republicans don’t want more deficits. I think that’s misguided right now, but okay.
- Does anyone else find it ironic that Speaker Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel, complained that Obama’s bill “wasn’t offered in that bipartisan spirit”? I think that’s pretty rich, actually. Absolutely nothing the Republicans have done since President Obama was elected, and especially since the last election, has remotely been bipartisan. So spare me that one, Mr. Speaker.
So let’s get this bill passed. I agree with President Obama. Pass it as is. Or he should take it to the people. In fact, he should start doing that tomorrow morning. He gives a great speech. He needs to give some more now.