Posted by: Doug Henwood | August 3, 2011

Varieties of exhaustion

Having become the de facto leader of the Republican party, at least when it comes to fiscal policy, Obama is now turning—again (didn’t he do this before? I recall some nonsense about a “hard pivot”)—to job creation. And he’s going to do what needs to be done: take a bus tour of the Midwest and do a few photo ops at factories. You might think that with a stalling economy and a high unemployment rate that could start drifting higher any month now, that he might want to try something more aggressive than hopping a ’hound. But no: “Mr. Obama is unlikely to unveil any major new stimulus proposals, since he has exhausted most of the obvious policy options.”

A very obvious option would be a jobs program. But no—the de facto leader of the Republican party can’t even mention that. The best he can do is more free trade agreements and patent law reform. This guy makes you nostalgic for Bill Clinton—or at least the late 1990s. The dot.com era was nuts, but it was a helluva lot more fun than this hair shirt epoch.

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Responses

  1. When PIMCO’s Bill Gross is: 1) calling for a jobs program, and 2) noting that the ratio of corporate taxes/GDP is at a historic low, you know Obama’s in trouble (Gross sounds like he supports the guy). Can someone identify a single policy “success” for Democrat core voters? He appears to have neither a core block of voters nor the vaunted “independents” on his side. Why is Jimmy Carter looking less and less inept these days?

  2. Ben Smith called it “the eternal pivot,” because it’s already been invoked several times before:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0811/The_eternal_pivot.html

  3. [...] as if the latter were an end in itself. Meanwhile, Obama has so boxed himself in that he has next to nothing to offer regarding a real stimulus or job [...]

  4. >You might think that with a stalling economy and a high unemployment rate that could start drifting higher any month now, that he might want to try something more aggressive than hopping a ’hound.

    like declaring to the nation it’s time to take a holiday.

    But no worries, if people are really interesting in reducing unemployment they just need to understand how they can help.

    (considering that most people are opposed to government spending to create jobs

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/06/30/business/20110630poll-full-results.html (q18)
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20080492-503544.html
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/debt-ceiling-deal-impact-economy-ordinary-americans-163456632.html (comments)
    )


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