Sunday, September 11, 2011
Did the “Good Obama” Step Forward in the Jobs Speech?
So one would think after reading the opinions of party elders canvassed by the New York Times this morning. It’s as though he has Harry Truman perched on one shoulder and Jimmy Carter on the other, and it was the Truman side that drafted his latest speech.
If only he keeps listening to the Truman avatar and eschews the other, wimpy one, say the elders, he has a chance to get reelected.
But recall this vaunted jobs program: it is too small by a factor four or five to close the demand gap, it relies more on tax cuts than spending, and it falls far short of stopping the loss of state and local public jobs. Even its strongest supporters admit that it would be too little, too late to reverse the Great Recession if the Republicans allowed it to pass. Obama’s fighting side is apparently pretty soft too.
The silver lining in all of this is that Jimmy Carter has turned out to be a fantastic ex-president.