For 2010, It Needs To Be About Jobs
Any time you see a Democrat or any Republican rant about federal spending and the deficit, and not offer full-throated support for an immediate and strong jobs bill, ingore that person. They don't care about Main Street, and only want to give the appearance of caring about the problems of families when in fact all they care about is creating a false narrative that we're about to become a banana republic if we don't tighten spending and worry about deficits and higher interest rates.
Yes, we can argue that Obama was too timid with the first stimulus package, and gave too much ground on tax cuts and didn't insist enough on more direct spending on infrastructure. He didn't, and he and Larry Summers were wrong on that and the likes of Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, and Joseph Stiglitz were right. But as James Carville said two decades ago, it's the economy stupid, and kitchen table issues are the best guide on how the party in power can stay in power. For the GOP, they lure voters with tax cuts that never produce jobs, but the misdirection keeps working anyway. For Democrats, it has and always should be about jobs and rebuilding communities here at home, and not offshoring the middle class into poverty.
Gallup's latest poll only proves this point, and every Democrat running this fall, and the White House need to plaster this on their War Room walls.
Unemployment now stands alone as the top issue in Gallup's latest update on the most important problem facing the country. Thirty-one percent of Americans mention jobs or unemployment, significantly more than say the economy in general (24%), healthcare (20%), or dissatisfaction with government (10%).
Note from this poll that concern over unemployment has doubled since last August. In fact, specific concerns over unemployment and more general concerns about the economy dwarf everything else. Only eight (8) percent of respondents named the deficit as their biggest concern now, but it was so far down the list as to be an afterthought for most Americans at this time.
Let the GOP rant about spending; Democrats should immediately pin them down on what their plan is on jobs, and then force them to offer up more deficit-inducing tax cuts, which do nothing to create demand and only enrich the usual suspects. Any candidate who prioritizes cutting spending instead of a second stimulus bill is more in touch with their donors than Main Street, and any media outlet or think tank that does so isn't in the real world. For Democrats, no matter what happens on health care, the path to success in 2010 runs through job creation and putting Main Street ahead of Wall Street.