Too Little, Too Late
I should be happy that Barack Obama is finally putting forward a relatively strong jobs program, one that would actually add millions of jobs and several points of GDP in the short and mid-term, if it were actually enacted as proposed. I should be happy that Obama’s team is shrewdly going into GOP territory to sell it. And I should be glad to see any signs at all from the GOP that they might let some of it get through, even as they are divided about his proposals.
I should be glad at all of these things, except I keep asking myself why Obama didn’t come out for this jobs program right after the midterm election results. Why didn’t Obama show this concern over jobs at the end of 2010 before doing the boneheaded deal with the GOP to extend Bush tax cuts that didn’t include a debt ceiling extension? Why didn’t Obama immediately focus like a laser beam on a second stimulus right after the midterms, when he could have set the narrative against the GOP for all of 2011 and avoid a crippling duel to the political death with them over debt and deficits, a duel that turned the electorate against both the White House and the GOP?
But Obama couldn't be bothered to do the right thing when he should have. The same man who was too afraid of the defense and intelligence establishment to bring anyone to justice for Bush-era crimes is also the same man who pays too much attention to Wall Street and not enough attention to Main Street, to the degree that he curried favor with bond vigilantes and Very Serious People rather than care one damn bit about jobs, homes, and accountability. Obama’s judgment is the problem, as well as his lack of progressive values. This will be manifested when he comes out with his next round of cuts to pay for his stimulus program, cuts that include the callous proposal to raise the Medicare eligibility age, as if 65 and 66 year-olds will be easily able to get insurance to carry them that far.
So no, I’m not happy with Barack Obama over his newfound concern over jobs. Because better late than never doesn’t apply here.