unemployment chart
(Chart courtesy Calculated Risk)

Okay, debt ceiling debacle is nearly over, so now is the time for that pivot to jobs. That said, I'll take Greg Sargent up on his offer to forgive my skepticism that it's what Washington will actually do.
[T]here’s finally a glimmer of evidence that officials are beginning to talk about that long-promised pivot to jobs that seemed to get snuffed out by the nonstop deficit chatter that has dominated Washington for months and months.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing has been holding extensive meetings with officials in both parties, but particularly the Democratic party, about some new polling the group released finding overwhelming public support for prioritizing job creation over deficit reduction. The group’s executive director, Scott Paul, says he’s been cautiously encouraged by the interest lawmakers are showing in his pitch, in which he suggests that they embrace an array of pro-manufacturing policies.

That poll found that when given an either/or choice, 67 percent, or more than two thirds, want job creation favored, while just 29 percent want Washington to focus on deficits. The poll also found increased support for government action to bolster the manufacturing sector.

Two of D.C.’s best known pollsters, Dem Mark Mellman and Republican Whit Aryes, have been briefing lawmakers in their respective parties, including party leaders, on the poll’s findings, and have urged them to seriously consider a real pivot to jobs after the deficit deal is finalized, Paul tells me.[...]

Absolutely the polling shows that Americans want job creation before anything else. They've been saying that for months, for the years since the Great Recession began. Just like the American people said tax us, don't cut Social Security or America. If politicians actually governed depending on what the American people said they wanted policies to be, we'd have had "jobs, jobs, jobs" for the last year and a half instead of "deficit, deficit, deficit." We'd probably also still have a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

It's what Democrats should by all means be talking about, nonstop. It's all they should have been talking about all these past months. But Democrats don't set the agenda, regardless of having the White House and the Senate. Instead, there will be a big fight in September over the discretionary spending caps for FY2012, in which Republicans will continue to fight to reduce spending. They'll take the FY2012 budget hostage again, and stimulus and jobs will be pushed to the back burner, again. Because the reality is that Republicans want to inflict as much economic pain on the country as they possibly can because that's how they beat President Obama. And beating President Obama is job one.

That's by no means how it should be, but we're well past anything in Washington working as it should.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 02:56 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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