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President Obama
President Obama (Wikimedia Commons)
It's about jobs. It's about actions rather than words. It's about results. People who are unemployed or under-employed, people who have lost their homes or who are losing their homes or who fear losing their homes, people who can't or don't know how they will pay for their or their loved ones' needed medical expenses or educations or basic living needs don't care about speeches and political games, and they certainly don't care for excuses. It's about jobs. It's about actions rather than words. It's about results.

The New York Times editorial board on Wednesday succinctly summarized what is needed from President Obama:

Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame.

That's it. That's the only hope for the economy. That's the best hope for the president's reelection. The president and all who want him reelected ignore this message at their own peril.

Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame.

It's always good to be skeptical of polls this far out from an election, so neither the Marist Poll showing President Obama faring fairly well against his various opponents on a national level, nor the more troubling state-by-state polls, nor even the recent Gallup Poll showing him now below a 40 percent approval rating should be taken as definitive. But they are all troubling. The president is vulnerable, and the best news for his reelection chances would seem to be the continued antipathy toward his Republican opponents, none of whom seems likely to grow more popular with more familiarity. But the president is vulnerable.

The most important indicator for the president's reelection is the most obvious, and Adam Serwer summarized the danger:

When I spoke to political scientists and economists about Obama’s chances for reelection in 2012, they said that at the very least, GDP growth would have to average about 2 percent per quarter for Obama to be reelected based on date from prior elections. Growth in the first quarter of 2011, meanwhile, was a paltry .4 percent.

So there’s little point in wringing one’s hands over daily approval ratings. It’s still the economy, stupid, and what will likely determine the outcome in 2012 is not how the president’s approval ratings look today but what the economy looks like over the course of the next year or so.

But as the New York Times reported last Saturday:

Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact. These include free trade agreements and improved patent protections for inventors.

But others, including Gene Sperling, Mr. Obama’s chief economic adviser, say public anger over the debt ceiling debate has weakened Republicans and created an opening for bigger ideas like tax incentives for businesses that hire more workers, according to Congressional Democrats who share that view. Democrats are also pushing the White House to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

Even if the ideas cannot pass Congress, they say, the president would gain a campaign issue by pushing for them.

Free trade and patent protections are not going to create jobs, and that tax incentives for job creation should be framed as a big idea from a Democratic administration would be laughable were it not so infuriating. The neoliberal market-based approach has been proved at best a myth, and the president isn't going to gain any political advantage by pushing for more tax cuts for businesses. He would gain a political advantage by pushing for straight up jobs programs. He won't gain political advantage by worrying about deficits. He needs to go large, but he hasn't gone large. He has played into deficit worries. And the flagging economy and his tanking approval ratings are the result.

Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame.

The president has discussed the idea of a federally funded infrastructure program, which would help, but as that same Times editorial continued:

But when the president floated the idea this week, he did not so much embrace it as his own as mention it in passing. “Congress should pass it and get it done,” he said.

Congress, left to its own devices, won’t get it done. Presidential leadership, daily and unrelenting, is needed. But as Binyamin Appelbaum and Helene Cooper reported in The Times, Mr. Obama and his advisers are still debating whether it is worth pushing any bold proposals, fearing that voters will see it as a failure if they don’t make it through Congress. That is an excuse for not trying. It also underestimates the intelligence of the American people.

Some of them, anyway.

Businesses aren't hiring, and it isn't because of taxes. It's because people have no money to spend. It's a demand crisis. As reported by Reuters:

Weakening demand in the United States and Europe has spooked some in corporate America, prompting big companies to throttle back their spending just as U.S. government looks for ways to cut its own outlays.

And how is deficit fever helping? It isn't.

The $2.1 trillion deficit-reduction plan reached in Washington this week spared the United States from defaulting on its $14.3 trillion debt, but raised questions on what spending would be cut, which in turn weighed on shares of companies that do everything from running nursing homes to building fighter planes.

"Where is the growth going to come from?" said Michael Goodman, director of economic and public policy research at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. "It's not going to come from the private side and it doesn't appear like it's going to come from the public side. That does appear like a recipe for sluggish growth at best."

This is not some great new revelation. Exactly one year ago, the Washington Post reported this:

Corporate profits are soaring. Companies are sitting on billions of dollars of cash. And still, they've yet to amp up hiring or make major investments -- the missing ingredients for a strong economic recovery.

Because of a demand crisis.

They blame their profound caution on their view that U.S. consumers are destined to disappoint for many years. As a result, they say, the economy is unlikely to see the kind of almost unbroken prosperity of the quarter-century that preceded the financial crisis.

Across the industrial parks and office towers of the Chicago region, in a more than a dozen interviews, senior executives said they see Americans for years ahead paying down debts incurred during the now-ended credit boom and adjusting spending to match their often-reduced incomes.

People needed jobs. They needed income. Still. When people have jobs and income, they spend. When they spend, it feeds back into the economy. They don't just sit on their money the way corporations can do and are doing.

Over one year ago, Brad DeLong wrote:

However, even a minor and hasty acquaintance with the Great Depression teaches that the belief that the government should stand back and wash its hands because the self-regulating market quickly returns to full-employment equilibrium is the most arrogant belief possible.

And even a minor and hasty acquaintance with the Great Depression teaches that having the government stand back and wash its hands is the most risky strategy conceivable.

This is not some great new revelation. Market-based solutions don't work. Direct government spending does. But even if there's no way to get direct government spending through this Congress, the president and the Democrats should be trying. They should be framing the political argument. They have been failing to frame this political argument, and the worst move possible was to buy into the deficit/austerity game, but even that still can be turned around. The president can admit he made a mistake in playing along with the Republicans on deficits. He can remind everyone that President Franklin D. Roosevelt made a mistake in worrying about deficits in 1937, when he undermined his own recovery program, and that Roosevelt then realized his mistake and resumed spending and gave the recovery from the Great Depression a second jump start.

As I wrote almost exactly one year ago:

Businesses aren't creating jobs, and they have no intention of doing so unless they see signs that consumers will again resume spending. Consumers won't be spending as long as they have nothing or too little to spend. It's a feedback loop. There is only one way to break it. It has to be the government. The government has to create jobs. Infrastructure. Clean energy. Mass transit. There are plenty of social goods for government to fund, and there are plenty of people who are willing and able to be trained and employed. It has to happen. And only the government can do it.

The Republicans want us to believe that government is the problem. The Democrats can make the case that particularly in times of crisis, government is the solution. This is about framing. It's about theories of economics and it's about theories of government. And Democrats are failing even to attempt to defend what has been traditional Democratic framing. They are failing even to attempt to defend what the evidence clearly proves.

Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame.

And if he fails to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it, Americans won't know who is to blame. Republicans are counting on it. They cannot win the political and economic arguments. They can only hope that there is no argument to win. For too long now, there has been no argument made by the Democrats.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Government is neither a problem... (14+ / 0-)

    ...nor a solution.  Governement is no better or worse than the people who are chosen to run it.

    Which is why it is so agrivating that republicans keep voting people in who want to dismantle or exploit government.  Becuase the very same people who say government is the problem, are usually the biggest examples of that problem.  

    Government CAN be a positive force to the public, but only if you elect public servants who take their duty as public servants seriously.  Stop electing people who just want to get rich or gain power off the the public.

    Let there be balance in all things.

    by DawnG on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:03:45 PM PDT

  •  This intelligent and insightful and (18+ / 0-)

    practical.

    And Obama will NEVER in a million years take these recommendations.

    Shame, that.

  •  Go big or go home (6+ / 0-)

    The textbook says being pragmatic and appealing to the center is the oath to reelection. But the textbook was proven wrong.

    Obama has a choice. I don't think he can be reelected now. He can prove my signature line wrong.

    August 16, 2011: Rick Perry will win the Presidency in 2012.

    by NoFortunateSon on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:10:11 PM PDT

    •  At this point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJG52, blueoasis, Palafox

      It would almost sound disingenuous if he did make those arguments. For Obama to come out now with a big bold progressive plan on the scale that is needed would look calculated and insincere. He has got to mean it and I don't think he does.

      •  they will come out with a half-assed version (0+ / 0-)

        after his numbers continue to sink and his brain trust realizes it's the only way to win.

        but it will be hard to take. because you know he won't meant it.

        Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

        by mightymouse on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 07:05:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  i know it ain't perfect (5+ / 0-)

    but if i hear another republican asshole say "GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM! VOTE ME INTO GOVERNMENT!"

    ...

    400+ BILLIONAIRES PAY 50% TO 100%+ LESS TAX THAN THE 300,000,000 REST OF US. THEY HAVE RIGGED THE TABLE SPECIFICALLY FOR THEMSELVES AND AGAINST US. WE ARE TOO POOR TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SAME LOOPHOLES AND BENEFITS THEY HAVE BOUGHT OTHERS FOR.

    by theChild on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:11:29 PM PDT

  •  This the key idea upon ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, mightymouse, Palafox

    ... which the ideological divide between liberals and others is delineated. There is no more succinct way to phrase it:

    Government is not the problem, it should be the solution
    •  And, if we're ever going to make that case, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catmanhunting, Palafox

      we're going to have to first, get rid of every single useless and boneheaded thing that the Federal government spends money on... and there's a shitload of it.

      We're going to have to define precisely what it is that we think that government should do, and make sure that it does those things, and only those things, as well as it can.

      We need a long and unblemished record of success, with none of the easy targets of waste and stupidity that the Right has been beating us over the head with for four decades.

      Then, and only then, can we go to the next step, which is to argue for the expansion of the number of things that government should be doing.

      It's not enough to just say, louder and more often, that "government is the solution." The solution to what, with what constraints, run by whom? and with concrete demonstration cases to bolster our argument.

      We're fighting back from almost fifty years of losing this argument. Just saying that we're right isn't going to cut it.

      --Shannon

      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:30:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, Mr Robert, blueoasis, Palafox

    Much better than yesterday's column. Laurence is back, my faith in his observational powers is renewed!

  •  I Keep Saying Over And Over Fire His (8+ / 0-)

    third way advisers.  They are killing any chance that President Obama can win re-election.  Also, businesses are not hiring on purpose.  The only way to beat big business is to shame them.  President Obama should say to big business that be a patriot and spend some of that billions of dollars you have by hiring Americans.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:15:06 PM PDT

    •  Oh my! Obama is the third-way proponent. Pay attn (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      supercereal, GeeBee, KJG52, blueoasis, Palafox

      Business will hire when they have demand for their products or services.  As the middle-class is reduced to lower-class and lower-class moves to poverty, business will not need to hire because fewer and fewer Amercans can afford their products and services.  

      Shrinkage of the middle-class will result in extension of the labor-depression.  If they can't afford the products and don't have credit, they can't buy the products.  Ultimately the labor-depression will cause a corporate depression.  

      Then, and only then, will Obama give it a thought.  His chess game is the same as Reagans.

  •  Come on... (0+ / 0-)

    It is not the government's job to create jobs.  It is the governments job to create an environment favorable for economic activity.  This government has not done that, plain and simple.
    If we are all waiting on a bunch of professional politicians and bureaucrats, who have never created a single job in their lives to understand how to create jobs and all of a sudden come up with a workable plan to do so, we will waiting until hell freezes over....

  •  I tremble for my country (7+ / 0-)

    This cut cut cut cut cut crap will implode the economy.  This will be so bad it won't deserve the name of "recession."

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:16:53 PM PDT

  •  I don't think those guys said (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, judyms9

    2% GDP growth per quarter. I think they said an annual growth rate of 2% (as released each quarter). No one is anticipating an 8% annual rate.

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:18:09 PM PDT

  •  What Democrats should campaign on: (10+ / 0-)

    1. 25 million new jobs via a $2 trillion stimulus (not composed of tax cuts) and other job creating bills
    2. Revenue (new 45% bracket, tax earned/unearned income the same and close tax loopholes while keeping existing rates)
    3. End the wars

    What will they campaign on? I don't know.

    The 2010 campaign was absolute shit because our results from 2009-2010 were absolute shit. Our results from 2009-2010 were absolute shit because what we were pushing for was absolute shit.

    I'm tired of shit.

    How about a real fucking agenda instead of press releases and adopting elements of the opposition party's platform?

    •  Dems (0+ / 0-)

      Hear hear! I'm wondering if Obama is waiting for a second term to go on the offensive, or if he's incapable of it; he seems reluctant to get angry and push. I do think he needs to dump his wall-street pals and -Listen- to the people. The Dems (center to left) are getting angry and frustrated, Progressives ditto, Independents too...even the rational Rs are grumpy.

      He needs to get together with the Libs/Progs, anybody else willing to see reason and lead the charge, and do it SOON.

      He'll get my vote either way, because every alternative I see out there is either worse or not likely.

      •  The thing is, he needs his base, Libs/Progs (0+ / 0-)

        to win again, but he can not win again with just them, just as the Rep. candidate can not just win with the tea baggers. Obama needs to appeal and look attractive to a majority of the American people as he did in 2008, with his message of hope. He needs the base and a large majority of Democrats, Independents and even some Republicans. That is how he won in 2008. Also the pick of Palin for V.P. did wonders for him. When you think about it, why would he want to do anything different.  I am hoping his "jobs proposal" that will come out in September will be one hell of a jobs proposal, as well as a platform for him to run on for the next year. He is going to announce it in a speech, (good use of the bully pulpit) and it already has the G.O.P. worried, since all the noise we are hearing from Canter and Boehner is we don't need any more speeches, we need jobs.

      •  I'm not waiting for Middleman to morph back (0+ / 0-)

        into the candidate I supported in 2008. That guy only existed to parrot the dreams of us alienated by Cheney/Bush for the singular purpose of becoming elected. Once he got there we were abandoned, beginning with his fight against the public option (putting Max Baucus in charge of insurance reform-- thanks, Mr. President) his administration demonstrated a clear contempt for progressive values.

        Now the wingers and blue dogs aren't rewarding him with the support he feels he's earned, and, surprise(!), his jacket is off, his sleeves are rolled up and he's reviving his populist script.

        And we're supposed to believe him this time?

  •  The Bush/Obama agenda keeps rolling unchecked (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, GeeBee, Palafox

    Lovely words, absolutely lovely.  We have lots of these words.  Wonderful hopeful words.  Marvelous inspiring words.  Spectatularly empty words.

    For 2.5 years, we've only seen action on the Republican agenda.  Their HCR plan, their bailout plan, their tax cuts, their objectives, their agenda.  There you have it!

    I don't think these words are going to elevate beyond what the Republicans will approve.  Afterall, President Obama has given our owners what they want.  And they will give President Obama his campaign cash.   Everyone (but the American public) wins!

    God Bless the Obama/Bush agenda!

  •  We have seen the "jobs" program set forth (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, GeeBee

    by President Obama and the only one that might do some good would have to come from the Republican House.  And in fact, while a good jobs bill would do wonders down the road, that's just it.  The effects would be down the road, too late for this President's reelection.  If Obama gets reelected it will be on the Republicans nominating the craziest of the current knuckleheads and I don't see that happening.  Remember how they "cleaned up" RR and Bush II?

  •  Obama has to fight for it? (7+ / 0-)

    Oh well, I guess we're all screwed then.

    Republicans are like the Weeping Angels: Take your eyes off of them and they'll send you back in time.

    by jazzmaniac on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:27:20 PM PDT

  •  Well, if a number of folks on this blog have a say (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, catmanhunting, Yahzi

    in who's to blame, it will be to blame Obama.

    I hope he fights tooth and nail from now until the election in 2012.  I hope he stands up on a daily basis and spells it out clearly for the American public.

    If you're out of job, thank a REPUBLICAN.  If you're losing your unemployment benefits, thank a REPUBLICAN.  If you're losing your home, thank a REPUBLICAN.  If you're worried about losing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, thank a REPUBLICAN.  If there aren't enough teachers, firefighters or police in your neighborhood, thank a REPUBLICAN.  If your public schools and libraries, emergency rooms and post offices are closing, thank a REPUBLICAN.  If your roads and bridges and ports are crumbling, thank a REPUBLICAN.

    REPUBLICANS SUCK.  Vote them all out of office come November 2012!!!!!

    Or blame Obama for everything I just listed and watch even more of what we've taken for granted as Americans disappear, like what religion you believe or don't believe, like a woman's right to choose, like any chance to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.  Like all gay rights of any kind.

    Vote for more DEMOCRATS in 2012, including this president or you'll just get more REPUBLICANS which just means you'll get more of their s**t while their billionaire pals/owners get more even richer.

    OBAMA/BIDEN AND DEMOCRATIC MAJORITIES IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS IN 2012!!!!!

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:31:26 PM PDT

  •  I know who to blame (7+ / 0-)

    Obama's lack of leadership is as culpable as any teabagger or Bush decision.

    Obama thinks we want to see him do everything he can to get along with bullies when really we want to see the bullies smacked in the mouth.

    If Obama's spine was half as still as his 2008 rhetoric was bold we wouldn't be having this conversation

    •  You're pretty brave (0+ / 0-)

      for somebody who doesn't have to actually stand up to those bullies. For somebody whose job does not require them to daily interface with those bullies, knowing that they can lie with impunity and 33% of the country will believe it without question.

      But sure, if Obama showed more "leadership," then Fox News would never have told all those lies about him, and the Dittoheads would never have believed them. If only Obama had shown enough leadership to sway the opinions of people who don't believe in evolution, global warming, or women's rights... but do believe in showing up at the goddamn election booth.

  •  I'd put the odds at less than 10%, maybe way less. (6+ / 0-)
    Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it.

    He hasn't done this for anything yet, why expect him to start now?  What evidence is there that he will have the vision for a comprehensive plan and the willingness to fight for it?

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:36:32 PM PDT

  •  it's pretty simple really, (8+ / 0-)

    if the private sector won't, the government must. we cannot be slaves to the "free market."

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:38:38 PM PDT

  •  Since when is democracy "the problem" ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, Mr Robert

    That's what our government is. Democracy.

    If you don't love it, then please leave it. Or die and have your ashes scattered on the grounds of the Reagan Library.

    Please.

    (Subtle setup for replacing democracy with corporatism/fascism, eh ? St. Ronnie can reanimate and kiss my as for that one.)

    Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

    by vets74 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:40:48 PM PDT

  •  Too true (13+ / 0-)
    But even if there's no way to get direct government spending through this Congress, the president and the Democrats should be trying. They should be framing the political argument.

    but three years on in this administration, you have to wonder why they appear to have given up trying.

    Seriously, I'm sick as hell of having to beg my Democrats to act like Democrats.

     

    REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

    by lunachickie on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:42:11 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, LL - I learned a lot from that post. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, mightymouse

    I bet POTUS tries to launch something compelling after Labor Day. Cheers.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:42:36 PM PDT

  •  How does free trade create jobs? (6+ / 0-)

    America does not have any products to sell ---everything is manufactured outside America.

    The only product it can sell is fighter jets and airplanes.

    Protect Democracy. Keep lying GOP out of the People's House.

    by timber on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:43:40 PM PDT

    •  Health Care/Medical High Tech (0+ / 0-)

      The country does still create jobs Pharma and Medical
      High Tech. Its old line manufacturing where we have either been hollowed out (offshored) or become almost totally mechanized.

      Lets face facts also, the "free market" is requiring high end skills while a substantial portion of our labor pool
      doesn't posses them. Retraining & education can help
      many of them, but we are going to have to face up to the fact the public sector will have to employ people that just don't have the skill set necessary. There should always be enough infrastrucutre work necessary to keep the unemployment rate say at a "tolerable"
      6% level.

  •  Worth repeating. (13+ / 0-)
    . . . Mr. Obama and his advisers are still debating whether it is worth pushing any bold proposals, fearing that voters will see it as a failure if they don’t make it through Congress. That is an excuse for not trying. It also underestimates the intelligence of the American people.
    This is how it's been since day one of this Administration: passing something - anything, no matter how wretched - is more important than fighting for legislation which might lose.

    It was one of the takeaway lessons of the political operatives in the Clinton Administration after their failure to pass their health care bill, and it's dominated the Obama White House's thinking on legislative affairs as well. To them, trying and failing looks weak, so it's better to be part of the 'winning' side no matter how Pyrrhic the victory.

    The Administration needs to change the debate, but so far they've shown no interest or willingness to do so, continuing to campaign on Republican plans, when they bother to campaign at all, and leaving Democratic policies twisting in the wind.

    The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

    by Orange County Liberal on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:43:46 PM PDT

  •  Obama needs to present (8+ / 0-)

    a plan to Congress, not just make another damn speech.

    •  he really looks foolish now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Palafox

      trying to project an air of confidence about what ever stupid thing happened (the deficit deal) or might happen (more payroll tax cuts, etc.), when we all know this things won't help.

      Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

      by mightymouse on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 07:15:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I guess I feel compelled to repeat this (11+ / 0-)

    again and again; that's all I can do really. There is a real answer to the jobs crisis and that is to spend money we have in a abundance. We do not have a solvency crisis. The country is not broke, nothing like it. In 2010, Americans had locked away in their 401k and IRA accounts a total of $7.9 trillion. Increasingly, those funds are seen as risky if invested in the stock market. But Americans are still saving on average 5% of their income. We need a way to tap into those vast savings and put that money to work in rebuilding our economy. One way is simply to offer an Economic Liberty Bond. American taxpayers would be able to buy these bonds tax-free through their 401k and/or IRA. The bonds would probably be 10-year and pay a modest interest rate, a little higher than T bills. Corporations would be able to pass some funds through this bond fund for tax advantages. The money from the fund would be used to rebuild infrastructure, make the country energy efficient, provide virtually free education and retraining to everyone, and the resulting decrease in unemployment and increased growth would pay off the deficit and permit redemption of the bonds. I would think that a fund of around $2 trillion could be built pretty quickly. That's what a real jobs program looks like.

  •  The President's advisers may think their... (6+ / 0-)

    advice caters to the independents.  Wrong, wrong, wrong, their advice, if followed as it probably will be, makes the President appear uncommitted, ineffective and just plain gutless.  We may not need a cowboy in the oval office but we do need someone who appeals to our better natures and expresses higher commitment to the people.

    As of now, Barack Obama looks like every other establishment Republican.  Given a choice the independents will go for someone who stands for something.  Anything.

    I would very much like to vote for the President's re-election in 2012 but unless he shows a little life I'll withhold my vote.  I did this in the California gubernatorial election in 2010 and the right-wing Democrat won anyway.  At least I do not feel responsible for his actions.

    “The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.” Arthur C. Clarke

    by spritegeezer on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:54:23 PM PDT

    •  they are foolish (0+ / 0-)

      the economy will likely suck.

      will that be because of or in spite of their candidate? if Obama actually proposes and advocates something that will work, it will be the latter.

      but if he tries to cobble together some useless crap that might actually pass and call it his "jobs plan" then it's the former.

      they are idiots.

      Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

      by mightymouse on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 07:17:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think we're seeing Obama's plan (13+ / 0-)

    I really think he believes cutting spending will reduce the deficit, and that showing that we're going to cut spending will give businesses confidence that all is right with the world and cause them to start hiring again.

    He's not alone in that belief among leaders of what used to be called the free world, but unfortunately for him and us, there's a lot of evidence that that belief is full of shit.

  •  The revelation of a demand crisis (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, chuckvw, The Nose, ORDem

    Doesn't matter what WaPo, or Brad, or you, were writing a year ago if nobody but "us" was reading it. If it's now becoming a revelation we need to pitch in and further it. Not only that, we need to connect some dots; because a whole lot of people will nod vigorously and agree, but at the same time object strongly to any policy that raises taxes on anybody, and howl like bears in a trap at the idea of government spending to create jobs.

    LTE's,  people. Water cooler chats. Toss off some concepts at the upcoming Labor Day BBQ. Start diverting the stream bed of the "common wisdom" that we are all learning a necessary lesson about cutting back, saving more, and the government needs to sit at the kitchen table to reduce profligate spending just like we all have to.

  •  Quoted 1-year-old WaPo article is instructive (9+ / 0-)

    ... starting with this obnoxious formulation:

    They blame their profound caution on their view that U.S. consumers are destined to disappoint for many years.
    Disappointing consumers: all the other elements must be lined up, so it's generic Americans who are to blame for businesses' lack of investment. Of course, executives also thought this a year ago:
    Executives see little evidence that the economy is slipping back into recession.
    You know they've got their pulse on the future with that kind of projection. Aaand:
    The executive class in the Chicago region is none too pleased with many of the policies of President Obama, their former hometown senator. They criticize his willingness to let Bush-era tax cuts expire at year's end for households that make over $250,000 and allow the capital gains tax rate to increase. They dislike aspects of his landmark health-care law, and some fear that the financial overhaul legislation enacted this summer will make it harder for them to get loans.

    ... But when [executives in the Chicago area] were pressed on the role that tax and regulatory policies play in hiring, they drew only vague connections. Speer said his decision whether to hire is driven primarily by demand for his products. ... None of the executives interviewed linked a specific new government initiative with a specific decision to refrain from hiring.

    In other words, don't touch our tax cuts, but we won't name any specific government policies that prevent us from hiring: these are the people this president's policies are walking on eggshells for.
  •  Thank you for this most excellent diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, catmanhunting, The Nose

    They'd better figure it out soon. The republicans want to destroy the president so much they will take the country down in their efforts........... then the shock doctrine.

    The rethugs will not help him get anything passed. I cannot imagine that he doesn't see this...

    As much as I am disappointed in some things the administration has done and some it has neglected to do, I will truly despair if a republican is in the WH in January 2013.

    "Say little; do much." (Pirkei Avot: 1:15)

    by hester on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:03:52 PM PDT

  •  Nice essay, Laurence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness

    Even if it does go round and round in circles. Or, perhaps that was the entire point.

    The US is helpless to help the people because its government is paralyzed. Completely paralyzed. It doesn't matter how this happened, but it is recognized the world over.

    Instead of selling Treasuries and printing money -- which is just pissing everybody off -- it's time to allow other nations, like China, to make material investments in the United States and share ownership with us.

    China could take ownership of our interstate highway system put the entire nation back to work without costing the US government a single cent. Get us back on our feet.

    Of course, there will be toll booths every 30 miles and it will cost about $100 bucks to cross the nation by car -- but since the people refuse to pay taxes, they can pay for the nation's investments and jobs directly.

    We need more of this. Lot's more.

    Anyway, it's the only chance there is to break the cycle of collapse. We need more and better owners.

  •  Read Aftershock by Robert Reich (6+ / 0-)

    For those who haven't, it's a really enlightening discussion of the results of too little demand resulting from too few jobs and too much income disparity.  

    "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance." Samuel Johnson

    by Rona on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:08:58 PM PDT

  •  Roosevelt had a unique outcome (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catmanhunting

    as the CCC was a great program that put out-of-work people back to work, on the infrastructure and parks. But WWII was the major reason the country got back to work. It was jobs in the public sector by placing women and over-military-aged men into building war machines and supplies for the government. The golden outcome was that these workers learned a trade, a craft, that they were able to utilize after the war. Thus the giant building boom in the 50's and 60's, with employment for whoever wanted a job. Veterans were given extra breaks and incentives. If Obama can come up with a viable similar plan without starting WWIII, I'm in.

  •  See you in September (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, catmanhunting, The Nose, Palafox

    President Obama said he would present his jobs/economic program in early September.  We will see what he wants and what he is willing to fight for.

    I hope it is a real jobs program.  I hope it involves infrastructure build and rebuild.  I hope it targets help to the jobless in the US.  I hope it isn't 70% tax cuts.  I hope President Obama actually fights for it.  I hope he wins.

    I fear President Obama will continue the economic policies of George Walker Bush.  I fear he will punt the whole mess to congress or super-congress.  I fear we will have more tax cuts at the top and service cuts at the bottom.  I fear this is what President Obama wants.

  •  Obama needs to get rid of his advisers (5+ / 0-)

    Plouffe, Axelrod, et al are giving him the wrong political advice; Geithner, Daley, et al. are giving him the wrong economic advice.  

    •  AMEN! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catmanhunting, chuckvw, Palafox

      One does NOT need a Punahou School or Ivy League education to have some "good sense."  (I have the former, but not the latter).

      (Remember, the French philosphe or philosopher Voltaire once said that "Common sense is not that common").

      But many of you students of politics on DK could and should remind the weisenheimer "political operatives" in the White House, DNC, DSCC, and DCCC that time-wise, we are a bit shy of fifteen months before the 2012 general election.

      Given that time frame, shouldn't good sense, not to mention "conventional" political wisdom, dictate that an incumbent politician should first firm up support from his/her base, then some months down the road, pivot and start looking for support form independents?   (After all, in a political year like 2012, many people don't start paying attention until after Labor Day, but maybe "this time is different" because the Dem base is getting itself "fired up and ready to go" in WI, OH, and other states).

      Aren't President Obama's political operatives doing things bass-ackward?  And do they pay any attention, even just a smidgen, to independent polls taken by organizations outside the D.C. Beltway?

      As for his economic advisors, part of the recent swoon in the stock markets is probably due to the news that SecTreas Timothy "What, I'm supposed to pay FICA tax on my earnings?" Geithner is staying on so that a successor would not have to undergo a confirmation fight in the Senate.

      IMNSHO, President Obama has a bunch of incompetent political and economic advisors who should have been fired a long, long time ago.  (And the "post-partisan" zombie meme should have been jettisoned when the real GOP chairman Rush Limburger said right after the 2009 inauguration that he "wanted Obama to fail," and Sen. Jim "Demented" Demint was talking about a health care Waterloo in the summer of 2009.  "Post-partisan" era?  You cannot be serious, to quote the execrable John McEnroe).

      And let's not forget the OFA theme of "Winning the Future" which can be shortened to the acronym WTF.  WTF, indeed.

  •  Telling him what he wants to hear? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, catmanhunting, The Nose
    Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact.
    This President WANTS the system to work. But it won't, not today. Not with all that's going on.
    He has to push jobs...no matter what happens...if Repubs stop it, at least people will know.

    -- We are just regular people informed on issues

    by mike101 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:16:43 PM PDT

  •  Feh! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, srkp23, mightymouse, Palafox

    Do you really think you're in a position to demand anything from the government?

    Remember these words?

    Punishing the Democrats didn't turn out so well in 2000. The Democrats themselves weren't punished, but millions and millions of people around the world were. Many at the cost of their lives. This isn't a game.

    Since you've already said that you're voting for Obama no matter what, you will take what Obama gives you.  

    "In any event, it is safe to assume that the ends of capitalism will be as unprecedented as everything else about it has been." -- Gopal Balakrishnan

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:26:32 PM PDT

  •  It's About Jobs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catmanhunting, The Nose

    It is indeed about jobs.  We can help the President to take the initiative by ignoring Congress and going where the money is.  This petition calls on the six largest banks, the same ones we bailed out three years ago, to fund one million public service jobs and to fund the (already existing) Small Business Lending Fund.  Sign it now: Bankers: Invest In Us.

  •  Here's the problem. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denise b, Palafox

    We all know it's a losing proposition going in.  He's not getting a jobs bill out of this Congress.  Certainly not one that requires an investment of federal money.

    But blaming the republicans?  No.  Obama himself set this up by TARP and bailing out the banks and otherwise not doing a proper stim in the first place, by not going back to the proper tax rates for the rich and allowing the Catfood 2 and triggers to decide future budget issues.  

    It would be disingenuous for Obama to blame the republicans.  He set himself up for failure.

    There is an austerity of hope with the Obama administration.  I truly wonder if the suggestion of this week's Newsweek is not the better option.  http://www.thedailybeast.com/...

    That Newsweek piece is quite audacious.  Particularly from a MSM source.  Or formerly, anyway.

    Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:29:05 PM PDT

  •  Plouffe, Daley and Obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, mightymouse, The Nose, Palafox

    are betting it all on lesser evilism. That's their plan.

    Patent protection, "free" trade agreements and a continuing "entitlements" killing holiday might well be enacted... Because the Chamber of Commerce is okay with them...

    The infrastructure bank coupled with tax "forgiveness"  for overseas assets and maybe a loosening of prevailing wage regs as the cherry on top might slide through for the same reason.

    Lesser evilism. Double or nothing!

    Whom do you blame more? The rattlesnake, or the bipartisan guy who put it in your sleeping bag?

    by chuckvw on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:42:08 PM PDT

  •  Obama and his blundering advisors (5+ / 0-)

    Hard to imagine this bunch coming up with a right answer at this point.

    There is no vision or fight in any of them.

  •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA, The Nose, ORDem
    Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame.

    Because the American people noticed who cut taxes in 2009.  Oh, yeah, they think there was a tax hike.

    Obama needs to put forth a plan and fight for it, for sure.  I hope he does.  And then I hope there will be media coverage of his fight, because they will be more interested in Perry's hair.

  •  Come on... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox

    I can understand you hoping or trying to rally the troops (unfortunately, in this case you also have to rally the General) but this:

    The New York Times editorial board on Wednesday succinctly summarized what is needed from President Obama:
    Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame.

    That's it. That's the only hope for the economy. That's the best hope for the president's reelection. The president and all who want him reelected ignore this message at their own peril.

    Ignores the fact that everyone in the US knows that he had overwhelming majorities in both houses, for two years.

    He wants to blame the Republicans for what...that they wouldn't let him raise taxes? That's even worse, cuz taxes can be raised or lowered using budget reconciliation, which means before the 2010 elections or even in the lame duck they should have had seven, eight votes to spare!

    If not raise taxes, then what...everyone knows he got his stimulus in 2009. Or is he going to try to make the unpopular argument that it should have been even bigger?

    Now all of a sudden the staff of the NY Times has a collective 40 watt light bulb go off over their heads (btw, quite a few staffers and regular posters on this website, including you, are better than virtually all of them); and because it's the NY Times we're all supposed to listen?

    Two and a half years in, and Obama just does a reset? And if Republicans don't vote for it, everyone's going to blame them? It's this kind of understanding of strategy that has led the Times to such success lately...not.

    As far as securing his reelection, Pres Obama should do what he is doing...try to depict the Rs as extremists and himself as reasonable. Then hope the R candidate is bad and/or runs a bad campaign.

    As far as what the President should do to move an actual agenda forward, I have absolutely no idea. He wasted too much time, and now unless the Rs screw up: he's trapped!

  •  The key phrase (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    is "and fight for it".  Since the president never seems to get this part of the message, please forgive me for trying to drum it into him.

    ...and fight for it
    ...and fight for it
    ...and fight for it
    ...and fight for it
    ...and fight for it
    ...and fight for it
    ...and fight for it
    ...and fight for it
    ...and fight for it
    ...and fight for it

    /rant

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity." --W. B. Yeats

    by Pragmatus on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:53:09 PM PDT

  •  What I get out of this long diary (4+ / 0-)

    1.  Obama needs to come up with a jobs plan and get democrats in both houses of congress on board with it...and then, stick to it.

    2.  The reason for the lack of jobs is because businesses/corporations aren't investing in job creation because of a lack of certainty about the economy going forward AND because of a serious lack of demand for goods and services (brought on, of course, by a lack of jobs....a kind of economic Catch-22).

    3.  Government is going to HAVE to become involved in doing what is necessary to create the demand for goods and services....and that will involve spending on many fronts including infrastructure rebuilding, green energy initiatives etc. which will create a huge number of jobs which will significantly increase demand for goods and services which will cause the private sector to gin up their manufacturing and services efforts which will then create even more jobs.  

    4.  The free market isn't going to do this...it's going to take the government to do it and the president/democrats should make every effort to get this done and if the republicans block these efforts, the American people are smart enough to know what party is responsible for continued bad times in our country.

    Did I miss anything?

    I'm calling it SPOT ON.  

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:57:36 PM PDT

  •  Nobody is more contemptuous of the American people (5+ / 0-)

    than Obama and his supporters, who believe, deep in their hearts, that the American people cannot be persuaded to back good policy.

    I dealt with a lot of Democratic consultants who felt this way; one of the main reasons I supported Obama in the primary is that so many of them were working for Hillary.  Then, of course, Obama hired all of them.

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

    by Punditus Maximus on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 06:03:17 PM PDT

  •  ~sigh and sigh and sigh~ (5+ / 0-)
    Businesses aren't hiring, and it isn't because of taxes. It's because people have no money to spend. It's a demand crisis.

    How is this so difficult to make understood, even to the groundlings...  It seems so obvious to me...

    Why this simplest of messaging hasn't come from the White House Administration and most of our Congressional leadership is something I will.  never.  understand.

    •  maybe he just doesn't believe it? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marjmar

      It's worth considering, no?

      •  By "he," I presume you don't mean Jesus? ;) (0+ / 0-)

        ...or you would have said "He"... ;)

        Okay, so "he" may not believe it, but since "he" is only one person...what about the rest?  Since "he" has proven himself to be almost politically suicidal...suicide by compromise...why do the rest appear to also be willing to eat the business end of a political shotgun?

        I don't get it.  I.  do.  not.  get.  it.

  •  His Advisors Suck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox

    Plouffe....is that a name that conjures up Bold Action?

    He needs a brass-knuckled Neanderthal on his staff.  Someone who smells bad and has a Bruce-Willis-Die-Hard attitude.

    The republicans have taken over Nakatomi Plaza and Plouffe is the Holly's boss type of guy that gets shot for being such a self-assured limp-d*.

    What would John McClane do, Mr. President?  (First off, he probably wouldn't have gone to some prissy little island off the Massachusetts coast, but I digress).

    Get some duct tape and strap that pistol to your bloody and sweaty back

    And DO SOMETHING, goddamit!

  •  Yeh, yep yep , yes, yes, and how do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    ... I  get anyone to listen?

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 06:22:05 PM PDT

  •  I'm tired of having to apologize for government. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, chuckvw, The Nose, ORDem, schnecke21, Palafox

    How often do you hear people swear at government and loudly proclaim it can't do anything right?

    So why don't they make a similar connection every time they get shafted by a corporation? You know, mysterious charges on a billing statement, warranties that are useless, service that stinks, consumer hostility departments instead of help, and so on? Corporations that have happy customers either charge an arm and a leg for that service, or make it up some other way, like screwing their employees and/or their suppliers.

    And when was the last time a corporation gave you a chance to vote on anything except whether or not to buy their stuff? Do they expect corporations to do anything for them when they get sick, or want to retire? Do they expect corporations to keep the lights turned on and the streets safe? Protect the environment because they're good stewards?

    Anyone who tells you government should be run more like a business either has no clue about anything, or is looking to fill their pockets from your wallet. Business is easy - just find a way to make a profit. Government is hard - try to meet the vital needs of everyone, whatever the cost.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 06:24:21 PM PDT

  •  Patent reform will create jobs... (0+ / 0-)

    obviously not nearly enough, not even close, but it will help slightly.

    "The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference." 3/28/11

    by BarackStarObama on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 06:25:16 PM PDT

  •  I have to wonder at this point if Republicans care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yahzi

    about winning arguments of any kind.  That does not seem to be a high priority for them.

    They want to win the White House.  They want both houses of Congress.  They want to win those things.

    Arguments? Hearts and minds?  I don't think those matter to them any more than right and wrong.

    It is not safe to assume any aspect of "business-as-usual" with today's Republicans.  There is no such thing.  They simply do not care about comity in any relations with other politicians, even within their own party.  Moreover, they all know that "winner takes all" is the only thing that matters.  Why worry about the future; you either have the majority and do whatever you want, or you are in the minority and stop the other guy from doing anything at all.

    These are not rationale politicians.  It is a grave mistake to assume that they are.  There is no way to influence them beyond cash, and your influence stops the instant the cash does.  There are no one-time purchases.  All sales are final, and forgotten instantly, to make room for the next payment.

    I'm afraid, in light of this, the President can put forward all the plans he wants and fight tooth and nail for them.  It will not matter.  The only thing that will matter is such sizable majorities in Congress that the Republicans are virtually powerless to block anything.  It will be the only way to get anything done, going forward.  And, even then, they will continue to piss and moan about the tyranny of the majority and dictatorship and such.

    But, really, the only thing that can be done with the Republicans at this point is to send them into the wilderness for at least 40 years.  In truth, it was the only thing that stopped them much of last century.

  •  wow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, mightymouse
    Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact.

    if he follows this advice, he will lose. not only will he lose, he will deserve to lose.

    •  exactly. the economy will tank, and, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MindRayge, Palafox

      because he didn't scream bloody murder, he will own it. with his stupid-ass "jobs" program consisting of tax cuts, free trade deals, and (the cherry on top) patent reform.

      malfeasance.

      Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

      by mightymouse on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 07:25:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And, it will be ever so much better for him to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Palafox

        lose repeatedly in Congress with each and every bill he puts forward.  The Republicans won't be able to use that against him, not one little bit.

        Jesus H. Christ, do you political virgins ever, ever stop to consider the possible consequences of your "thinking"?  No eleven-dimension bullshit, just one play ahead will do.

    •  Wow, indeed. That's some brilliant shit, right (0+ / 0-)

      there.

      Not on point, trite, worthless shit, but I'm sure you are very impressed with yourself, and that it took you a real long time to think up.

      Now, go play with someone else' ankle, stalker boy.  You've bored me right out of the box, and I made allowances for the quality when I say the author.

      •  you're getting bitter, JC (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        i remember a couple months ago when you were saying basically the same stuff to me for expressing the same sentiments. it was far less acceptable to criticize Obama then, and so i take it by the increased venom in your comments that this site must be growing increasingly uncomfortable for you.

        lose repeatedly in Congress with each and every bill he puts forward.  The Republicans won't be able to use that against him, not one little bit.

        Jesus H. Christ, do you political virgins ever, ever stop to consider the possible consequences of your "thinking"?

        losing repeatedly in Congress with everything he puts forward, with the Republicans using everything against him... as if that isn't what's happening right now, when he's giving them pretty much everything they want? and you say the alternative to that is political suicide that is naive to wish for? do you really even want the left to eventually gain power again?

        do we ever stop to consider the consequences of a Democratic President voicing loud support and whipping his party in line to stand up for basic, long-held Democratic principles of upholding the social safety net, keeping your campaign promises and maybe doing away with fucked-up GWB policy?

        honestly dude, i think you're quite defeatist, and you've definitely got your "political suicides" switched around.

    •  He has already lost (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeremimi

      Run Hillary Run!

  •  Obama should open every speech with that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    statement.  "Government is not the problem, but it can and should be the solution."

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 06:59:50 PM PDT

  •  Have you learned nothing? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ORDem, Palafox

    The public won't know whose to blame no matter what happens.

    The Republicans just took the global economy hostage. Did the public notice? Why no, it did not. IT DID NOT.

    The only thing Obama can do is appear to be effective, even if all of his accomplishments amount to nothing. Actually being effective is impossible, as long as the Republicans are free to commit sabotage; educating the public is simply impossible. The only thing he can do is hang on until the public educates itself, which will we know by the public voting in Democrats instead of Republicans.

    Either the Dems will get out the vote, or the country will sink into plutocracy. Either way, the people will get the government they deserve.

  •  Business method patents KILL the economy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    montressor

    The proposed patent reforms are a dogs' breakfast of crap, including the silly first-to-file rule, which to be sure is a copy of a European law.  But there is one saving grace in the mess, the abolition of business method patents.

    The patent law that exists never intended for business method patents to exist.  They were created out of whole cloth by a court.  This has allowed patent trolls (companies that exist merely to pursue specious patent claims against companies that actually do business) to use business method patents to extort millions of dollars from real companies. It makes doing business in the US, true innovation, hard. The rest of the world doesn't have them.

    I recommend Groklaw as a good site for following the legal insanity happening in the name of "intellectual property".

  •  Obama's Team Helping Fraudclosure Banks (0+ / 0-)

    and how, you ask? (really a diary in itself, but it's in tomorrown's NYT, probably front page.)

    Attorney General of N.Y. Is Said to Face Pressure on Bank Foreclosure Deal

    Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, has come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration to drop his opposition to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices, according to people briefed on discussions about the deal.
  •  It's not just in a crisis that government should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    be spending.  Government needs to be seen once again as an integral part of our economy.  It's a three-legged stool, consumers, business, and the government. Kick out one of the legs, and the economy falls over.  

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

    "Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame."---NYT

    by claude on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 05:59:02 AM PDT

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