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America wants President Obama to put jobs
at the top of Washington's priority list
(Jim Young/Reuters)
ORC for CNN. 8/24-25. Adult Americans. MoE 3% (No trendlines)
Which do you think should be more important for the Obama administration: reducing the deficit, even if unemployment might remain high or creating more jobs, even if it might mean less deficit reduction?

Reduce deficit: 30
Create jobs: 68

Reduce deficit: 44
Create jobs: 54

Reduce deficit: 32
Create jobs: 66

Reduce deficit: 16
Create jobs: 83

You see those numbers? It's not just a majority of Americans. It's a majority of Republicans! Everybody wants Obama to put job creation first.

Even the tea party is split right down the middle:

Reduce deficit: 50
Create jobs: 48

President Obama and his team need to read this poll and come to grips with its numbers. The last several months have been a disastrous distraction, a horrible mistake on both a political and human level. Republicans have taken control of the agenda and the results couldn't be worse.

It's time for President Obama to point that out. I'm not saying he should wave a magic wand and convince Republicans that Keynesian economics works. He can't do that and it would be foolish to believe that he could; Republicans will never, ever agree to do anything constructive unless they have no other choice.

But it would be equally foolish to believe that President Obama can keep on playing the same game he's been playing without destroying his presidency. He's been trying to seek common ground all year long, and now not only are his job approval ratings at a record low, but we just ended a string of ten straight months with job growth.

It's time for President Obama to change direction and put all of his energy into making the case for policies that will actually increase demand, grow the economy, and create jobs. If by some miracle, he manages to get Republicans to agree, that's great. If not, at least we'll know what the 2012 election is about. But the one thing we cannot afford is to keep on doing  the same stuff that we've been doing. It's just not working.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  TBaggers are a fringe that makes lot of noise (6+ / 0-)

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:05:44 PM PDT

  •  "It's just not working." (10+ / 0-)


    Depends on what constituency he really cares about.  Wall St. seems to be doing just fine these last 3 years.  How many Board of Directors' seats do YOU have to offer the man and his administration?

    The bear and the rabbit will never agree on how dangerous a dog is.

    by fromer on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:08:52 PM PDT

  •  No, it's time for these Republicans voters (0+ / 0-)

    to point that out to the representatives they voted in office in 2010 and caused us to have Boner as Speaker of the House. Where are the MASSIVE protests and letter campaigns to the House Reps, especially those who did not hold town hall meetings?

    Where were these Teathugs when McConnell said his whole plan for Senate Minority is to say NO?? Weren't they paying attention?

    And NOW they want jobs? Where were these people when Boner and company were passing bills that had nothing to do with job creation but everything to do with bringing this country back to 1850?
    But I guess a poll is easier to answer than to vote responsibly at the ballot box.

    Superman's black in the building - Public Enemy

    by blackinthebuilding on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:11:30 PM PDT

  •  I agree with the advice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but let's keep in mind, Obama focusing on job creation for the GOP probably means repealing healthcare reform, finance reform, etc.

    But I agree, we hear that term "pivot" a lot, well, this time, I think he really needs  to pivot to job creation, and stay there into the election season.

    The debt debate was bad, and we may have round two with this supercommittee. But I think he needs to steer clear from that in general, except for talking about repealing Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, closing loopholes, ending taxbreaks, etc.

    In that sense, the trigger is a good thing. Instead of another drawn out, weeks long process of GOP not allowing a debt ceiling raise, they can just go with the trigger and that's it.

  •  But the villagers won't love him if he does that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, RFK Lives, ssgbryan

    Think of the Catfood commission!  Think of the poor gang of 12!

    Rick Perry is a monstrous lie.

    by Paleo on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:14:01 PM PDT

  •  Then why did they give control of the House of (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, Minerva, LaurenMonica, JC from IA

    Representatives to the Tea Party?  How exactly do they expect the POTUS to overcome a GOP majority in the House to create jobs?

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:16:13 PM PDT

  •  Job creation is key to reducing (12+ / 0-)

    the deficit anyway. Austerity does nothing but create a neverending downward spiral.

    If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

    by beltane on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:19:08 PM PDT

  •  Good news right? The President seems to pay more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    socal altvibe

    attention and expend more effort courting the republicans so maybe...

    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Harry Truman

    by temptxan on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:20:38 PM PDT

  •  Hmmm. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jed Lewison, jj32, mdmslle

    I think this poll wording is potentially biased.

    What would have the result been if, instead of

    Which do you think should be more important for the Obama administration: reducing the deficit, even if unemployment might remain high or creating more jobs, even if it might mean less deficit reduction?

    it read

    Which do you think should be more important for the Obama administration: reducing the deficit, even if unemployment might remain high or creating more jobs, even if it might mean higher deficits?

    Granted it's hard to make an unbiased question here.  In that case you really have to ask the question both ways and see if it makes a difference.

    •  maybe -- though it is accurate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      different wording might have yielded different results, but given that we've already achieved a significant amount of deficit reduction, per the CBO, about $3.5 trillion any additional spending that is less than $3.5 trillion would be "less deficit reduction" so i think it's definitely fair.

  •  the Dems don't believe Keynesian works either (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minerva, Lucy2009, beltane

    They long ago ceased being any sort of liberal or progressive party.

    The whole "reduce spending" thingie is bipartisan policy. "We're all anti-Keynesians now".

  •  we better specify (0+ / 0-)

    what we (the people), mean in terms of jobs or jobs programs, if the early indicators point to some ineffective solutions being proposed next Thursday!

    "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

    by valadon on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:33:46 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minerva, valadon

      Obama's approach to jobs is right in line with what the polluters who put out this advertisement were asking for:

      "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

      by Sagebrush Bob on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:36:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know , Bob (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sagebrush Bob

        there is nothing in his prior history that would lead one to conclude that his decisions will be radically different ...this time.

        "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

        by valadon on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:47:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep. Obama's bullshit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          about regulations costing jobs could have come straight from one of this asshole's speeches:

          "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

          by Sagebrush Bob on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:53:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So that means that he's going to (0+ / 0-)

    focus on reducing the deficit some more, right?  Since it sort of doesn't matter what any public majority wants anymore, right?  Because all we are concerned with is what the extremists and nut cases in both parties" Leadership want, right?

    Excellent!  More deficit reduction and bizarre rationalizations for same to come!!!  Can't wait!  Yay!

  •  Yup (0+ / 0-)

    Americans want job creation so bad they gave majorities to the republicans in congress.  Who knows, maybe Obama's just paying the public back for the favor.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:38:14 PM PDT

  •  Republicans agree? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Finally something that will get Obama's attention.

    Except its way too late.

    It will all be great staging for the Perry Growth Package in 2013 (double defense spending, oil subsidies, and ag subsidies, for starters...).

    2010: An Unforced Error Odyssey

    by Minerva on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:38:59 PM PDT

  •  Pretty clear message to our President, isn't it! (0+ / 0-)

    We can only hope he reads the polls as carefully as the position papers he gets from his staff.

    This poll shows that the Tea Party is a marginal part of the Republican Party. IF that's right (!), rather than be distraught that the TP's have so much influence in the GOP primaries and the MSM right now, we should hope they keep reiterating their anti-people views. And we should hope they continue to be carried by the media far and wide.

    These zanies - and the pols they influence - are their own worst enemies. They're proving our point with their own rhetoric.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:39:22 PM PDT

  •  no one cares about the debt (0+ / 0-)

    no fucking one.

    On DailyKos nothing is significant unless Obama doesn't do it.

    by glutz78 on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:40:16 PM PDT

  •  I was one of those polled for this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle, beltane

    It was a strange questionnaire - running through opinions on the Tea Party, Libya, Evangelicals etc... Took around 15 minutes to finish the whole thing.

    "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

    by Shane Hensinger on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:41:31 PM PDT

  •  Sadly, the Republicans in the Legislative branch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    don't seem to be getting the memo.    

    * heavy sigh  *

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:42:50 PM PDT

  •  he should do both at once (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    and while he's at it kill bin laden again because that was AWESOME!

    On DailyKos nothing is significant unless Obama doesn't do it.

    by glutz78 on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:44:30 PM PDT

  •  oh FFS. how long have we been saying this? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, CanyonWren, socal altvibe, ssgbryan


    It's fucking been time for since...2009.


    I have NO idea what Obama's team is looking at or what planet they're living on. I'm so frustrated because it seems like an impermeable divide going on and like I'm watching a train barrel toward a bridge that's out and I'm trying with all my might to wave it down, to get the conductor's attention, to warn him that the bridge is out and disaster is nigh and there's no one noticing.

    I really hope this speech next week will see a different, more robust, more determined, more urgent President. I'm tired. I;m losing hope in him and his ability to, not turn the country around, but just to make it through the next election.

    This is not a joke. Millions of lives stand to be lost if he and his team don't wake up and start fighting to stay in the WH and hold/regain congress. This is serious shit.

    It's the difference between losing a fight and refusing one. (h/t Kossack james richardson)

    by mdmslle on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:44:33 PM PDT

  •  He is not going to do it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucy2009, ssgbryan

    It must get worse, close to disaster before he changes.  Until he change, we get the same old stuff served up.  Bill Daley needs to be fired.

  •  Addendum. (0+ / 0-)

    Majority of Republicans will not vote against their own party for its failure to embrace their wishes to put jobs before reducing the deficit.

    Majority of Democrats with internet access will bitch about Obama selling them out when he puts deficit reduction before jobs in a vain attempt to pass anything through the far right, insane Congress that the aforementioned Republican voters put into power.

    Democracy is often an indictment of the voting populace.

    by electricgrendel on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:46:56 PM PDT

  •  Your interpretation is flawed (3+ / 0-)

    Republicans saying they want the president to focus on jobs is in no way the same as saying they would support any solution he might come up with.

    CNN did not ask the most important follow up, namely: Would you support raising taxes on the wealthy in order to free up more money for government related jobs creating initiatives.

    If they had asked that question, republican support might be around 15 percent and "independent" support would drop into the 30s

    This poll means nothing.

  •  The only poll (0+ / 0-)

    that matters is of Big Wall Street campaign financer's.

  •  What do Teabaggers want? (0+ / 0-)

    That's the only thing that counts.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:51:58 PM PDT

    •  Hard to say. They aren't a political party. (0+ / 0-)

      No real platform, just a loosely affiliated collection of semi-organized local groups.  And, since one or another of them takes about any position on an issue they want, the national pols can easily claim just about anything as the Tea Party stance.

      New and Improved John Birch Society.

  •  I'm hopeful that Obama's Sept 8 speech ... (0+ / 0-)

    will give me some HOPE but based on past performance I'm not very HOPEFUL.  I'm beginning to think we need a CHANGE.  Do any of those words remind you of what this man said in 2008?  Compare that to his actions.

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

    by spritegeezer on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:52:57 PM PDT

  •  Mr Obama please get a spine (0+ / 0-)

    and stand up to the tea baggers and the Koch's of the extreme right.

      You even have the REPUBLICANS on your side.

    Its not that complicated.

    "Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, a fanatical criminal" -- Logical Song -- Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson

    by Over50Lib on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:53:22 PM PDT

  •  It's telling that we now look to Republicans and (0+ / 0-)

    what they want the President to do.

    Sarah Palin: All pistol and no squint.

    by CanyonWren on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:55:52 PM PDT

  •  It's not going to happen. We can wish and hope (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333, ssgbryan

    and push and prod but this guy is not going to change his stripes now.

    We're going to hear an oxymoronic speech about attacking the deficit while offering substantial tax "relief". And that will be the jobs plan.

    "I will be happy to see the Republicans test whether or not I'm itching for a fight on a whole range of issues," President Obama - Liar

    by jec on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:04:26 PM PDT

  •  There you go, that's more liket it! Blame Obama! (0+ / 0-)

    NOW you're getting into this site's mission!  Get a good Obama Bash going, and watch the hits roll in!

    •  as I've often said, Obama is not the problem and (3+ / 0-)

      never has been.

      The problem is that we have two conservative political parties, and neither of them want a liberal/progressive agenda--no matter who is President.

      We can fire Obama, dig up the reanimated zombie bones of FDR or Ted Kennedy and put them in the White House, and it won't matter a shred.  The Dem party simply is not a progressive or liberal party, and it has zero interest in passing any progressive or liberal agenda. It has been "Republican-Lite" since before the Clinton days. It wasn't on our side then, it's not on our side now, and it won't be on our side for the foreseeable future.

      Until that changes, nothing else matters.

  •  Fewer regs = more jobs... (0+ / 0-)

    ... in many people's minds. Incorrect, but many people believe this is true.

    Could this be why he's showboating the EPA regs situation?


    All Kossacks are my allies, but if you can't express your thoughts in a civil and kind manner, I won't be engaging in a conversation with you.

    by Boston to Salem on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:05:57 PM PDT

  •  Problem in a nutshell: "It's time for President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama to change direction"

    Thing is, it's been time to focus on jobs since day 1, and never to lose that focus.

    Maybe Pres. Obama needs to study up on that FDR guy and find out what a focus on jobs really means.

    And it's not like FDR did nothing else, but you would never see people doubting that FDR cared about them, something poll numbers show is not the case with the current administration.

    Come on, Mr. President -- you're supposed to be our President, too, not just the Wall Streeters and K Streeters and assorted inner sanctum types.

    They are the movers and shakers. They have money and they have power, but, on election day, it's the people with the votes who matter.

    You were paying attention last November, weren't you?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:35:44 PM PDT

  •  Here's the problem the President has... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    Yes, when you ask voters what they care about, they are going to pick the economy/jobs over the deficit.

    When you ask them to choose between cutting spending and spending to create jobs, they choose spending to create jobs.

    Give them a direct choice between cutting the deficit or creating more jobs, they will choose more jobs.

    However, where the President runs into problems was spelled out in a recent AP poll.  They gave the respondents a list of policies and they were asked to pick the policies that they thought would most contribute to economic growth.  They were not limited in number to the policies they could choose.

    The No. 1 and No. 2 policies respondents picked to grow the economy were 1. cut spending and 2. increase taxes on the rich.

    Very few disagree with the need to tax the rich at a higher rate they've been paying for the past 10 years, but just taxing the rich does not in itself grow the economy.

    And we all know cutting spending does the exact opposite in that it restricts growth and causes the economy to contract in bad times.

    But the voters actually think cutting spending encourages economic growth.

    The president can come out with all these policies that promote economic growth, all of which require spending more money, and there is a large segment of the population, larger than just right wing Republicans who could interpret his message as being the opposite of what we need (since they believe spending cuts actually help create jobs).

    So, there is balancing act Obama must do when he makes his message so he can be seen as somebody advocating for jobs.  But he does still have to protect himself from that liberal spender label.

  •  You are asking Obama to be a Democrat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexander G Rubio

    not going to happen.

    The speech is mainly going to be Republican talking points, i.e. programs that cannot work in theory and where they've been tried have already failed.

    "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced." 4-2-10 Obama's George Bush moment

    by neaguy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 05:38:26 PM PDT

  •  The President Can't (0+ / 0-)

    The President can't take control of the agenda - because that would be divisive.  He has to be President of all America, even the parts that hate his guts and want him to fail. It's vital, absolutely vital that he cater to their desires, because if he didn't try to make them happy, he'd be showing that he really didn't care about them, and that would be partisanship.

    As opposed to Leadership.

    It's kind of like the argument that the government has to live within its means, like any family. It's like those times when the family has to cater to the screaming brat who won't shut up and won't settle down. The rest of the family just has to put up with it because the kid's family after all, and the rest of them don't want to make the problem worse, right?

    Except this screaming kid is ready to pick their pockets, bash them over the head, and put them out on the street. Right. Just like any other family.

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

    by xaxnar on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 05:55:42 PM PDT

  •  Obama doesn't care about jobs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexander G Rubio

    He is playing the Con game of "cutting the deficit" because that is where the votes are.

    Face it folks, Obama has no clue about creating jobs.  Never has, never will.  He doesn't know economics from a hole in the ground.

  •  Has anyone polled the Fat Cats??? (0+ / 0-)

    DLC/Third Way Democrats pay more attention to the Fat Cats than they do to voters.

  •  If Obama wants re-election. . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . .he had better do something about jobs-real fast.  He may not control the agenda, but he will be held responsible, nevertheless.  And, at this point, he has done nothing about jobs, preferring instead to negotiate on Republican turf concerning the deficit.


    I don't think Obama has the time to shift gears.  If he does not do something tangible about jobs, he will lose.

    I am a liberal. So, I should not expect any consideration from the guy I helped elect.

    by waztec on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 06:24:04 PM PDT

  •  Whaddayamean, "not working"?? (0+ / 0-)

    0bama is achieving his desired objectives: he has paid off his corporate bosses big-time, he has deliberately taken steps to ensure a very long global depression, he has undermined Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, he has destroyed the credibility of the Democratic party, and he's making great strides toward forcing permanent, irreversible, catastrophic climate change for the entire planet! He's on a roll! He's accomplishing everything he has set out to do! Four more years! Woo-hoo!

  •  What has happened to the Democratic Party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexander G Rubio

    I stand in awe of Obama and his team.  I no longer recognize the Democratic Party that I've supported since my first vote cast in 1966.  I was proud to be labelled a liberal and a Democrat.  Even as I watched the crushing defeat of McGovern in 72 I still held my head high.  Even when the honorable but lost Carter lead us to defeat in 80 I was still proud of my party.  But Obama has managed to blur the lines, dilute the message and play the Party as the fools.  We have become Linus in his attempts to kick the football held by Lucy.  Over and Over and Over again.

    I have come to the conclusion that I cannot in good faith vote for Obama in 2012.  Now I know many of you are getting your jockey shorts and panties twisted in knots and will want to respond that not voting for Obama is tantamount to electing a Repug, swinging the Court to the extreme right and denying individual rights to many minorites--just to name a few of the dire consequences of a non-vote.  I'm not concerned about the near term.  If we don't start to focus on rebuilding the Democratic Party from the ground up we will continue to be a rudderless organization.  Conservative Republicans learned that lesson quite awhile ago and they learned it extremely well.  We need to do the same thing and we need to start now.  Obama has fooled us once and I for one refuse to be fooled again.  

    Obama was an amazing phenomenom who rose to great heights via a keynote address to the Party in 04.  Beyond that he ultimately was nothing unusual.  He had zero managerial experience to lead a country.  I for one couldn't get beyond the hype and look at the experience, the gravitas of the man, if you will.  As I look back I now see that even Palin had more leadership experience as the mayor of a pissant town and the short term governor of a pissant state government.  Why should any of us be schocked at how little leadership this man and his team have displayed?  Who is really amazed that the Republicans play him like a classical violin?

    To give Obama my vote one more time would be to deny my Democratic Party.  I refuse to do that.

  •  Republicans won't let Obama Focus on Jobs (0+ / 0-)

    Republican don't want Obama to focus on jobs as that might disrupt a political opportunity for them.

    To prevent this, Republicans will threaten to say bad things about Obama on Fox News if he focuses on what Americans really want him to focus on, i.e., jobs. To avoid this unpleasantness, Obama will instead focus on deficits. And after he has taken a hit in the polls for again following the Republican direction, Republicans will say bad things about him on Fox News anyway.

    Obama will then respond that the next time, or the time after that, will be different.

    Democrats will shout that Obama doesn't look weak, he's just the only adult in the room.

    And Perry and Bachmann will rise in the polls and Obama will continue to fall.  

  •  Reincarnated Souls (0+ / 0-)

    If the re-animated corpse of Ronald Reagan visited Obama in the Oval office and gave Obama this message, still wouldn't make a difference.

    Obama and his political 'brain trust' have a predetermined, predigested game plan and they're sticking with it,  come hell or low poll numbers.

    To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it

    by meade on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:44:07 PM PDT

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