Bill Clinton’s campaign mantra was “It’s the economy stupid”.
Here’s one President Obama should take to heart: “It’s the jobs ……”
Just read a Time Magazine piece that says the president is in big trouble politically because both the elites and the common working folks are unhappy with him over the economy and most of all the lack of jobs, which of course is part of the economy. http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/08599202471800;_ylt=AnwKqwPLXBxetDykXKbTmyKs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTJpY2pjaW0xBGFzc2V0A3RpbWUvMjAxMDEwMTEvMDg1OTkyMDI0NzE4MDAEY3BvcwMzBHBvcwMxMQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNvYmFtYWlzaW50aGU
I’m thinking it might not be all that bad for Obama if the Republicans were to hand him a stunning defeat in the midterm elections.
Two things could happen: First, he would be forced to work with the other party (not that he has not already or at least made a gesture or two at that) and second, the Republicans, especially if they were to win a majority in both houses, might have to put up or shut up and do something besides vote no.
The puzzling thing to me about Obama is that he did not put an emphasis on putting the unemployed back to work. His much ballyhooed and maligned stimulus program has certainly helped some people, but overall seems to be rather feeble (but he gets criticized for spending tax money and running up the deficit). Had he managed to make headway in that regard I think a lot of other things could have followed. Even government-funded or backed employment on a large or massive scale could work to boost the economy in at least the short run, especially since we are such a consumer-driven economy.
Rather than running up the deficit and wasting political capital on a convoluted health care program, he would have done far better for the electorate and his own political health to have put the thrust of his efforts into a massive jobs program and a massive re-industrialization program, with an emphasis as far as practical on new green energy.
Over the long run it is the private sector that must dictate the economy, but it may well need a boost from government. What we really need is a massive restructuring of the U.S. economy towards production rather than consumption (and there is no reason we can’t have both a strong consumption component and a strong production component, I would think).
I’m like a stuck record on this one, but I still cannot see why health care could not have been disposed of by simply assuring that anyone not covered due to falling through the social safety net was covered. Our system in the U.S., like it or not (and apparently many do prefer it), is basically health insurance through your employment and Medicare and Medicaid other government social programs for the retired and disabled and in some cases unemployed. While Americans seem to like their Medicare, the majority do not seem to want the government to totally run their health care.
(In a perfect world the health care professionals, most notably doctors, would run it — but they don’t pay your bill and neither do you most of the time — the insurance providers do, so that gives them a big say in things).
As far as foreign policy goes, while I never heard anything from Republican candidates that gave me any comfort, I have not taken much comfort from Obama’s policy of profusely apologizing to the Islamic world and at the same time digging us deeper and deeper into the quagmire of the Middle East.
Would we have been better off with McCain? I doubt it.
Why does the presidency have to be on-the-job training?