President Obama used a speech to Wisconsin union workers on Labor Day to unveil his new push for economic growth that will kick off with $50 billion in stimulus spending targeted at infrastructure improvement in the hopes of improving the nation’s unemployment picture. He called on Congress to pass his measure as quickly as possible, promising that it’s just the down payment on a broader effort at revamping America’s transportation.
It’s no big secret why the President is trumpeting this new plan now – after promising a hard pivot toward facing the economy after health care passed back in April, the administration has done nothing to foster growth-friendly economic conditions in the five months since, focusing on pretty much everything but the economy. His perceived inaction is a huge reason why Democrats are in such dire electoral straits, and why many Democrats are angry that the President has hung his party out to dry by essentially being out to lunch on economic matters ever since his stimulus package passed in February of last year.
It’s a cynical political move that’s only worth vanity points and offers little in the way of real substance. Obama and the Democrats figure they can position Republican opposition to more stimulus spending as acting against the economic interest of the American people; i.e., that they’ll be blocking jobs or other such nonsense. Thing is, it’s probably a little too late in the game to make that play now, especially as it seems independents have largely made up their minds as to Democratic incompetence.
Never mind, of course, that we’ve been down the road of stimulus before with little to show. I know, I know, the Dow Jones didn’t explode in a mushroom cloud so that’s proof that the stimulus saved us from a far worse fate, right? It’s a weak metric that ignores the fact that unemployment increased after the passage of stimulus and the economy has not readily improved, certainly not enough to say that all the spending was the much-needed “shot in the arm” that Congress simply had to rush through with little time to read.
A faulty bit of logic in all of this hinges on the illusion of Republican obstructionism, which the article references as “slowing down” Obama’s Presidency and upon which liberals have tried to blame of all of the administration’s legislative woes. Get real, guys – Democrats have held the advantage in the House and Senate for basically all of Obama’s tenure. The 60-vote threshold in the Senate was broken when Massachusetts elected Scott Brown, but Democrats still have a 19-seat edge there.
Blaming your problems on a minority party that realistically can’t do much is the complete opposite of leadership, but it’s the strategy that Democrats have embraced as a winning message. If that were true, then apparently Democrats can’t govern with a majority in both houses and the Presidency. In either case, they deserve a well-earned trouncing if for nothing else than their willful neglect of the clamoring of the American voting public.