Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Go BIG!


President Obama promises to announce a proposal to get America back to work.  I basically have two questions: 'Why are we waiting until next week?' and 'Will this be big enough?' 
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad the President will put forth a proposal. We need to hear it. The only other proposals we're hearing from his opponents say that we should return to pre-Great Recession business practices and policies. Hears the thing that supporters of those practices and policies don't tell and what the truth the media doesn't confront them with: they do not work; they lead to economic disaster!
For that reason alone I agree with Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson - Obama should go big. No, really, I mean BIG! Ask for living wage job training; ask for tax cuts for small businesses that hire minorities and those who have been out of work for 6 months or more. Build a bridge, rebuild or repair 50 of them. Put to work displaced ditch diggers, architects and engineers. Repair crumbling schools. Propose it ALL. 

"Obama and his advisers know very well that this is the wrong time to cut government spending.

They  know that using federal money to seed big new initiatives — to upgrade the nation’s crumbling 

infrastructure, jump-start the “clean” energy industry, retrain the unemployed so they can compete

in tomorrow’s job market — would give the economy a much-needed boost. They know, too, that

federal action to buoy the housing market would help revive consumer spending, thus giving

corporations a reason to invest the estimated $1 trillion they’re sitting on."
"Such ambitious proposals would demonstrate that the president is willing to think big — that he is 

not willing to accept the Republican narrative of massive retrenchment and, by implication,

inevitable decline."
"So Obama should go big, not small, with his jobs plan. It is hard to overstate how apprehensive

most Americans are about the future. Boldness from the president may or may not get the nation’s

mojo working again. Timidity surely won’t."

It won't pass you say? Neither will anything else. If Obama proposed hiring 50 new porters on Amtrak the

GOP would call it a socialist program designed to weaken America's wealthy. Anything he proposes will be 

attacked by the GOP and stalled in Congress, so go BIG. Really, really big.
Build a dam or two, or extend and repair highways. Ask for patent reform and ask for trade reform or 


whatever else you were going to ask for Mr. President. But ask for $750 million in job training. Ask for 


another $600 million in summer youth employment. 
What if he doesn't get it?
"Republican leaders in the House of Representatives would immediately declare any such ambitious 

program dead on arrival. The president should welcome their opposition — and campaign vigorously 

against it. He can offer voters a choice between a pinched, miserly vision of the country’s prospects

on the one hand and an optimistic, expansive view on the other. He needs to demand what’s right,

not what the other side is willing to give."
It's the point. Make 2012 about the unreasonableness of the opposition. Make it about the willingness to

sink  the world's economy for a set of naive Mickey Mouse principles when corrupted brought this economy

to its knees in 2008. 
The conventional wisdom is that Obama looks vulnerable and could conceivably lose the 2012 election. I'm 


not one of them. Here's a short list of people who looked like they couldn't win a second term: FDR, Harry 


Truman, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson. Seriously. 



When Truman looked sure to lose in 1948, his whistle stop campaign went across the country calling for re-


election and demanding a new congress to work with him. 
After next week, the campaign begins. Unemployment is big for the country. It is 16% for blacks, 15% for 


Hispanics and in some core urban communities, 20-30-40%. We need long and short term solutions. It's not 


just the right tactic, it's the right thing to do for this country. 
Again, Robinson has it right...
"We know Obama can be rational, realistic and eminently reasonable. Right now, he needs to be 

anything but."

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