Obama’s State of the Union was short on job proposals
January 25, 2012
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Mark Thoma has a nice and short post today on the presidents State of the Union speech. He thinks the speech was “nice”, but since ‘putting people back to work should be treated as a national emergency”, he consider the speech as too vague on what to do now:
The plan the president outlined is fine as far as it goes, but I wanted a jobs plan that was big and bold. I wanted a plan that puts immediate job creation at the forefront. However, this plan is largely tax cuts, it’s piecemeal, and it’s mostly directed at our long-run problems. Bringing business home doesn’t happen overnight, R&D takes time, so does infrastructure, and so on. Millions of people need jobs now, not later. They don’t have time to wait, for example, for manufacturing to move from China back to the US, and there’s no certainty that will happen in any case. What was missing from the speech is a strong, coherent plan to create jobs immediately. Don’t get me wrong, we need to address our long-run problems. But we also need to get people back to work as soon as possible.
I agree with Thoma. As I noted yesterday, Obama is a great orator, but he constantly disappoints on execution. True, he is facing formidable and very strong opponents, both on Capital Hill and outside. But so far he has not had the will or courage to take on special interest groups. And, his views on energy and gas production will be controversial in the run up for the presidential election, ref. all the discussion about fracking.