Jobs Speeches vs. Jobs Plans
by Jason Williams, Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 03:43:50 PM EDT
I'm on board with those upset over the infuriating optics of the President asking for a speech, Republicans shouting we don't wanna, and the President backing down. Again. First reaction, for some reason it riled me more than Democrats rolling over in the debt-ceiling debate. Second, the win here was nil, save a few -- admittedly too rare -- headlines like "The President Actually Tells Republicans No."
Republicans don't want to detract from their debate. Fine. The President shouldn't want to detract from that debate either. It's Rick Perry's big moment, and smart money says that's comedy gold. No one outside the beltway is going to care about the reschedule, or who looks like the adult in the room by next week.
In fact the speech itself will be a minor blip on the radar compared to any jobs plan itself, if -- a big if -- the President gets real. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, via LA Times:
Who knows what's politically achievable until we try?" Trumka said. "The president should articulate a solution of the size and scale necessary to solve the problem. We have a jobs crisis. … If you do only what you think the other side and the 'tea party' will agree to, then they control the agenda."
For those worried about the deficit, Trumka insists that job creation and deficit reduction go hand in hand.
"They complement one another," he said. "You want to get rid of the deficit? Put 25 million people back to work and you won't have a deficit problem."
Trumka gives the Times a detailed plan worth reading, but the point here is behind the details: Set the bar on a jobs plan as high as you can, and use that as a starting point.
Just like was said in the stimulus debates. And the health care debates. And the Bush Tax Cuts debates. And the debt ceiling "debates." And...
Republicans will oppose and roll out the hyperbole cannons, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann will say dumb things. But economically this is a chance to set an agenda and begin addressing an actual problem. Politically this is the Democrats' last chance before the 14 month circus is in full swing to reset the narrative ceded the GOP.
Voters have already reset, Republicans have shown their hand with Bush's Cantor's jobs plan deregulatory orgy which managed to be even more sucktastic than his last "jobs" plan. It's not going to take a committee to find a more popular and effective first step:
Over much of the 20th century, America's strong infrastructure investment was a major factor attracting global corporations headquartered in other countries to invest and create jobs here. Rising U.S. standards of living were fueled by a strong infrastructure system that facilitated the growth of companies in America, both global and domestic alike: transportation systems to move people and products, electrical systems to power plants and offices, communications backbones to drive computers and creativity. By 2008, the U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies employed over 5.6 million Americans -- nearly 2 million in manufacturing -- and exported $232.4 billion in goods. That's 18.1% of America's total.
(h/t Think Progress)