What a Real Jobs Program Would Have Looked Like:
Unemployment is the millstone around President Obama’s neck in the 2012 election campaign. Attentive voters understand he is offering excuses — a worse-than-expected economy, financial crises requiring longer recoveries, bad luck of tsunamis, droughts, and the Euro — not solutions. Obama cannot deliver solutions because a real jobs program contradicts his core principles, alienates his base, and infuriates his crony contributors. He can only promise more of the failed policies –stimulus and tinkering — of his first three and a half years.
Obama’s last foray into job creation was his American Jobs Act (AJA) submitted to Congress on September 12, 2011. Labeled “Stimulus 2” by its critics, Obama’s shopworn list of remedies, promised to “put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans….without adding a dime to the deficit.” The AJA’s temporary tax credits to businesses that hire, extension of the payroll tax holiday, and more money for teachers and infrastructure stalled in both Houses and had to be taken up piecemeal. The payroll tax holiday extension passed Congress. Small businesses decided his tax credits for hiring were not worth the trouble.