WH fumbling jobs, ObamaCare messages

posted at 2:07 pm on January 24, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The Obama administration sent out its surrogates to the Sunday news shows to argue for the ObamaCare bill that turned Massachusetts red — and to argue that their action had saved a lot of jobs.  The problem with this new offensive was that none of them could agree on just how many jobs they’d “saved or created.”  In three separate appearances, Obama administration officials offered three different numbers, and Republicans caught them at it:

Axelrod, on CNN’s State of the Union: “But understand that, in this recession that began at the beginning of 2007, we’ve lost 7 million jobs. Now, the Recovery Act the president passed has created more than — or saved more than 2 million jobs. But against 7 million, you know, that — that is — it is cold comfort to those who still are looking.”

Jarrett, on NBC’s Meet the Press: “The Recovery Act saved thousands and thousands of jobs. There are schoolteachers and firemen and— and— teachers all across our country, policemen, who have jobs today because of that recovery act. We’re investing in infrastructure. We’re investing in public education so that our kids can compete going forth into the next— generation.”

Gibbs, on “Fox News Sunday”: “Well, chris, let’s take for instance the example you just used of the stimulus package. We had four quarters of economic regression in terms of growth, right? Just last quarter, we finally saw the first positive economic job growth in more than a year. Llargely as a result of the recovery plan that’s put money back into our economy, that saved or created 1.5 million jobs.”

Oddly enough, Jarret probably has the number correct, but not the job types.  The block grants in Porkulus allowed states to paper over budget gaps that should have prompted legislatures to curtail spending, which would have eliminated thousands and thousands of positions in various bureaucracies.  The police officers, firefighters, and teachers would have been the last jobs at risk, as reporting across the country on Porkulus fables showed.

Meanwhile, David Axelrod insisted that ObamaCare needs to pass in order to address the “national emergency”:

“The Republican strategy in the Senate is to turn 50 into 60, in other words no longer do you need a majority to carry the day in the Senate. You need 60 votes for everything because the Republicans are filibustering every single bill,” he said. “We need to call that out, and they need to explain to the American people whether throwing a wrench into everything at a time of national emergency is the appropriate policy. They want to win and election and take us back to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place.”

The answer to Massachusetts, he said, is not “to be timid.”

“If we don’t move forward and we don’t produce something, the American people are going to believe the caricature that was drawn by the Republicans and the health insurance industry. I think that’s a terrible mistake,” Axelrod said.

“Pass the bill and when people realize that they have new power relative to their insurance companies, when they realize if they’re a senior citizen they’ve got new coverage on prescription drugs, no more huge doughnut hole, when people realize there’s a cap on their out of pocket expenses, let the proponents of health insurance reform say ‘No, we want to take that away from you.’ That would be good politics.”

David Plouffe makes essentially the same argument in today’s Washington Post — that voters have been misled into believing that a massive government intrusion into the health-care sector will be a disaster.  Plouffe manages to call voters stupid and smart in the same column, which is rather amazing even for this administration’s political campaigning:

Pass a meaningful health insurance reform package without delay. Americans’ health and our nation’s long-term fiscal health depend on it. I know that the short-term politics are bad. It’s a good plan that’s become a demonized caricature. But politically speaking, if we do not pass it, the GOP will continue attacking the plan as if we did anyway, and voters will have no ability to measure its upside. If we do pass it, dozens of protections and benefits take effect this year. Parents won’t have to worry their children will be denied coverage just because they have a preexisting condition. Workers won’t have to worry that their coverage will be dropped because they get sick. Seniors will feel relief from prescription costs. Only if the plan becomes law will the American people see that all the scary things Sarah Palin and others have predicted — such as the so-called death panels — were baseless. We own the bill and the health-care votes. We need to get some of the upside. (P.S.: Health care is a jobs creator.)

And in the very next paragraph:

We need to show that we not just are focused on jobs but also create them. Even without a difficult fiscal situation, the government can have only so much direct impact on job creation, on top of the millions of jobs created by the president’s early efforts to restart the economy. There are some terrific ideas that we can implement, from tax credits for small businesses to more incentives for green jobs, but full recovery will happen only when the private sector begins hiring in earnest. That’s why Democrats must create a strong foundation for long-term growth by addressing health care, energy and education reform. We must also show real leadership by passing some politically difficult measures to help stabilize the economy in the short term. Voters are always smarter than they are given credit for. We need to make our case on the economy and jobs — and yes, we can remind voters where Republican policies led us — and if we do, without apology and with force, it will have impact.

Only when they agree with David Plouffe, apparently.  And this is just plain Orwellian:

During the campaign, who will be whispering in Republican ears? Watching GOP leaders talking about health care the past few days, it was easy to imagine lobbyists and big health insurance executives leaning over their shoulders, urging death to health insurance reform.

You mean like they did with Democrats to get a federal mandate to buy their insurance?  Or when the unions got an exemption from the taxes that will get imposed on everyone else’s Cadillac tax?  That particular accusation takes a truckload of chutzpah.

Besides, the White House once again misreads what people see as the national emergency.  It isn’t the health-care system that wins support even from the majority of the uninsured — it’s the collapse of the job market.  The health-care sector isn’t going to replace the 3.4 million jobs lost in the first year of the Obama administration.  Voters in Massachusetts didn’t get angry because Congress hadn’t yet passed ObamaCare; they specifically sent the message that they wanted it dumped and to have Congress focus on the true national emergency.  And Barack Obama signaled loud and clear today that he cares a lot more about pushing his radical agenda for government intervention than in listening to the voters.

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I’ve always said that Obama had about a year to get his agenda working and if he failed, even the MSM (who has been in his lap for this entire time) will turn on him when it’s no longer benefical to their bottom line.

Despite the media behemoth that has tried to prop up and keep this President safe from attack after attack. At some point even they will have to turn on him when viewship and customers drop to insane low levels.

My prediction:

Expect to see more of the liberal cattle jump ship as the Obama train continues to head for the cliff at the end of the line. I say by the time the November elections are over and upheaval of liberals in Congress have been removed, the media will have no choice but to finally toss their savior under the bus.

Scorched_Earth on January 25, 2010 at 12:54 PM

There were no official exit polls. The democrat machine didn’t think they would be necessary. Show me those polls, Gibbsie.

LEBA on January 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Brown pointed out that MA voters said, “Excuse me, we already have HCR. What’s in this for us?”

That’s a legitimate question.

AnninCA on January 24, 2010 at 2:48 PM

The proper place for HCR is in the states. That pesky constitution prevents the federal government from doing it. Medicare and Medicaid and much the government does is in direct opposition to the constitution. This from someone who is on Medicare. It is broke, and will not get better.

Dasher on January 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Which do you think it is?

hawksruleva on January 25, 2010 at 10:37 AM

This is going to so not be the answer you want.

But I think they aren’t one whit different from some of the conservative “thinkers.”

They all aren’t able to really see what their ideas lead to in term of real consequences.

It’s just that simple. Some can’t see the real consequences of war-mongering. You point out that some can’t see the consequences of government “care.’

But they both share the same problem. They can’t see where their ideas would lead and how it would affect real live people.

AnninCA on January 25, 2010 at 4:39 PM

The proper place for HCR is in the states

No, and that won’t sell now, either. The States have failed.

The insurance companies have run roughshod over state agencies, and it’s NOT OK.

If you think that MA meant that people are for that?

You have missed the message as much as the Dems have.

No. The GOP MUST be aggressive and offer a HCR of their own. And push it.

AnninCA on January 25, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Oh yeah… Jobs! We forgot to do something about jobs.

kens on January 25, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Nashville, TN has an official poverty rate of 20% and the unemployment figure is nearly 20% as well.

The mayor’s office issued a statement from Mayor Karl Dean, who was in Washington on Friday, saying, “Poverty has always been an issue in urban areas, and it’s something we have to stay focused on in terms of housing, transportation, health and other issues.

“But the best way to end the cycle of poverty is through education, which is one of the reasons I have made improving schools my top priority.”

“Improving Schools”

Start by eliminating PC protocol that saps all tax funds while providing NADA, squat sh!t. PC only bloats the bureaucracy.

During the 1960s-70s, the bureaucracy was seen by liberal hippies as the crux of evil to eschew as heinous. That they have become the bureaucracy that self replicates faster than “The Blob” is well noted today. “It’s indestructible. It’s indescribable. Nothing can stop it.” Obama’s teleprompter said so.

It doesn’t take a personal trip to Nashville to know that with 20% unemployed and 20% of the population living below the national poverty income level, THERE IS SUCH A THING AS WINNERS OR LOSERS, and nothing comes free in life. What idiot came up with the word “ENTITLEMENTS” that in order to provide do require the loss of taxpaying American citizens’ Constitutional Rights, namely EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW as every person’s unalienable right.

Faith without works is dead. Hope and Charity, yes.

Entitlement? Only if “entitlement” is limited to referencing US Citizens’ EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW of the US Constitution that provides execution for treason, and provides the military which legally performs tribunals for enemy combatants whose guilty convictions result in speedy execution the next day.

Entitlement? Certainly no perversion of the word via legislated revisionism of law as progressive socialism has accomplished since LBJ in order to corrupt society into the Post-American new slaves of bureaucrats.

When “empowered” became the favorite PC word some years ago, I wrote then that the only way one person gets empowered by PC is by taking away someone else’s empowerment. Marxists “spread the wealth” of misery that loves company. Savage called it trickle up poverty.

Over the past few generations, the “new, improved” “modern” “scientific”–(not empirical, but convoluted), educational PC curriculum produced today’s woes that include the ridicule of traditional morals. When was America booming last and before? Get back to the curriculum taught in schools then, school masters and pedagogues. Dump PC fraud.

maverick muse on January 25, 2010 at 5:28 PM

INSURANCE has become utter fraud. Last night’s television program regarding organ transplants made that perfectly clear to anyone with a brain to yet think.

It costs $700,000.00 for a bone marrow transplant. WHY does it cost that much? Because the insurance companies are there to cover the outrageous demand. If the insurance industry was not there to cover such obscene prices, the prices would NOT be as they are. They never used to be, before INSURANCE SCAMS (including our Big Brother Uncle Sam) TOOK OVER THE HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY.
The 2008 election mandate was to CUT TAXES!

Also, to think that everyone “deserves the entitlement” of a bone transplant to POSSIBLY extend life a few months at most is OUTRAGEOUS! Death is inevitable, even if PC would preach that it’s only for losers who don’t squeak loud enough for the grease that someone else has to shell out.

I believe in catastrophic health insurance; otherwise, pay as you go on your own. I also believe that requiring any federal involvement to provide services leads to failure: failure in quality of service delivery, economic failure to keep costs in check because of FRAUD that government has made into the MOST lucrative private enterprise for organized crime. I believe that private emergency care clinics should abound at a reasonably minimal cost to use for setting sprained joints and broken bones, and stitching flesh wounds. I believe that pharmacies should have MD-computers that run tests when you have a high fever to diagnose your bug or virus, coordinated by the pharmacists, and referring you to the MD/nurse-practitioner station when no computer test can determine the cause of failing health.

I am tired of waiting hours to see the MD, only for the specialist to not even study the affliction, only glancing for less than 10 seconds before scribbling a prescription; and when asked if the affliction might be another matter, tearing up that prescription and writing another–RUNNING NO TEST but charging the highest possible insurance rate for the visit and requiring a follow up visit because he wouldn’t run the test (to first reach a solid conclusion before prescribing drugs that are very expensive and may not be what was needed after all) that also will cost the arm and leg. For God’s Sake! It isn’t as if we haven’t enough doctors in America. Jeez, we’re importing them by the thousands on visas. Costs continue to rise because insurance will cover the demands, whether reasonable or not. But the insurance capable of providing everything for you is the same insurance that demands all of your income in return, and then some flesh, or whatever else you have to barter for needed medical services. Bureaucracy is The Blob.

maverick muse on January 25, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Oh yeah… Jobs! We forgot to do something about jobs.

kens on January 25, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Creating jobs is a lot harder than blowing through trillions of dollars! C’mon now! Who’s in charge of Congress and who’s the President???

Roy Rogers on January 25, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Team Obama looks like a SNL skit! There are 5th graders with longer attention spans…

TN Mom on January 25, 2010 at 8:13 PM