Barack Obama has headed home from his vacation. That means, according to his promise, Obama will have a jobs-bill proposal to publish and send to Congress. The nation can’t wait to see it.
Except that, er … we’ve been waiting a year. In August 2010, Obama told NBC’s Brian Williams that he’d have a plan just as soon as he got back to work:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Let’s talk about another topic that’s part of the firmament here and everywhere. And that’s the economy. The New York Times said this weekend, “President Obama has another new plan on the economy. Now would be a good time to find out about it.” Do you have anything new on the economy? And while you’ve been away, we had a horrible GDP number last month.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, look, we — we anticipated that the recovery was slowing. The economy is still growing, but it’s not growing as fast as it needs to. I’ve got things right now in — before Congress that we should move immediately. And I’ve said so before I went on vacation, and I’ll keep on saying when I — now that I’m back. We should be passing legislation that helps small businesses get credit, that eliminates capitalgains taxes so that they have more incentive to invest right now.
There are a whole host of measures we could take, no single element of which is a magic bullet but cumulatively can start continuing to build momentum for the recovery. But look, the — this was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and the worst recession since the Great Depression. And so, what we know is that we are going to have to slowly, steadily build confidence. Push more investment out there. Target areas like clean energy that we know are going to be be growth areas in the future.
Look at how we’re doing our infrastructure, so that we can maximize the amount of jobs that are created. So, there — there are a range of steps that I hope we can get bipartisan support for. But right now, we’re still — we’re in the season, political season, which means that for the next two months there’s going to be be constantly a contest in the minds of Members of Congress. And my Republican friends in Congress, between doing what the country needs and what they think may be advantageous in the — in terms of short term politics.
Wow — a summer with a “horrible” GDP number, reminders of the Great Depression, and more vacuous talk about “infrastructure.” This really is deja vu!
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