Selling and Debunking Economic Recovery
President Obama took the occasion of the first anniversary of passage of his economic recovery stimulus package to proclaim its success. But with unemployment still hovering around 10 percent, it has been a very hard sell.
The Democrats in reply have labeled the Republicans the Party of No, pointing to only a handful of
Nevertheless, despite impressive economic reports of progress other than in the weak jobless rate, the Republican message seems to be winning the public debate. The president's own favorability has fallen sharply since those euphoric days of his inauguration only 13 months ago.
The loss of the late Democratic Sen.
All this is taking place in the absence of any new and credible Republican leadership, or any substantial
Even without a consensus leader, however, the Republicans have been able to keep Obama on the defensive by rejecting his overtures for bipartisanship, mocking his 2008 campaign pledge to "change
For all of Obama's vaunted communications skills, polls indicate he has failed to convince the public his recovery efforts are taking hold. One obvious problem is lack of public appreciation and acceptance, despite all said and written, of how close the country came to economic disaster in the 2008 collapse on
Because of that close call, much repair work was required just to reach the point where positive signs of recovery could begin to emerge, even as unemployment rose and hit
Obama has noted that the nation's economic health, after falling 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2009, is now growing by 6 percent. And he has reminded working-class Americans that 95 percent of them got a
In his anniversary statement, the president described the package as one-third tax-cutting, one-third relief to the jobless, teachers, police, firemen and others serving public needs, and one-third for infrastructure and other economy-rebuilding projects -- all Main-Street-friendly efforts.
At the same time, Obama gave a nod to the private sector, observing that "businesses are the engines of job creation in this country." But when they "pull back and people stop spending," he said, "what government can do is provide a temporary boost that puts money in people's pockets and keeps workers on the job."
This last is a counter to the wails of creeping "socialism" increasingly leveled at him and the Democrats by the tea-party protesters who are putting backbone into the Republican opposition. What both Obama and Biden are pleading for now is time for the
But an impatient American public needs to hear about -- and see -- more tangible evidence of progress, especially in jobs created on
Available at Amazon.com:
- Selling and Debunking Economic Recovery
- How to Solve the National Debt Crisis
- What Could Derail Economic Recovery
- Job Search Grows Cold, Creating Reluctant Retirees
- The Great Retail Revolution
- Surviving the American Economic Makeover
- What the Economic Bust Left Behind
- Tough Economic Times Molding Tough Consumers
- Careful Planning and Discipline Can Pull Consumers Out of Debt
- Green Jobs Can Spur Economic Recovery
- Green Jobs and Market Meddling Will Not Work
- Obama's Mixed Economic Signals Won't Create Jobs
Selling and Debunking Economic Recovery | Jules Witcover
(c) 2010 Jules Witcover