Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Leading From the Front

Doing nothing is not an option.

That seems to be the message from President Obama as he unveiled a mortgage modification program that might actually attract enough homeowners to make a difference in the economy. The plan would allow homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages to refinance at lower rates and avoid high closing costs.
Here's another angle from the AP through Yahoo1 News.

This announcement also allows Obama to move away from what is becoming a tired defense of his proposed jobs package and jump into what is probably the main cause of the stagnant economy; the housing market that is stifling consumer spending. It's the beginning of a period where Obama will be introducing a new program every week to show that even without Congressional approval, the president can move the country forward.

Politically, this is a response to Mitt Romney's comment in the Republican's Las Vegas debate that, “the right course is to let markets work.” The markets have spoken and housing prices have plunged. Without some kind of intervention, it will take years for house prices to recover. This program is by no means a panacea, but it is a step in the right direction.

And speaking of steps, an analysis of the Republican debate by Dr. David Pennock of the University of Michigan, shows that the right wingers might have stepped in the doo-doo by bickering their way through the evening. Pennock's discussion shows that as the debate wore on, the perception that the Republicans would defeat Obama in 2012, as measured by Intrade, dropped the more they went after each other as opposed to discussing actual policy.

Then there's Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that saving teacher, police and firefighter jobs is not the federal government's responsibility. He says it's a state issue, and of course we all know how wealthy the states are these days. So it seems that McConnell would save some jobs, but if you're in education and law enforcement, the Republicans figure you're just not that important. Look for Congress to continue doing nothing on the jobs front.

It is worth noting that the programs Obama is proposing are more popular with the public according to both this NBC/Wall Street Journal poll and this Gallup poll, than what the Republicans are peddling.

That's what he will run on, and that's why he will win.


  1. If 75% of the American public supports paying for the jobs program by taxing millionaires, wouldn't it be smarter politics for the GOP to make an exception to their "no taxes" mantra at least once? Or are they so beholden to their own far-right wing that they can't let common sense prevail in their decision-making just once?

  2. They seem to be so boxed in to their ideology that there's just no compromise.

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