Mr. Obama... needs to inspire Americans who have been ground down by the economic crisis and Washington's small-bore sniping. He needs to rally the nation around a big idea -- a project that is worth sacrificing for, worth paying for, worth working for. One that lets them know that there is more ahead than just a return to a status quo of lopsided growth in which corporate profits surge while jobs and incomes lag.
That mission could be the "21st century infrastructure," that Mr. Obama mentioned on a multi-city trip this month, "not just roads and bridges, but faster Internet access and high-speed rail." It could be energy independence, with high-tech green jobs and a real chance for addressing global warming... [It] would make sense, economically and politically...
Obama['s]... economic team had clearly hoped for an economic rebound in time for the midterm elections. They are not going to get it. The economic damage they inherited was too deep, and the economic stimulus they pushed through Congress, for all of the fight, was too small. Standing back is not doing the country or his party any good... Americans are ready for hard truths and big ideas.
Steve Benen Doubts It Is A Plan.
If the president were to come out tomorrow to announce an ambitious infrastructure/energy/stimulus plan, focused solely on job creation, Republicans would immediately denounce it as fiscally irresponsible... But... recent developments have strengthened... stimulus proponents... a dynamic the Obama White House could take advantage of... [R]ecent polling suggests Americans much prefer investing in job creation to focusing on deficit reduction. I'm suggesting... the president and his party, shortly before the elections, push a popular idea...
[L]iterally every member of the House Republican leadership -- Minority Leader, Minority Whip, and Conference Chairman -- just this month argued publicly that the economy is more important than the deficit... defending tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans... why not call their bluff? If GOP leaders are willing to increase the deficit to improve the economy, the White House can take them up on their offer -- but take every penny Republicans want to devote to tax cuts and invest that money in job creation.
It creates an either/or for the political world and voters to consider. Both sides plan to increase the deficit, so that's no longer the issue. The question is whether it's better to devote the resources to tax cuts for the very wealthy, or use the same resources on infrastructure, energy, and stimulus.
A jobs agenda vs. a Billionaire Bailout.
Atrios Knows It's Too Good To Be True That It Is A Plan, And Declares Pre-Emptive Failure (Betting Under is usually safest, after all, and I don't mean that in a snotty way).
I Say We Push To Make It True. We've Publish the Plan. Now Circulate the Plan. Defend the Plan. Demand the Plan. Write the White House, your Representatives, your Party Chair, the Editorial Page of your Newspaper, a Post a Day on Your Blog. Sign the Petitions Sure to Come in All Their Variations. Donate to Organizations and to Specific Candidates Who Strongly and Repeatedly Demand the Plan and Make It a Part of Their Concrete Agenda. Make It True.