Tomorrow President Obama will stand before Congress and put forward a jobs plan. A real jobs plan? One that will work? One that learns from past mistakes? David Wessell, the WSJ‘s economics editor, thinks so:
The package, fashioned over the past couple of weeks, draws from two lessons the president has learned in the past couple of years.Lesson one: The original Obama stimulus, while it prevented another Great Depression, was poorly marketed. The components were more popular than the whole. (Indeed, the latest WSJ/NBC News poll finds only 23% of respondents think Mr. Obama’s economic policy helped the economy.)So the president’s new and improved plan is likely to consist of a set of what he hopes will be seen as moderate, common-sense assists to the economy. These could amount to a significant stimulus of between $300 billion and $400 billion over the coming year, which is more than 2% of gross domestic product. But he won’t use the word.
Republican leaders are also learning: while they will almost certainly disagree with the bulk of President Obama’s ideas, they understand the necessity of acting immediately to reinvigorate the economy.
House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, in a letter to the president Tuesday, said, “While it is important that we continue to debate and discuss our different approaches to job creation, it is also critical that our differences not preclude us from taking action in areas where there is common agreement.”
A new economic plan from a president apparently willing to concede that ‘mistakes were made’, signs of cooperation in partisan Washington, and most importantly, the prospect of continued economic downturn focusing the minds of both parties on the need to get something done: could the force of angry public opinion across the country actually be forcing our elected representatives to do something constructive?We’ll see.