I’m happy to note that the reaction to Obama’s speech has been much more positive than I could have ever imagined. K-thug even gave it high praise:
First things first: I was favorably surprised by the new Obama jobs plan, which is significantly bolder and better than I expected. It’s not nearly as bold as the plan I’d want in an ideal world. But if it actually became law, it would probably make a significant dent in unemployment.
Of course, it isn’t likely to become law, thanks to G.O.P. opposition. Nor is anything else likely to happen that will do much to help the 14 million Americans out of work. And that is both a tragedy and an outrage.***
O.K., about the Obama plan: It calls for about $200 billion in new spending — much of it on things we need in any case, like school repair, transportation networks, and avoiding teacher layoffs — and $240 billion in tax cuts. That may sound like a lot, but it actually isn’t. The lingering effects of the housing bust and the overhang of household debt from the bubble years are creating a roughly $1 trillion per year hole in the U.S. economy, and this plan — which wouldn’t deliver all its benefits in the first year — would fill only part of that hole. And it’s unclear, in particular, how effective the tax cuts would be at boosting spending.
Still, the plan would be a lot better than nothing, and some of its measures, which are specifically aimed at providing incentives for hiring, might produce relatively a large employment bang for the buck. As I said, it’s much bolder and better than I expected. President Obama’s hair may not be on fire, but it’s definitely smoking; clearly and gratifyingly, he does grasp how desperate the jobs situation is.
That’s high praise for Krugman. And he was right- Obama’s plan and speech were great. Every time he talks, I remember why I voted for him. In other post speech reaction, the Politico reports the following:
A top economist says President Barack Obama’s job plan will likely add 1.9 million jobs and grow the economy by 2 percent.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, also said Obama’s $447-billion plan would likely cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point, United Press International reported on Friday.
Now again, this is a ratings agency, so you might as well be polling random crackheads and asking them who will win the Super Bowl in 2027. But still, it at least it sounds positive and can be used to bludgeon Congress into doing something.
I didn’t watch any of the bobblehead reaction, and I have refrained from turning the boob tube on today (it’s too nice a day and I’m in a good mood), so I have no idea how the reaction was among
the walking dead the DC Press Corps, but I haven’t seen any primal screams on twitter, so I’m imagining it was pretty positive.