Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On Being Uncompromising

We're fairly certain that today - at least initially - our longtime readers may be a bit surprised by our stance on the topic of the day.

In case you missed it yesterday, President Obama, as promised during his big jobs speech last Thursday, delivered the complete initial legal version of his jobs bill to the House of Representatives. As any good House Speaker should on such an important bill, John Boehner immediately sent it on to the non-partisan CBO - the Congressional Budget Office - to have them officially "score" the bill.

For those of you who may have forgotten, scoring the bill is where the number-crunchers at the CBO go through the proposed legislation to see if the items requested to have government money spent on them will be able to be paid for - and actually be likely to deliver the outcomes promised.

All this is perfectly normal, including the speed at the which the proposal is moving from the President's bully pulpit to the House of Representatives, to the CBO.

Here's the shocker: We now think it's time that the President take an uncompromising approach to his jobs bill.

Yes, we've hammered for years on compromise as a tool that both sides need to employ- and we still believe that's true.

There are times, however, when wise individuals must make a stand - and we're very glad that the President is finally taking a position to insist that Congress get off their collective asses and finally do something to help the economy.

It's not as though the President hasn't outlined in the bill exactly how to pay for every piece of the legislation. He's even built in a $20 billion cushion, in both cuts and revenue increases. Tax hikes on those Americans who can most afford it are part of his plan, including a direct change on how "carried interest" - a concept that has allowed some of the wealthiest Americans to evade paying taxes for years - would be handled. He's also outlined some cuts that will likely anger members of both parties, and many smaller constituencies.

Every item of this proposal is exactly as President Obama said it was - tactics and methods to handle a jobs and financial crisis that everyone is deeply familiar with.

There are those Republicans, however, who are already wailing and gnashing their teeth, stomping their political feet and threatening to refuse to work with the President. They're calling him hypocritical, saying the President has called for compromise throughout his whole tenure and NOW he's being uncompromising.

We think the President is being uncompromising at exactly the right time.

When Bank of America, who the American people bailed out less than three years ago, announces it's going to fire 30,000 people; when a two-tiered wage system that significantly shorts American manufacturing workers is becoming normal; when 9% unemployment has become the "new normal" ... it is high time to be uncompromising about fixing the jobs and economy problem.

It is a good thing to see that at least SOME of the Republican congressional leadership - like Mr. Boehner - seem to be starting to grasp the true nature of the jobs crisis we face. However, the numbers of Republicans in Congress who actually get it are still too small.

"It" is an uncompromising fact.

If the economy doesn't improve in the next fourteen months, it won't just be Democrats and the President who will be destroyed by an economy that continues to limp along. Republicans will also be blown out of office by their willingness to destroy the Obama administration while ignoring the nation's REAL troubles.

If President Obama - and frankly, anyone who supports his jobs plan - are going to be labeled as "uncompromising" in their efforts to put America back to work, that's the kind of lack of compromise we're more than willing to support.

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