Friday, April 2, 2010

The Daily Strike-4/1/10-April Fools

Good morning and welcome to the Daily Strike. I apologize for no entry last night. Chalk it up to an April Fool's joke. Today's entry will cover for yesterday and today. Our next entry will be Monday morning, as we adopt a slower schedule during Congressional recesses.

FUEL ECONOMY: The President, with the EPA, made an announcement yesterday regarding fuel economy standards. Starting in the 2016 model year, cars will have to run at 35.5 miles an hour. This will result in a 34% reduction in car emissions. Initially, the increase in fuel economy will cost consumers about $950 additional, but over time, drivers would save upwards of $3000. I'm very pleased with this announcement. This is the first concrete step the Obama administration has taken to curb greenhouse gases. It should have done far more at this point, but the inability of the Senate to take any action on climate change has forced the administration to make regulatory changes.

It is interesting that this announcement was made the day after Obama announced plans for increased offshore drilling. This seems to me to be a Clinton-esque strategy of triangulation. Obama is trying to please those to his right and those to his left, and in doing so, he's not making anyone particularly happy. It remains to be seen whether these moves help him achieve a comprehensive climate bill by the end of the year.

MAINE: The President also gave a great speech in Maine yesterday touting the benefits of the health care bill. Obama got into his "rolled up sleeves" mode by attacking Washington pundits for drawing premature conclusions on the political consequences of the legislation. He also issued another dare to his Republican rivals: go ahead and run on repealing the health care bill. If they want to reinstitute abusive insurance practices, go ahead. If they want to do away with tax cuts for small businesses to cover employees, be our guest. I think this will be a helpful line of attack as the midterms get closer. People need to understand the tangible benefits of reform.

JOBS: The President got some good news today. 162,000 jobs were added in March, though the unemployment rate stayed at an unacceptably high level of 9.7%. 48,000 new jobs were added because the Federal Government started hiring people to do the 2010 census, but even despite this caveat, this is the highest job growth since 2007. The jobs number has become a political football on the first Friday of every month. Give the Democrats the win in April.

That's it for now, see you on Monday!

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