Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Daily Strike-6/8/10-Another Election Night And...Jobs

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. We'll be keeping a close eye on the various primary elections taking place tonight. If you want my instant commentary and clever witticisms, you can check out the Twitter feed. Otherwise, we'll save our analysis when we know the results tomorrow night. Unfortunately for us on the East Coast, the really interesting results won't come in until after 10pm.

THE WHITE HOUSE: The President's marquee event today was a town hall with Senior Citizens near The Strike's old home in Wheaton, MD. The President tested out a new pitch today, arguing that if Republicans win this November, they will try and roll back the most popular elements, like ending the donut hole for prescription drugs for seniors, and tax breaks for small businesses. This strategy I think is a good one, because I still think people aren't aware of the immediate benefits of health reform. It also sets up a good contrast between Obama and the Republican alternative. It creates tangible consequences in voters' minds.

I wish President Obama would use these good political skills to help spur job creation. After last week's disappointing jobs numbers, it has become even more imperative that President Obama and Congressional Democrats beat back the conventional wisdom that we can't spend money to create jobs right now. The Big Picture and I had a long conversation about this yesterday, and we agreed that it's a major stain on Obama's Presidency. He has not made a single push for a stalled bill in Congress that would extend expiring tax breaks and unemployment insurance. He hasn't been out front about securing money to avoid layoffs to teachers. He hasn't talked at all recently either about near-term strategies for creating jobs (beyond small business tax cuts), nor on long-term strategies, like massive investments in clean energy. Luckily, left-wing activists have begun to put pressure on the administration on this issue. I think we all realize that Obama's presidency is doomed if the jobs picture doesn't improve markedly. The job situation is still dire, and we can't have a President who is willing to accept 10% of employment.

THE SENATE: The Senate today began consideration of the aforementioned tax extender/unemployment bill. The Senate will take up the House version of the bill (passed two weeks ago), but they will modify it significantly. Among the modifications are more money to states for Medicaid (Good), watering down the tax on financial transactions (Bad), and higher taxes on oil companies (Good). The Senate will start voting on amendments to the bill tomorrow.

THE HOUSE: It was just suspension bills in the House today, they'll get going on serious legislative business tomorrow.

That's it for us. See you tomorrow night! Leave comments!

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