Republicans continue to focus on job creation this week, with a vote on a bipartisan jobs bill helping veterans find work and repealing the IRS withholding tax, and a vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment. In addition, House Republicans will unveil a jobs initiative linking increased American energy production to critical infrastructure projects. “This is the opposite of stimulus,” Speaker Boehner said earlier this month. Republicans also continue to call for action on bipartisan jobs bills stuck in the Democratic-led Senate.
President Obama remains disengaged from this effort to find common ground, instead committing his administration’s time and energy to a campaign-focused ‘stimulus’ push that the American people continue to reject:
“Nationally, only 35 percent approved of how Obama is doing on the economy — down 3 points since September — compared with 62 percent who disapproved; 40 percent approved of his approach to jobs and just 33 percent approved of his handling of the budget… A severe crisis of national confidence grips the country. Only 21 percent believe the next generation will be better off economically than the current one. Two-thirds say it will not.” (POLITICO/GW Battleground survey, 11/14/11) Two of the authors of the survey wrote that “even with the President aggressively campaigning for his ‘jobs plan’ and against Congress almost non-stop over the last three months, voters’ assessment of the President has not gotten any better, and in most cases has gone from bad to worse.”
“The ongoing concern about the economy helps explain the high level of dissatisfaction with current conditions in the United States. Now, 12% of Americans are satisfied and 86% dissatisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. In a perhaps ominous sign for Barack Obama … today's 12% satisfaction rating is no better than when he took office in January 2009.” (Gallup, 11/14/11)
“President Obama’s ratings on … the economy have posted the weakest showing of his presidency…” (CBS News, 11/11/11)
Even young Americans, among the president’s most ardent supporters, are down on his leadership, in large part because of the economy:
“Voters under 30 have, as a group, become increasingly disillusioned dealing with the demoralizing economy. …. ‘There’s a deep-seated feeling of malaise out there,’ said Thomas Patterson, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government… A survey released this month by the Pew Research Center found that just 48 percent of young voters - those 18 to 29 years old - say Obama makes them feel hopeful, compared with 81 percent in November 2008.” (Boston Globe, 11/14/11)
In today’s Financial Times, Ed Luce writes that “the plain fact is that Mr. Obama prefers to campaign than govern.” Judging by the voice of the American people – and for the sake of the millions of Americans still asking ‘where are the jobs?’ – President Obama may want to let his administration get back to its day job.