Eventually, executive actions and orders will be unveiled as part of the economic agenda Obama began hinting at in his speeches last week, addressing things like mortgage refinancing and restructuring “” which is about as extensive as the White House expects things to get, even as they talk of welcoming negotiations with Republicans over the debt ceiling. And get ready, he’s told people, for a whole lot more recess appointments if Republicans start blocking his nominees again. – President Obama’s no-Congress strategy [Politico]
GIVING Republicans the tax overhaul won’t make them happy, but that’s what Obama did during his stop at Amazon in Tennessee yesterday. It was “jaded Obama,” as Joy Reid called him on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night. Obama nailing the problem with Congress and the fact that Republicans in the House have no intention of saying anything but no to him. But he gave the pitch anyway, before doing what other presidents in their second term are forced to do.
Putting people back to work rebuilding America’s infrastructure. Equipping our kids and our workers with the best skills. Leading the world in scientific research that helps to pave the way for new jobs in new industries. Accelerating our clean energy and natural gas revolutions. Fixing a broken immigration system so that American workers aren’t undercut, undermined because some businesses are unscrupulous and hiring folks and not paying them decent wages.
“We’re not lacking for ideas, we’re just lacking action, especially out of Washington,” he said.
“So I’m going to try offering something that serious people in both parties should be able to support: a deal that simplifies the tax code for our businesses and creates good jobs with good wages for middle-class folks who work at those businesses.”
President Obama’s plan for simplifying the corporate tax code would loopholes, end incentives to ship jobs overseas, lower the rate for businesses creating jobs right here in America, provide tax incentives for manufacturers that bring jobs home to the United States, and simplify taxes for small business owners.
“But if we’re going to give businesses a better deal, then we’re also going to have to give workers a better deal, too,” President Obama said.
I want to use some of the money that we save by closing these loopholes to create more good construction jobs with infrastructure initiatives that I already talked about. We can build a broader network of high-tech manufacturing hubs that leaders from both parties can support. We can help our community colleges arm our workers with the skills that a global economy demands. All these things would benefit the middle class right now and benefit our economy in the years to come.
This is all a build-up for what President Obama is going to do in the remaining days of his second term, the days ticking down, which begins with executive actions. If Republicans would do what’s right for the country, Obama and the opposition could make headway on infrastructure jobs, something the GOP used to appreciate, but which today’s Republican right-wing things is bad business, even if it’s the way jobs can be created.
This is a Catch-22 for President Obama that begins with the way he began dealing with Congress in his first term. Basically, he didn’t, because he has no relationships with members there. This was foreshadowed when Senator Harry Reid said Obama wasn’t a creature that would do well in the Senate, back when Obama first started thinking about running for president in 2008. He’s a do it alone, with my own people, kind of politician.
That’s not to say the Republicans in the House make it easy. The right-wing libertarianism types don’t want government to do what government does when jobs are needed and corporate tax breaks are a way to funnel money back into the U.S. to make those jobs manifest.
It’s all part of laying the ground for 2014. It seems President Obama is finally appreciating what having Congress behind you can mean to a presidency, after making the colossal error of sitting on his hands before the 2010 election. As far as I see it, when we look back on the Obama presidency, not making a hard charging economic argument in 2010 will be the seminal error of his presidency. A political miscalculation by Obama aides that has caused the situation Obama now faces.
Obama’s operating in the climate he’s got, through the landscape he helped set up, the best he can. How far can he take it? We may be about to find out.