White House disses Senate Dems’ jobs bill because it’s not small enough

You are quite possibly witnessing the beginning of the end of the Obama presidency.

It’s not a guarantee that the President will lose next year, and few people are even suggesting the possibility (though Carville recently did).  But just wait.  Sometime soon, more and more people will be talking about whether the economy is going to doom Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012.  And today is the first clear-cut sign of trouble – trouble of the President’s own making.

The White House today publicly undercut the Senate Democratic effort to pass jobs legislation to address the unemployment crisis in our country – mind you, unemployment just rose to 9.1% last month, and the public is none too happy about it.  So what is the White House’s concern about the Senate Dems’ jobs legislation?  It’s thinking too big.

Yes, too big.

Lots of folks have been complaining for a while that the White House had no message on jobs.  Well, now they do: “Think small.”

From The Hill:

The Obama administration on Tuesday night might have thrown a wrench into Senate Democratic plans to pass what they see as a jobs bill — by implying the bill spends too much money.

In a Statement of Administration Policy, the White House said it supports the broad goals of the bill.

“However, the bill would authorize spending levels higher than those requested by the president’s Budget, and the administration believes that the need for smart investments that help America win the future must be balanced with the need to control spending and reduce the deficit,” the administration said.

Let’s repeat that last line:

[T]he need for smart investments that help America win the future must be balanced with the need to control spending and reduce the deficit

Who says? Other than conservative Republicans, who says cutting the deficit is more important, or even just as important, as creating jobs?  (Answer: Tim Geithner.)  I can’t think of a single American who, come November of 2012, is going to say “cutting the deficit was more important than finding me a job.”

The President needs to get out of his Washington, DC bubble.  Things are bad out there.  Even those of us who have a job, who still have an income, are earning 1/3 of what we did before the crisis.  I dont’t give a damn about the deficit in the near-term, I want our economy back.  I want to stop worrying about whether some day in the future I won’t be able to pay my mortgage.  Things are far rosier in Washington, DC – our realty market is actually hot again – than they are in the rest of the country.  Maybe our policymakers and their staffs should spend some time back home and see how real people are coping.  Things are not well.

Thinking small about the economy is what George H.W. Bush did, right before he lost re-election.  I’ll leave you with a quote from Wikipedia that sums things up nicely:

“It’s the economy, stupid” was a phrase in American politics widely used during Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against George H. W. Bush. For a time, Bush was considered unbeatable because of foreign policy developments such as the end of the Cold War and the Persian Gulf War. The phrase, made popular by Clinton campaign strategist James Carville, refers to the notion that Clinton was a better choice because Bush had not adequately addressed the economy, which had recently undergone a recession.

You’re always invincible, until you’re not.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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