Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is Jobs Bill more about partisan politics than trying to solve economic problem?

Reading the reports Tuesday morning about how the Jobs Bill put forth by President Barack Obama is likely to get killed off by the Republican caucus of the U.S. Senate made me think back to a moment last week, and realize that this is an issue we’re not going to hear the end of for a long, long time.
HALVORSON: Saving the president?

It was last week that former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson kicked off her attempt for a political comeback and brought up the fact that she is a solid supporter of Obama’s Jobs Bill.

SHE SAID THE reason the voters of Illinois’ Second Congressional district should send her to Washington instead of Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., is because she will support the president, while she says her opponent won’t.

Although the truth of the matter is that Jackson supports the general concept, but would like to see even stronger measures considered as part of the Jobs Bill. But if Obama did that, he’d be the one getting accused of playing partisan politics by his conservative ideologue critics (who are going to criticize him regardless).

Some people might question the logic of getting into a political campaign by blatantly taking the side of Obama. They would want to believe that such an act is political suicide.

Yet this congressional campaign is going to be one in which Halvorson is going to have to put herself as the conservative alternative to Jackson in order to try to get the votes of some people in that district who will resent the fact that their neighborhoods and suburbs were included in a congressional district that is majority African-American.

BUT IF SHE gets too conservative, she will totally turn off the Democratic majority of the district (so intense that the March 20 primary is going to become the election).

So going around saying, “I support the president” on the Jobs Bill and “We need to send people to Washington who will support the president” will be her concession – her one talking point that will help save her from getting in too deep with certain types of people whose vote next spring will have a racial overtone to it.
OBAMA: Something needs to give

I’m just wondering how long until she reminds people that she, too, was a freshman state senator back in January of 1997 – which is when Obama first began his time as an elected official. He went on to become president, and she became the woman who got knocked off by the 2010 ideological backlash to his policies.

Of course, the logical response to such talk is that it doesn’t matter if Halvorson says she would vote for the Jobs Bill. Even if she overcomes the obstacles that face her (the district really was designed to be represented by an African-American politico – even if its southern boundary is the Kankakee/Iroquois county line), the issue won’t be pending anymore come 2013.

IT’S CHEAP TALK because the ideologues are doing their best to kill off the issue now.

The measure, as proposed by Obama, has a $447 billion price tag, combining payroll tax cuts with significant federal government spending to boost municipal spending on projects such as road repairs and schools.

Which means your community gets a fix-up with federal help, and maybe the spending will give a jolt to the economy in such a way that some movement toward a significant recovery can finally be achieved.

For even though the recession is technically over, the boost is such a small one that it is completely understandable that most people cannot see it.

BUT PARTISAN POLITICS always becomes a factor. There are those who think the wealthy will be impacted too hard. They are the ones who toss out phrases such as “class warfare,” which is what provoked Chicago-area activists to have that large-scale, overly-convoluted protest march on the Art Institute of Chicago on Monday.

It’s all a vicious political circle – one that gives me a headache, if you must know the truth.

All the screaming and screeching being done makes me think that too many people are trying to figure out how to benefit for themselves while the economic mess gets worse and worse.

Solve the actual problem? Who’s kidding whom!

THAT WOULD TAKE a lot of work, and create too much potential for one to get blamed should something go wrong.

But the person who is willing to put themselves and their reputations on the line? That is probably the individual we ought to think highly of, and consider voting for come the Nov. 6, 2012 general elections.


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