John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Where Are the Jobs, Mr. President?

Posted on December 4, 2013
National Journal released an interesting poll yesterday (well it was interesting to me) about what voters really care about.

I doubt it was interesting to policy makers, because they seemingly couldn’t care less about what voters really want from their elected leaders.

I know the suspense is killing you.

What voters most care about, wait for it, wait for it, they most care about jobs.

Here is what National Journal says:
More than anything else, voters would be happiest if Congress and President Obama focused on creating jobs, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. And they don't care if lawmakers use Republican or Democratic ideas to do so. By more than three to one, Americans said they would be "very pleased" or "somewhat pleased," rather than "somewhat disappointed" or "very disappointed," if the chief executive and lawmakers worked together to create jobs—either by cutting taxes and regulations or by increasing federal spending on infrastructure projects. Both options were the most popular of the six policy goals offered to respondents, although majorities also said they'd be happy if the government reduced the deficit, passed an immigration overhaul that included a pathway to citizenship, and expanded gun-sale background checks. The survey is a wake-up call for Congress. Even as lawmakers have spent most of the year fighting over items ephemeral to the health of the economy, overwhelming numbers of voters would prefer they concentrate their efforts on boosting job growth.

But that is the last thing that the President and the Republicans seem to want to talk about.

Mr. Obama has gone out of his way to ignore the jobs issue.

His number one focus in his first term as President was his health care law. And as we know, his health care law kills jobs (or at least makes it harder to hire people).

The President is traveling to Anacostia this morning to make the spurious connection between his health care law and job creation. He is going to make the case that Obamacare is good for jobs in perhaps the one place that has had the hardest time putting people to work in the whole Metropolitan Washington area.

In other words, he is going to the place where jobs are already pretty scarce to talk about how his health care law is going to be good for jobs.

I don’t follow it either.

The Republicans used to be on the jobs message. The Speaker used to ask the question of the President, “Where are the jobs?”

And in my view, it was a pretty good question.

Republicans these days are focused almost exclusively on trying to dismantle Obamacare and I suppose that is what the Republican base wants.

But people beyond the base want jobs. They want their neighbors to find jobs, they want their kids to find jobs, they want the people down the street to find jobs.

And if they are out of work themselves, theoretically they want to find a job.

The jobless rate is uncomfortably high, but the rate of people who have given up looking for a job is unsustainable.

Republicans have gotten themselves into a free-market lather. They hate Obmacare, which I completely agree with, but they also seemingly hate any jobs that have any connection to the Federal government.

I think we should get off our ideological high-horse, and get back on the job creation horse, no matter where the jobs are created.

Let’s put people back to work. Let’s start asking the President once again: Where are the jobs?