On Friday we get the new unemployment number. If it goes up, it will overshadow any dazzling speech by President Obama tomorrow night. Unemployed voters will undoubtedly think ‘dazzling words don’t create jobs’ and the talk in the media will legitimately be the jobs numbers and not about the President’s nomination acceptance.
Do I expect the unemployment number to improve? Only if more people got discouraged and quit looking for a job (and hence are no longer counted as the unemployed.)
I think President Obama made a big mistake by not working SOMETHING out with House / Senate on the so called Bush tax cuts. You can blame the Republicans for being obstructionist but he remains the leader, in charge, the one who ultimately has the responsibility of getting it done. It is not easy and can feel thankless, but that happens to be the job and he asked for the job. He is the leader.
People (business owners) can live with the tax staying the same or even going up. They won’t like it going up, but they can live with it and plan with it. It is the uncertainty of what it will be that is killing the economy and putting us in a stall.
What should have been happening is that President Obama working Capitol Hill like President Johnson or President Reagan or President Clinton – and even doing it now. Drawing a line in the sand as he did early on in his administration with his “I won” was a political declaration of war. That declaration wasn’t just amateur, it hurt and continues to hurt. Being President means you have to work people with whom you don’t agree and often don’t even like and are even fighting against you. That is the ugly reality of being President.
With no deal on taxes, we are in a suspended state – uncertainty. Business owners can not make decisions when they are in the state of UNCERTAINTY – is the tax going up or staying the same? So what do they do? Wait. They make no decisions. Business owners are waiting to find out the tax situation to make decisions on how much to expand, how much to invest, how much to borrow, how much to produce etc. and their business decisions about expansion are the engine of the economy.
Business will expand – even with a tax increase – but they can’t decide how much until they know about the tax. I am not suggesting the tax go up or stay the same – just get an answer for American businesses! Putting business owners ‘on hold’ by putting the tax decision off until the lame duck time of December (after the election) is putting the economy ‘on hold’ which means no new jobs.
So we wait. Our leaders – including the republicans – are grossly irresponsible. They play their political board game while the citizens worry and worry and worry.
Am I wrong?