Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Obama's 'pivot' to the economy comes far too late | Washington Examiner

Good Byron York piece in the Washington Examiner this morning...

Obama's 'pivot' to the economy comes far too late

White House officials insist these are serious policy initiatives that are not being put forth just so Obama can say he's doing something about the economy. But that leads to the question: If these are such great ideas, why wasn't the president pushing them earlier?

"They've had nearly two years to think about it, and they've come up with a Democrat caricature: tax and spend," says one high-ranking GOP Hill aide.

But even if Obama's proposals were good policy, it's not just too late for them to have any significant economic effect by November. It's also too late for them to have any significant political benefit for Democrats. Large segments of the public believe Obama and his party focused on the wrong issue -- health care -- for too long in 2009 and 2010, and when they did pass a big economic measure, the $814 billion stimulus, they got it wrong. That will be a hard perception to change by Nov. 2.

"The die has been cast in many voters' minds," says another Hill Republican deeply involved in the midterm effort. "People believe the stimulus was a failure. By trying to 'pivot,' Democrats can't all of a sudden hide from their signature jobs effort. After all, didn't we just have the recovery summer?"

"People believe the stimulus was a failure." Now why would people think that? How could people possibly see the pouring of billions of dollars into sustaining Democratic interest groups and state and local public officials' coffers while the unemployment rate skyrockets as a failure? The stimulus has done exactly what most of us expected it to do, hasn't it?

Anyway, it's a good piece - read it all...

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