Bob Herbert’s op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times echos what I’ve been thinking lately—it’s time for Congress and President Obama to get past health care reform and move on to jobs. Please.
“The Obama administration and Democrats in general are in trouble because they are not urgently and effectively addressing the issue that most Americans want them to: the frightening economic insecurity that has put a chokehold on millions of American families.
The economy shed 36,000 jobs last month, and that was trumpeted in the press as good news. Well, after your house has burned down I suppose it’s good news that the flames may finally be flickering out. But once you realize that it will take 11 million or more new jobs to get us back to where we were when the recession began, you begin to understand that we’re not really making any headway at all.
…Instead of focusing with unwavering intensity on this increasingly tragic situation, making it their top domestic priority, President Obama and the Democrats on Capitol Hill have spent astonishing amounts of time and energy, and most of their political capital, on an obsessive quest to pass a health care bill.”
“Obsessive quest” is right. But sadly I don’t see it ending any time soon. Now the talk is to have health care done by Easter. Anybody who believes that believes in the Easter bunny. But never mind, Congress. Take your time. The good economic news is that another million people stopped looking for work last month and no longer count in the unemployment statistics. Hooray.
By the way, what happened to “jobs must be our number one focus in 2010″ from the State of the Union speech in January? Just curious.