Speaking before Congress last night, US President Barack Obama proposed a plan that, at nearly half a trillion dollars, would attempt to revitalize the American workforce.
Is the president’s plan a realistic one, or is he just posturing himself to help his chances at reelection?
“From an economic perspective, this is a fairly moderate plan,” Max Fraad Wolff, economist with The New School, told RT. He says that most of what is in the American Jobs Plan has been tried in the past, and that the president’s plea incorporates things that were tried before, often with success. While those initiatives might have worked in the past, Wolff questioned whether or not that means Americans will accept another round.
“There’s nothing super bold or unique about this,” said Wolff.
Wolff added that, economically-speaking, Obama’s plan should be fairly easy to do. But is it another day late and another day short? Politically, he says, it might not be possible.
Obama dabbled between daring lawmakers to pass his plan and downright begging during his Thursday evening address. Should he get backing from Congress, the $447 billion jobs plan would aim to uproot America from its unemployment slump and encourage growth from coast-to-coast. Just because it has the president’s personal approval doesn’t mean politicians on either side of the aisle are on the same page.
“When we want something and we need something and enough people get behind it, we can get it done,” says Wolff about America. He argues, however, that Republicans have built a strategy, a “cult of anti-personality,” as he puts it, that might mean the president’s mundane plan might never makes it all the way to legislation.
While the president has indeed outlined what he thinks America needs to do, how realistic is it that not only would the American Jobs Act pass through legislation, but that it would truly rebound America and rebuild the workforce?
Among the main goals of the Obama’s proposed plan are a temporary payroll cut for businesses, an increased in infrastructure development and a federal jobs training program. As the unemployment rate continues to stay stagnant at 9.1 percent, Obama has also proposed an extension for the benefits package that are given to the jobless. Wollf says that nothing in the plan really “breaks the mold” or “thinks outside the box,” but notes that we need to see some economic recovery, however it is done. He reminded RT that the country is in war overseas but also has over 15 million people without jobs and an eighth of the country on foodstamps.
While the plan could indeed be put in play, Wollf said that America has been “alarmingly and shockingly poor at moving mountains when it comes to the structural changes of our economy.”