Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Obama & Americans: 'We Can't Wait'

As inured as I should be to Republican obstructionism at this point, it still boggles my mind that with 14 million Americans unemployed and the economy taking only baby steps toward a recovery, the GOP continues to block President Obama's job creation bill despite its overwhelming popularity among voters.

With that in mind, the president sets out today on a three-day tour of Western states with a new mantra to replace the now shop-worn "Pass This Bill!" with "We Can't Wait!" As in "We can't wait for lawmakers to act."

The new offensive will begin in Las Vegas, which is the poster city for the housing bust with the highest number of foreclosures per capita in the U.S. Obama will promote new rules for federally guaranteed mortgages so that more homeowners, those with little or no equity in their homes, can refinance and avert foreclosure.

Then on Denver tomorrow where the president will announce policy changes to ease college graduates' repayment of federal loans.

The $447 billion jobs package includes expanded tax cuts for workers and employers and funding for infrastructure projects and state aid to keep teachers and emergency responders at work. But Republicans oppose the package and in particular provisions in it that would offset its costs with higher taxes on the wealthy.

Even if the bill fails, the Democrats still have a trump card: Exploiting Republican obstructionism during the 2012 campaign, which they hope will help offset the generally gloomy long-term economic outlook of many economists.

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