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Saturday, March 23 , 2019, 2:09 pm | Mostly Cloudy 61º


Jim Hightower: It’s Always ‘Later’ with Obama on Making Jobs a Priority

It's way past time for the president to do something — anything — to help workaday Americans

Having just been recently rolled by Tea Party Republicans in the debt-ceiling circus, President Barack Obama now says his priority is job creation. Wow, what took him so long?

Jobs should have been Priority No. 1 when he first took office. Instead, the Obamacans put Wall Street banksters first, dumping trillions of dollars from our public funds into saving the butts of greedheads who crashed our economy. They bailed out Wall Streeters without even requiring that the bankers invest in job-creating, grassroots enterprises. The jobs will come later, they said. Wrong.

A fragile recovery did sprout in 2009, but, oxymoronically, it was called a “jobless recovery,” and workers keep getting pink slips. Obama himself explained that jobs are “a lagging economic indicator.” Later, he told us.

Then, last December, with an exploding crisis of joblessness knocking our economy to its knees, who did the White House help? The super rich! Their ridiculous Bush tax breaks were extended for another two years, without any requirements to use this windfall to create a single job.

“Soon,” Obama said back then — we’ll get to that pesky job issue ... soon. Now, the day after signing the debt reduction monstrosity that slashed trillions of dollars from programs to help working families, the president says that, at last, he’s ready to take action on jobs.

Really? What kind of action? “I will urge (Congress) to immediately take some steps — bipartisan, commonsense steps — that will make a difference,” he boldly declared. But as we’ve seen, “bipartisan” steps only go backward. And, as for “immediately,” the Urger in Chief added that lawmakers should do it not right now, but when they get back from their month-long August vacation.

It’s always manana with Obama when it comes to workaday families.

But, get ready — President Obama says he is now ready to “pivot” to that nagging issue of American joblessness!

Pivot? How about focusing on it relentlessly, even (dare I say it?) presidentially? After all, our economy is in the ditch not because of government deficits, but because of our deficit in good, middle-class jobs. It’s way past time, Mr. President, for you to put on your FDR hat and get cracking on a real jobs program.

So, what does Obama’s pivot amount to? “There are things,” he recently said, “that Congress could do right now that will help create good jobs.” And — cue the trumpets — those things are: First, pass more free-trade agreements. Second, overhaul the patent laws!

What, you expected boldness?

This is pathetic. We already have a mess of free-trade scams, and they’ve led to job losses for America. Patent reform? Any jobs that might come from that are years down the road. Are people just supposed to sit still and wait? These proposals are nothing but more trickle-down economic tinkering, not a jobs program. They make Obama seem not only small, but ridiculous.

He wasted a ton of political capital on his senseless debt-ceiling deal with ideological know-nothings in the Republican House, when the American people were crying out consistently and emphatically that the issue is jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs.

Labor Day is coming up. What better time to propose a national recovery program that would hire millions of people to go to work on infrastructure and green-energy projects that America urgently needs? Put something real on the table, let the right-wing Koch-heads howl against it, then go to the countryside a la Harry Truman and hammer them with their own know-nothing do-nothingism.

The people are waiting. Do they have a president or not?

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Click here for more information, or click here to contact him.

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