Any bounce President Obama might have had after his state of the union malarky was due to one reason and one reason alone: He finally talked about jobs. My read on his SOTU could be summed up in a sentence; "We should have focused on jobs instead of healthcare and we're fixing that now." Yet in a move that is helping to define the term "Obamaesque," aside from passing a paltry $15 billion "jobs" bill, less than spittle flying above the bucket that is our $14 trillion dollar economy (the jobs bill represents about .01% of our economy) Obama has instead continued to focus what's left of his political capital on taking control of our health care industry (which represents about 16% of our economy).
In this week's Washington Post, an article by Scott Wilson suggests that after focusing on immigration, the jobs bill, and of course the health care mess, Obama's new focus on regulating the financial sector and trying to pass laws to "correct" the supreme court's Citizen's United ruling (the case that repeals aspects of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation, which resulted in allowing corporations free political speech) will help the Democrats come November. My first thought when reading this was, "Jobs?"
The media, obsessed with parlimentary tactics, naked men in showers, and the President's ADHD approach to governing, has conveniently forgotten the sentiments of Obama's SOTU. I have not. And while bashing rich bankers and further demonizing and oppressing the corporate world ala Chavez is great for stoking classist anger, it certainly won't help create jobs, unless you're talking about government jobs.
No one aside from the true believers are buying Obama's oft repeated claim that the proposed health care legislation (it's not "reform") will help the employment situation. In fact, the spectre of uncertainty hanging over the entire medical industry is likely having the exact opposite effect. After all, who is going to invest/hire in an industry where tomorrow the rules of the game may change? And we're talking about hospitals, insurance companies, medical suppliers, R&D and drug manufacturers and all of the other businesses that depend on them. Outside of the medical industry, all other business large and small see yet another possible tax, yet another reason why they should hold off on hiring, at least until this whole health care business blows over - especially with productivity at an all time high.