It's worth noting, then, that there's at least some evidence that attitudes have shifted in a more constructive direction. This question in the newly-released Newsweek poll bears special attention:You would think so. But gosh, Republicans keep blocking job bills "against the will of the people". Obama needs to look into an executive branch program for jobs if possible, using the resources of the Treasury and Fed if he has to.
"Which one of the following do you think should have the higher priority for policy-makers in Washington right now:This strikes me as very encouraging. For many Americans, the "deficit" has become an amorphous concept that they've been conditioned to viscerally reject, and the polling last year suggested this knee-jerk reaction was so strong, deficit reduction was actually perceived as more important than the economy itself.
37% Reducing the federal budget deficit
57% Federal spending to create jobs
6% Don't know
But the Newsweek poll -- yes, I know, it's only one poll -- wasn't close. Asked which should be a higher priority, the deficit or spending money on job creation, the latter won by 20 points.
Dems on the Hill are afraid to make economic investments because they expect a public backlash. They're nervous enough about the midterms and aren't in the mood to hear another round of "government spending is bad." But here's data showing that spending on job creation is actually quite popular. Republicans would respond by saying the deficit matters more, but that's not where the public is right now.
So why not borrow the money and invest in job creation? Like, immediately?
If he doesn't, enjoy the GOP-controlled Congress. Really is that simple.