Do you recall the State of the Union Address? You might remember President Obama mentioning that he got it. That the American people wanted to have the Government focus on the economy and jobs.
Since that time, the White House has pushed forward efforts to pass the Health Care Reform under any and all means. That included a 6 hour long “discussion” between Democrats, Republicans and President Obama in which Democrats repeatedly stated that every Republican concern was “in there, just in a different way”.
In addition the Democrat-led Congress has voted to extended unemployment benefits, again. This time ignoring (again) the very rule to balance any spending with an equal source of funding. That cost another $10 billion to the deficit, and didn’t create a single long or short term job.
While that has been happening the Obama Administration has touted the recent unemployment numbers. They tried to champion how effective the Obama Stimulus has been since unemployment has remained at 9.7%. Though they forgot to mention that this numbner only exists because of the roughly 1 million people that dropped off of the unemployment benefits roll (and thus no longer exist to the Government) and that the 1 million jobs for the census are included though they are temprary. And in the cracks was a bit of news about how in many States jobs that were extened because of the Obama Stimulus has dwindled as this illusionary money has been used up.
Considering all these facts in the last month, what might you expect the White House to tackle next? How about Congress?
For the White House the answer is to move onto immigration. Today President Obama will meet with Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to discuss an immigration Bill. This is an attempt to fulfill a campaign promise, and engender support from the left before the struggle for the mid-term elections take hold. How this improves the economy, or creates jobs, is beyond this writer to understand.
One might ask say Sen. Schumer how working on immigration will help the people of New York get jobs; as the State he represents just reported an underemployed rate of 14.3% for 2009, up 6.2% from 2008. But to ask such a question would likely be met with the same response this writer has received from asking the simple question of whether or not Sen. Schumer has read completely any version of the Health Care Reform. Or the question of why he refused to hold any town hall meetings with constituents to justify his support of the reviled Health Care Reform?
The answers to date on these and other questions remains unknown as Senator Schumer (and Senator Gillibrand, as well as Representaitve Hinchey) has refused to answer repeatedly.
As for what Congress is now doing, well it could be called a lot of nothing. There is the ever on-going (over 2 years now) actions with Rep. Rangel, and the resignation of Rep. Massa (both of New York State). There is the push to find a way to pass Health Care Reform in the most partisan manner possible (even though the real question is internal Democrat support). But there is some feeble attempt to address the question of jobs, as the Congress moves closer to passing Obama Stimulus 2 – since the first was so effective.
Overall the question voters and citizens should ask is if any of this is the message they wanted Congress and the Obama Administration to get. Was this what national polls and voters in Massachuesetts meant to give our elected Government? Is this the focus we wanted to have Washington focus on?
Almost 30 days later, the words of the State of the Union seem so much more like campaign promises than goals for the nation.