Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why Time is not on the Side of Obama's Policy Agenda

All of a sudden it appears that the clock is ticking against Obama. Although the President has long promoted his legislative agenda at record (if not reckless) speed, there seems to be an alarm when he talks and a frequency that people are increasingly describing as "neediness." He may now be "over selling" his agenda and people are beginning to believe that his policies need more vetting before they become law. That is a sentiment that has been conveyed to Congress.
The most costly government "investment" in the form of bailouts that equaled budgets covering many years was passed with the promise that, if it didn't, unemployment would jump to 8.5% by this time. Upon its passage, unemployment is pushing 10% and the voting public is beginning to have buyers remorse when it comes to government solutions.
A central part of Obama's approach to policy was to attack many issues at the same time with the hope that some of them get passed. As a result, many pieces of legislation has flown through Congress without even being read by the member that voted for it. This has lead to Congress hitting the brakes.
As a result, time is not on the side of President Obama for many reasons:
  • While the President doesn't have to face reelection until 2012, many in his own party are facing tough fights in 2010. For them, their political future is measured in months, not years.

  • Particularly vulnerable in 2010 is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) who is facing the most difficult race he has had in years. He is single handily derailing Obama's health care reform efforts in order to make sure he has a seat in the next Senate. Furthermore, he was quick to dismiss the need of another stimulus package citing the imperative to prove the others have worked. While some Members of Congress are crying that it should not go on vacation until health care reformed is passed, Reid disagrees and plans on taking the scheduled break.

  • We have the highest unemployment we have seen in decades and as every point goes up, the popularity of the President goes down. Projecting the effects of the current policies, many are assuming the unemployment rate will be close to 20 percent by the end of the year and then that should sound the end of any political capital necessary for Obama to achieve serious "reforms" in this Congress.

There is a saying that, "when your neighbor loses a job it is called a recession and when you lose a job it is a depression." For most Americans, jobs are where the "rubber meets the road." Unless Obama enjoys a miracle in the job creation department, his agenda is in serious jeopardy.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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