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Policy Proposals to Boost Employment in Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address

I must say I don't know what quadrant Andrew Sabl is in these days.

Andrew Sabl writes:

For crying out loud: "I’m the process of moving house, and admit that I got to Friday morning’s Krugman column 24 hours after every other blogger. But I couldn’t let this go. Quoth Krugman:

For more than a year and a half — ever since President Obama chose to make deficits, not jobs, the central focus of the 2010 State of the Union address — we’ve had a public conversation that has been dominated by budget concerns, while almost ignoring unemployment.

Krugman should turn off the rage long enough to read the damn speech. Except for the parts that defended the stimulus and the Affordable Care Act, practically the whole thing was about job creation…

Let's roll the videotape:

Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address: I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat….

Tomorrow, I'll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad…. There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help move our nation's goods, services, and information. We should put more Americans to work building clean energy facilities and give rebates to Americans who make their homes more energy-efficient, which supports clean energy jobs. And to encourage these and other businesses to stay within our borders, it is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America.nNow, the House has passed a jobs bill that includes some of these steps. As the first order of business this year, I urge the Senate to do the same, and I know they will….

But the truth is, these steps won't make up for the seven million jobs that we've lost over the last two years.  The only way to move to full employment is to lay a new foundation for long-term economic growth, and finally address the problems that America's families have confronted for years…. it's time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.

Now, one place to start is serious financial reform….

Next, we need to encourage American innovation….

Third, we need to export more of our goods….

Fourth, we need to invest in the skills and education of our people….

This year, we will step up refinancing so that homeowners can move into more affordable mortgages. And it is precisely to relieve the burden on middle-class families that we still need health insurance reform….

Now, even as health care reform would reduce our deficit, it's not enough to dig us out of a massive fiscal hole in which we find ourselves…. [I]f we had taken office in ordinary times, I would have liked nothing more than to start bringing down the deficit.  But we took office amid a crisis.  And our efforts to prevent a second depression have added another $1 trillion to our national debt.  That, too, is a fact…. So tonight, I'm proposing specific steps to pay for the trillion dollars that it took to rescue the economy last year. Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years…. We will continue to go through the budget, line by line, page by page, to eliminate programs that we can't afford and don't work.  We've already identified $20 billion in savings for next year…. I've called for a bipartisan fiscal commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can't be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem.  The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline. Now, yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission.  So I'll issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans…

Those were the two new policy proposals of Obama's 2010 State of the Union: the Simpson-Bowles Commission, and a federal spending freeze. Yes, there were 24 mentions of "jobs" and only 14 mentions of "deficit", but the only (small beer) thing Obama asked for that might have actually reduced the unemployment rate was his plea for the Senate to pass the House employment bill.