Today, a $35 billion dollar plan was introduced by Democrats and will reach the Senate on attempting to get laid-off teachers back to work. Aimed at states and localities, the bill should receive popular support from both sides, suggesting one small victory for the Obama administration. Yet compared to his grand vision of a $447 billion dollar Job’s Plan, it seems hardly like a moment for rejoice.
Looking at it from a macroeconomic perspective, this portion does make a lot of sense. Although higher ups in the teacher unions may be able to make a six digit salary, the one’s who were laid off, I assure you, are on the lower end of this spectrum. Since this is true, aiming this aid to them will assure that what paychecks they do receive will go straight back to the economy, a perfect strategy for maximizing the multiplier and aggravating demand. There are better ways to do this, such as providing increased funding towards unemployment and food stamps, however Republicans and a congress that is over all sick of spending would’ve surely shot down these options.
It’s better than nothing, to put it bluntly. Yet frankly, that appears to be how I put most of the decisions put forth by the Obama administration: better than nothing. Looking at the GOP candidates, it appears almost certain that Obama will win his reelection: the right seems far to radicalized for it’s own good and even selecting Mitt Romney holds downsides amongst an ever growing, conservative voice within the party. Still, if Obama would like to ensure he is able to see the same turn out of the youth and African-American voters out in the polls, he will need to demonstrate far more than just an attitude of “better than nothing”.
I was a firm believer in the Job’s Plan proposed by Obama: it seemed to be a lot of the right thinking towards helping an increasingly down turning economy. And perhaps getting the bill passed, one piece at a time, is the best way to see this change become a reality. Obama is wise not to get too heavily involved within a congress which cringes at the sound of his name however doing little will do just that, little.