Friday, September 9, 2011

Obama's jobs plan

Lots of reaction coming in to Obama's jobs speech last night. People seem fairly pleased and it's good to see the debate shifting from debt reduction to how to put ~26 million people (see the U-6 measure here) back to work. Just to put that unemployment picture in context, 26 million people (and this measure includes those having to settle for part time work) is more than the entire population of all but the state of California; it's almost like the entire state of Texas needing work. So, it's great news that people are talking about how to solve the problem. In short, Obama wants to extend unemployment benefits, reduce payroll taxes, and build more infrastructure. I'll leave the analysis to the experts:

Greg Ip gives a fairly measured and detailed rundown at the Economist. Ryan Avent chimes in and says, "It's not a perfect plan, but nothing that emerges from Washington is. It's not going to magically generate strong growth; the Fed's upcoming meetings are more important. It is a package of sensible steps presented in a sensible way."

Felix Salmon doesn't like Obama's rhetorical style, but loves parts of the plan.

Paul Krugman says, "I was favorably surprised by the new Obama jobs plan, which is significantly bolder and better than I expected."

Yglesias opines here. "I do wish the President had spent a bit more time focusing on the slightly wonky subject of bond yield rates..."

And more conservative reaction from David Frum here. "Qua speech, it was excellent – clear, focused, unrhetorical."

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