Obama's Business-Friendly Initiatives Take Aim at Anti-Democrat Sentiment

Obama's Business-Friendly Initiatives Take Aim at Anti-Democrat SentimentRecognizing that Americans are worried about the state of the economy, President Obama is offering an olive branch to his critics with a $50 billion infrastructure improvement plan and a deal to make the research and development tax credit permanent. Conservatives are arguing that it's too little too late. The game, though, is far from over for the Democrats.

The Wall Street Journal is the latest news organization to report that voters are mad as hell at Obama, and they're not going to take it any more. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, voters are split evenly over the question over which party should control Congress with 43% favoring Democrats and 43% Republicans. "But among those who appear most likely to vote, based on their level of interest in the campaign and their history of voting, the Republicans own a dramatic 49% to 40% advantage," the newspaper says.

These results underscore how angry voters are over the state of the economy. Obama's message that while things are bad now, they would have been much worse were it not for the federal bailouts and stimulus spending -- a view backed by many economists -- is not being received. It's sort of like telling someone who broke their leg in a car accident that they should be thankful they aren't in a coma. Still, the level of pessimism in the country is unprecedented.

"Like a terrible remake of Groundhog Day, the White House has unveiled yet another so-called stimulus scheme. Actually, they have two new proposals to buy votes with our money," writes Daniel J. Mitchell of the Libertarian Cato Institute on the think tank's blog. "... all of these proposals suffer from the same flaw in that they assume growth is sluggish because government is not big enough and not intervening enough... The best that can be said about the new White House proposals is that they're probably not as poorly designed as previous stimulus schemes."

Business-Friendly, Jobs-Creating Policies

Infrastructure programs are nothing new. They were part of Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan, which critics say has not done enough to stimulate the economy. But there is evidence that they are working, including last week's jobs report, which showed that 67,000 private sector positions were added in July. The figure was tepid, but better than expected. These improvements are happening -- they're just happening too slowly.

For instance, the president's plan to rebuild 150,000 miles of roadways, 4,000 miles of rail, an 150 miles of runways will add jobs. Many of those who benefit may be union workers who usually back Democrats. And that infrastructure work is also sorely needed. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimated last year it would take $2.2 trillion spent over five years to fix the nation's crumbling infrastructure.

"We applaud [President Obama] for taking a leadership position, and we encourage Congress to work with the administration on this critical national issue," says ASCE Executive Director Patrick Natale. "We also look forward to learning more about the details of the plan, in particular, whether or not it will be paid for by the users, as has successfully been done since the beginning of the interstate system in the 1950s."

The R&D tax credit was been backed by both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush during their administrations. About the only way that Obama could get more widespread business support for a proposal would be to back the extension of the Bush tax cuts, which he has criticized as being fiscally irresponsible.

Don't Count Out the Democrats Yet

To be sure, the Democrats are in trouble. The New York Times notes that the party is performing political "triage" and is prepared to let veteran lawmakers sink and focus its attention on winnable races. That strategy is as understandable as it is desperate. Obama's job approval rating is near a 52-week low, and poll after poll shows that Republicans are far more energized about voting than Democrats. But there are nearly two months until the midterm elections, and plenty could go wrong -- or right -- for either party by then.

Obama and the Democrats can take solace in a few things. First, the party in power almost always does poorly in midterm elections. Second, pollsters occasionally blow it because voters can and often do change their minds. They failed to capture the support that controversial politicians such as Alabama Gov. George Wallace or Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo enjoyed, either because they didn't ask the right questions or because survey respondents misled them.

Third, the media sometimes makes sweeping generalizations when it shouldn't. Consider that in February 2004, USA Today reported that "Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry would defeat President Bush if the election were held today, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll that shows serious vulnerabilities for the president." Remember that Hillary Clinton was seen as the "front runner" early in the 2008 race. More recently, in Florida, Rick Scott upset favored Bill McCollum to win the Republican nomination for governor, though pollsters predicted otherwise. Polls in Alaska gave incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, as much as a 30 point lead over Tea Party favorite Joe Miller in the GOP primary. Miller, who had the backing of Sarah Palin, eked out a victory nonetheless.

Finally, there is some evidence that the Tea Party movement may drive some moderate voters back to the Democrats or keep them away from the voting booth altogether. Meanwhile, Republicans are starting to bicker among themselves. Businesses are unlikely going to abandon the Democrats financially even if the GOP makes gains. The prognosis, though, is bad for Democrats in November. Blaming the Bush administration for the state of the economy -- even though it may be accurate -- just isn't going to cut it any more.

Voters are a fickle lot. Much like toddlers, they want what they want when they want it.

But for Obama, there is an upside to the GOP's probable victory: It would give him the convenient villain of a "do nothing Congress" to blame when things go wrong, which they most certainly will. It might not be ideal, but it worked for Harry Truman.

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As much as i would love to see everyone in the house get voted out, i know it will never happen. To Shirley, i hated Bush too... He was a complete moron, but so is this guy, to little to late, instead of giving the bailout money to the people who paid the taxes to help them out, when the Unemployment ran out, or when they got sick and had no healthcare... No it goes to AIG and GM the two companies i pray that will go out of business, although i know that people are to stupid to allow it to happen. GM gets billions, builds 2 new plans in Mexico, and one in sweeden, glad they put the jobs back in the ecconomy! great! then AIG who's tap exec takes the bailout money and goes to vegas to spend it on hookers... GREAT! Now he is going to stimulate the job market by incentives? Yeah right! The only way you will get jobs back in the US is to force the companies who use the US name to move the work back here. Real easy, create a tax, take that tax and call it, stop screwing americans, Use the tax to force companies who outsource work to pay the difference in what the US workers salery would be into the trillion dollar deficit and that will make ZERO incentive to outsource the jobs. But no, lets cut them tax breaks so they will make more money on there outsourced employees... Are You F*CKING kidding me???

September 13 2010 at 11:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Remember that he has already PROVEN that he doesn't give a damn about business. WHy believe him now.

September 07 2010 at 8:49 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Right on President Obama. SOOOO glad you finally BARKED BACK. These are Bush supporters that would love to see you fail. And they have no respect for you.They screwed up on supporting Bush. If we would work together like you said in your speech, We are not red america, we are not blue america WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!we would have our economy back.They are stuck on you being a baby killer!!That how Bush won the elections before.

September 07 2010 at 5:49 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to shirley's comment

Its not barking , its campaigning, the only thing he understands.

September 09 2010 at 7:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Shirley, did you drop out of 3rd grade?

September 13 2010 at 11:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Obama, Pelosi and Reid together have done more towards the demise of the democratic party. This is no longer the party of Harry Truman who had a sign on his desk that said "The buck stops here." Instead all these people have done is blame, blame and more blame while they are spending without regards for the American tax payers. They ought to be ashamed of themsleves, they only want power and do not give a hoot about any of us.

September 07 2010 at 3:48 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to TexasKitty's comment

TexasKitty, I have been trying to figure out what the difference is between the Democratic party and the republican party... The only conclusion i can come to is that one is a douche and the other is a turd... "sorry for the south park reference but they were spot on"

September 13 2010 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

follow these words and our pboblems will begin to be solved------"REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER".... K.I.S.S.----- ---- ---keep it simple stupid.....

September 07 2010 at 3:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

BIG Government always makes mistakes, government employees assume they really do matter in Economic Growth..............when they spend transfers from production and output...............they do not generate tangible products or commodities. Then over time Politicians create debt to satisfy voters that all is well and stable and not to worry...........while output decreases and finally a depression not unlike today ! America is in a sad state of affairs, lower spending and taxes are the only way out !

September 07 2010 at 2:54 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

bring on tier V.......we can't do without it......keep the u.s. dollars in this country.....take care of us firt......

September 07 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Foltynski Family

Wow what an idea... more debt. Way to try something new obama. More stimulus,just what we need. This just dosen't get old.

September 07 2010 at 2:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

business friendly..... HA! thats hilarious! greed and profit are dirty words in obamas book!

September 07 2010 at 2:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If the "rich" i.e. small business owners whose income taxes are mostly the pass through income of their small businesses (S Corps, LLC's, etc)are socked with high taxes and no incentive, guess what, you stifle the economy and job creation. 80% of new jobs are created by small business. I am a small business owner employing over 100 skilled workers in Illinois, I am considered "rich", because I take risks and work my ass off, I am to be penalized. This takes away capital from my company to reinvest so Washington can steal it and waste it. Guess what, you keep penalizing me, I will take fewer risks and hire fewer people, maybe even cut back. That is what is happening now in this country! Wake up America!

September 07 2010 at 2:18 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply