‘Poised for progress’ on jobs, but with no urgency for action


Outside of Austin, Texas, on Thursday President Obama pushed the message of job creation, harkening back to the rhetoric of the election and his State of the Union address. He touted 6.5 million jobs created in a little over three years, and said, “We’re poised for progress.”

Are we? On issues like deficit reduction and job creation initiatives, Obama can’t make progress alone. Republicans have a track record of obstructionism, so Obama’s next best bet is to take it to the public. The president is “hoping to ignite public enthusiasm out there in the country for what he wants to get done,” Howard Fineman told The Cycle hosts on Thursday. According to a new Gallup poll, Americans rank job creation as their top priority for Washington, so the president talking jobs is exactly what they want to hear.

But while Americans yearn for job creation, that may not be the priority on Wall Street or in Washington. Fineman explains the two-pronged problem:

“Number one, the stock market and Wall Street are doing just fine right now…the banks are doing great–thanks, in good measure, to the bailout of a few years ago. So Wall Street’s doing great; there’s no sense of urgency there. And when they don’t have a sense of urgency, Washington doesn’t have a sense of urgency.”

Meanwhile, the talk around D.C. is about immigration this week as the Senate Judiciary Committee added hundreds of amendments to the Gang of 8’s proposed plan for comprehensive immigration reform. Immigration was the 12th ranked priority by Americans on Gallup’s list.

'Poised for progress' on jobs, but with no urgency for action