SETTING THEIR HAIR ON FIRE BY PAUL KRUGMANNEW YORK TIMESI was favorably surprised by the new Obama jobs plan, which is significantly bolder and better than I expected. It's not nearly as bold as the plan I'd want in an ideal world. But if it actually became law, it would probably make a significant dent in unemployment. Of course, it isn't likely to become law, thanks to G.O.P. opposition. Nor is anything else likely to happen that will do much to help the 14 million Americans out of work. And that is both a tragedy and an outrage.
STIMULUS FOR SKEPTICS BY DAVID BROOKSNEW YORK TIMESThe mainstream economic view is that we should combine near-term stimulus with long-range austerity. ... Republicans won’t touch spending, and Democrats won’t touch entitlement reform. The president clearly wants to give it a final shot. His tone on Thursday was feisty and will please Democrats. But the substance was heterodox and worth pursuing. In this moment of peril, the country needs an insurance policy against the double dip.
POST 9/11 PERMANENT STATE OF WAR SHOULD HAVE ENDED LONG AGO BY EUGENE ROBINSONWASHINGTON POSTAfter 10 long years, perhaps we can finally get unstuck. Bin Laden is dead, his terrorist organization in shreds. The al-Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11 is defeated. This does not mean there will never be another terror attack — or even that attacks might be attempted by miscreants who claim to fight under the al-Qaeda banner. For years to come, perhaps indefinitely, intelligence and military assets will have to be deployed to try to detect and prevent new atrocities. This activity doesn’t yet have a name — but whatever it is, it isn’t war.
WE'LL NEVER GET OVER IT, NOR SHOULD WE BY PEGGY NOONANWALL STREET JOURNALNew York will never get over what they did. They live in a lot of hearts. ... We can't bring an air of tragedy into the future. But I will never get over it. To get over it is to get over the guy who stayed behind on a high floor with his friend who was in a wheelchair. To get over it is to get over the woman by herself with the sign in the darkness: "America You Are Not Alone." To get over it is to get over the guys who ran into the fire and not away from the fire. You've got to be loyal to pain sometimes to be loyal to the glory that came out of it.
OBAMA'S JOB SPEECH: GOOD PLAN, GOOD VISION, GOOD POLITICS BY HAROLD MEYERSONWASHINGTON POSTObama also used the occasion of tonight’s speech to lay out a more long-term vision for the reconstruction of the American economy -- one that centered on reviving manufacturing and ... reclaiming our pre-eminence in that field from China. He was studiously vague on how exactly we’ll do this, and, for now, Mitt Romney’s promise to declare China a currency manipulator. ... So -- a good speech; a good proposal for beginning to revive the American economy; and a good start, which he desperately needed, of the president’s 2012 election campaign. This is a president who’s had plenty of good starts, however; it’s in sustaining his momentum that he’s come up short. We’ll see if he does that better this time around.
THE JOBS SPEECH BY EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESThough the plan would be paid for by more deficit reduction, he left those vital details until later. It was gratifying to hear him call for higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, but his warning of cuts to Medicare and Medicaid — lifelines to the most vulnerable — raised concerns about trading one important program for another. We hope Mr. Obama keeps his promise to take his proposals all over the country. The need to act is urgent.
THE IRRELEVANCY OF THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY BY DANA MILBANKWASHINGTON POSTAlmost all Republicans ignored the call of some within their ranks to boycott the speech. In fact, the empty seats were on the Democratic side. Democrats lumbered to their feet to give the president several standing ovations, but they struggled at times to demonstrate enthusiasm. When Obama proposed payroll tax cuts for small businesses, three Democrats stood to applaud. Summer jobs for disadvantaged youth brought six Democrats to their feet, and a tax credit for hiring the long-term unemployed produced 11 standees.