Thursday, July 09, 2009

The 10% Tripwire

Mark Penn argues that 10% unemployment is a psychological tripwire number that has "the potential to undermine the hard-won confidence enjoyed by the Obama administration." I agree that 10% unemployment would be both a real problem and a psychological watershed but I don't agree that President Obama has any "hard-won confidence" from the American people. More like squandered mis-placed enthusiasm. Penn then goes on to argue that if that 10% number became a reality - then President Obama could be forced into the following course of action:
First, the administration could pitch another stimulus package, in the form of direct, immediate tax rebates or some other, more tangible, measures, such as increased federal money to cash-starved states and localities. The Republicans are now on record in opposition to any stimulus. So they would be forced to vote against temporary tax cuts or money to the states, votes that could be problematic for them in the midterms.
Yeah another stimulus package because the first one worked so well. Second - Republicans would be right to be against throwing more money (that we don't have by the way) at the problem but not against tax cuts. Can Mark Penn be that thick?

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