NDN Blog

The Debate on the American Economy - "Jobs"

The Obama team released an ad today urging Congress to pass the American Jobs Act of 2011. The ad is part of a broader strategy to articulate Presiden Obama's economic agenda, and is accompanied on the Obama campaign website by a more in depth explanation of the legislation.

The ad takes a positive tone and points to the creation of 4.3 million private sector jobs as a sign of recovery. It makes several other points:

The bill will put teachers and other public employees that were laid off back to work in the near-term. 

The bill's financing requires that wealthy Americans pay higher taxes

Congress has obstructed the passage of the bill, implying that our weak economy is a result of Congressional inaction.

The bill comes amidst heightened Republican attacks on what they deem to be wasteful government spending - spending that has failed to stimulate the economy. The Obama ad and its accompanying description challenge this philosophy by calling for government investments in our infrastructure and workforce to reduce near-term unemployment and modernize our economy for future success.

The Debate on the American Economy -"Stopwatch"

Today’s post features a new ad from Crossroads GPS, a nonprofit organization associated with conservative super PAC American Crossroads. The ad, which was released yesterday, will run in key election states, including Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Michigan, Iowa, Nevada, and Virginia.

The message of the ad is that our weak economy is a direct result of President Obama’s profligate spending. The way to strengthen the economy, according to Crossroads, is to “stop the spending.” A recent opinion piece from Paul Krugman questions the validity of this argument on two levels. First, it notes that spending under Obama has not increased dramatically. Second, it argues that spending has not increased enough to counter the recession.

The Debate on the American Economy

With the general election less than six months away, we are about to be inundated with ads and speeches from Democrats and Republicans trying to convince us to vote for them. As 13 million Americans continue to look for jobs and our public debt expands indefinitely, voters will be looking for a candidate who they think can provide strong economic leadership. Winning the economic debate, therefore, is crucial to winning the election.

Both sides offer very different narratives on how to get the economy back on track  In this series, which will run throughout the summer, I will document how the economic debate plays out in the political sphere. Looking mainly at campaign advertisements and stump speeches, I report on how the Obama and Romney camps frame their economic arguments and what kinds of solutions they are advancing for America’s economic woes. I welcome any feedback from readers who find interesting local ads pertaining to the economy.

To start things off, here’s a video of former president Bill Clinton stumping for President Obama in New York last night. The full transcript of the speech can be found here.

A couple of interesting points:

Clinton highlights the creation of 4.3 million private sector jobs under President Obama. This seems to refute Republican attacks on Obama’s jobs record.

Clinton equates Republican and European austerity policies, effectively establishing a link between the Republican party's economic philosophy and policies that have contributed to Europe's instability 

Be sure to check back regularly for updates on the debate over the American economy. 



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