Obama Hits Up Wall Street 'Fat Cats' For Reelection Funds, But What About Jobs?
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When Larry Summers, hardly a raving leftist, is publishing op-eds calling for more stimulus, more job creation, after leaving the administration, what are progressives to think? Summers isn't the first, of course. Jared Bernstein called for direct job creation, and Christina Romer said recently, “I frankly do not understand why policymakers are not feeling more urgency to get unemployment down.”
Unemployment numbers are often the best predictor of an incumbent president's reelection, many have noted. Despite a lackluster Republican field and brinksmanship over the debt ceiling that has some on Wall Street scared, sustained joblessness isn't likely to make the majority of the country get out and vote for more of the same. And the jobless rate is at its highest among young people and recent graduates, the very people who put Obama over the top in 2008, the ones whose energy was dedicated not to raising money but to getting out the vote.
The 2012 presidential race will no doubt be the most expensive in history, bolstered by the unlimited corporate cash allowed by the Citizens United decision. It's understandable, of course, that the Democrats don't want to go into that race with their pockets empty. But as the Obama reelection campaign starts calling its small donors and volunteers, asking them to sign back up, to kick in $20 or $30 at a time, what response will they get when those same people can see the administration's interest in courting the investor class, rather than the working class?
Sarah Jaffe is a contributor to AlterNet and a freelance writer.