It's Dana Milbank's job, as far as I can tell, to make fun of people. He serves as the Washington Post's official class clown and hair-puller. Sometimes it's funny; sometimes it's not. Sometimes it contains insight; most of the time, it doesn't.
Milbank's latest column definitely falls in that latter category. His target is those silly Republicans who keep blathering about repealing ObamaCare, while the everyone knows that smart politicians talk about the need for job creation 24/7. He writes:
On Wednesday morning, as Senate Democratic leaders were scrambling to find a way to enact part of Obama’s jobs bill, a dozen Republican lawmakers assembled outside the Capitol to complain about . . . health-care reform.
…The president’s support is mired in the low 40s in opinion polls, and three-quarters of Americans think the country is on the wrong track — an obvious opportunity for the opposition party. But rather than exploit Obama’s vulnerability on the economy, the tea party faithful are stuck in 2010, demanding repeal of the health-care law.
Silly old tea partiers just can't get over the health care bill. Opposing a government take-over of health care is so 2010, and all the cool kids are now offering jobs bills, so get with it.
But not so fast. First, it's not just a few radicals who continue to want ObamaCare reversed, but a majority of the American public. Second, the health care sector constitutes about one-sixth of the U.S. economy, so it's hardly divorced from the general challenges facing our country. Milbank poo-poos the idea that the specter of ObamaCare's implementation actually relates to our current jobs crisis, but many businesses and economists would see it differently opinion.
Businesses are sitting on an estimated trillion or so in cash, and are holding back on investing it because of the incredible uncertainty they face. Yes, economic conditions are a big part of this: Are we on the brink of an even bigger downturn, with European financial markets collapsing and dragging down our already fragile, even cracked, recovery? But that's not the only variables out there: They also have no idea what laws and regulations they will be operating under next year, let alone 5 years down the road.
Drudge links to an AP story today on how the feds are now rolling up their sleeves to figure out what all U.S. health insurance policies must contain to meet government's standards. Seems sensible for businesses to wait a bit to learn the particulars of such mandates before piling on extra employees and extra potential penalties.
Investor Business Daily also reports on the many ways that ObamaCare is already failing to live up to its promises. Insurance prices are rising, rather than dropping. Some companies are getting waivers, others aren't, creating an unpredictable, arbitrary process.
Yes, the President is traveling the country repeating the words “jobs bill” endlessly which may mean that on a couple of opinion polls Americans will tell pollsters that the the President is more focused on jobs than Republicans. So what? A year from now, voters are going to take a look at the economy around them and the laws that have been passed in the last four years—from ObamaCare to the pork-ladden spending bills to the take-over of the student loan industry to the reams of job-crushing regulations.
The President's repetition of the word jobs isn't going to change that. His jobs bill is also doomed to failure. That's in part because Congressional Democrats are no more interested in another spend-a-thon “stimulus” bill than are Republican, but more fundamentally because dumping more government-borrowed money into infrastructure programs will not in any way address the root problems with our economy.
Repealing ObamaCare alone won't solve our economic problems either. But it would be a big step in the right direction by getting government out of the businesses of micromanaging the economy and the lives of 300 million Americans.
And for anyone who truly wants to solve the jobs crisis, that's no laughing matter.