“Pass This Bill, Right Away”

By Orlando Rodriguez

As President Obama introduced the American Jobs Act to the nation, reaction, at least on the Congressional floor was….strange to say the least.

As Jennifer Steinhauer pointed out in her piece in the New York Times, it was hard to gage how this notoriously partisan congress is going to tackle the passing of this bill “right away”, as the president said at least 6 times in his speech.

The presidents wife, Michelle Obama, looked quite unhappy. As did Hillary Clinton, who looked like she was thinking, “I would have done better”. Maybe. This is all imaginary speculation.

John Boehner, as could be expected, made sure to keep on his “I’m not impressed, I have ants in my pants” look consistant. As did Rand Paul, minus the ants. Harry Reid looked happy, which was strange. The presidents plan called for a reduction in taxes.

As far as specifics go, we will have to wait until Monday to here the details of how the plan will work. But for now we have the speech.

The anti-reaction was swift. With ABC News reporting David Stockman, a former aide under president Reagan saying the plan was “Keynesian poison.” I guess maybe he was hoping for more University of Chicago/ Milton Friedman approach. Wonder if the installation of a dictator would help sway his opinion.

Forbes magazine, a great supporter of the president (tongue in cheek) reported that markets “were tanking” in response to the speech. Not sure if that can be definitive, particularly given Steve Forbes hate-affair with the president.

The News Corp owned Wall Street Journal also framed the story in a similar way. Indicating that investors were not convinced that the American Jobs Act would turn the economy around. I guess investors that read the journal would feel more confident if reporters hacked into congress-peoples phones to know how they might vote on the plan.

Zachary Karabell over at The Daily Beast took an opposing viewpoint. Stating that we cannot blame the president for economic instability. His premise was that the roller coaster on Wall Street is due more to uncertainty surrounding Europe’s economic crisis, rather than our own.

Never the less we shall wait and see if the plan, which calls for lower payroll taxes, will gain some traction over the long run in winning investor confidence, as well as with the American people.