By Sylvia Gurinsky
It's the jobs, stupid.
President Barack Obama and economists can say all they want about jobs being a lagging economic indicator, and that patience is needed. It doesn't matter.
Patience is impossible when you can't pay the bills.
Obama has been reading about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Presumably, that includes FDR's so-called "Alphabet Soup" of organizations created to restore jobs. Those included the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
Obama's statements that health care reform, energy reform and the stimulus package would create jobs do no good. That's because America's economy has flipped from bottom-up to the top-down "voodoo" economics originated by President Ronald Reagan and advocated by both Bushes (including President George H.W. Bush, who came up with the "Voodoo" label during the 1980 Republican presidential primary). We now know that a lot of economic success during the Clinton Administration was like steroids: Artificial enhancement.
Obama hasn't seemed to grasp, just yet, that Wall Street won't help Main Street out of this mess. Wall Street will only help Wall Street. But it takes Main Street to really make a successful economy.
Obama needs to go back and re-read his FDR books, and devote 2010 to the theme of job creation - not through second-hand, top-down methods, but through primary methods. Then, either through Congress or by executive order, he needs to create a new alphabet soup of productive jobs for Americans.