“Paying the Price” by Bob Herbert (TIMES, 9/11/10)


          It is not too late for Obama to “seize the moment” and win back the progressives who voted for him two years ago. That “moment” will arrive in the first week of October when the unemployment rate is revealed.

          If that figure remains around the official 9.6 per cent (a gross underestimate) or worse, Obama can step up before the off year election the way Franklin Roosevelt did after the Democrats’ landslide victory in 1934.

          The measures of the famous New Deal that brought relief (e.g., social security and the Wagner Act) went into effect in 1935. In his first week in office (March 1933), FDR bailed out the banks; then his administration offered help to business. However, unlike Obama, he maintained the trust of those who voted for him in 1932.

          The final deadline for Obama’s action will be Friday, October 8, 2010. By that day, he has to announce his intention of implementing some kind of massive federal jobs program, the only measure capable of jump-starting an economic recovery.

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