Hawaii Dennis Prager Discussion Group Message Board › Obama, Jobs and the G.O.P. (excerpt of article by James Surowieki)

Obama, Jobs and the G.O.P. (excerpt of article by James Surowieki)

Honolulu, HI
Post #: 51
...In addition, while most voters say that they want the government to do something about jobs, talking about voters in general is deceptive: different sets of voters react to economic conditions quite differently. The Republican base is actively hostile toward more government spending, and polls show that swing voters think that reining in deficits is the main priority. That reduces the pressure on Republican politicians to do something about the jobs crisis. Compounding this is the fact that Republican and Democratic voters seem to have different expectations of officeholders. The economist Douglas Hibbs has found that, historically, Democratic voters were more likely to punish incumbents for presiding over periods of high unemployment, while Republican voters were likely to punish incumbents for presiding over periods of high inflation. And a study of gubernatorial elections found that Democrats who presided over increases in taxes and spending were rewarded by voters, while Republicans who did the same were punished. Voters, it seems, don’t expect Republicans to do much about jobs, so they’re not penalized as much for inaction. Uncoöperative Republicans are really just delivering what their constituencies expect.

It’s not that the Republican approach is popular: one recent Bloomberg poll found that forty-five per cent of those surveyed think congressional Republicans are responsible for the gridlock in Washington. But it seems to be working: for the past year and a half, the Party has consistently gone for a do-nothing approach and voters have consistently rewarded it. In the run-up to last year’s midterms, Republicans were explicit about their opposition to past, present, and future stimulus programs. They won a landslide victory. And, just last week, in two special elections for the House, Republican candidates who campaigned largely against Obama’s policies won seats in Nevada and New York by margins that were much bigger than expected. Americans may be saying that they want the government to use fiscal policy to get the economy moving again, but the way they vote tells a different story. Perhaps fourteen more months of economic stagnation and no job creation will change that. But, for now, it’s not only our representatives who are to blame. It’s ourselves.

FULL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND HERE: http://www.newyorker....­
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