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Maybe the voters are actually right

In the election of 2010 the voters said the key issue was jobs. And they were willing to toss out Democrats to get their message heard. So what did the newly elected congress do? It went after spending.

Now, as 2012 approaches the voters are naming their number one priority is, well yes, jobs. And what are politicians doing? Arguing about spending and taxing.

Is there a problem with the message here?

Could it be that the voters keep tossing the congress because no matter how often or how loudly they demand jobs as a priority congress ignores them?

Yes, it could be that yet another change election is about to occur as congress metaphorically fiddles while Washington burns.

Why is it that congress seems entirely unable to even discuss legislation help for jobs?

For Republicans it is because there is nothing left that they can do on the jobs front that does not conflict with their other political positions.

After all, Republicans told us we needed to tax the “jobs creators” at lower rates so they would be motivated to create jobs. We did that. The job creators did not create jobs … they simply kept the money.

Then we tried reducing regulations, for Republicans said the job creators were stymied by the unbearable harnessing of their creativity. That gave us the banking collapse.

Finally, Republicans told us the job creators needed stability in fiscal policy to create jobs, so we extended the tax cuts and watched as the Republicans took the nation to the brink of debt default.

Now the Republicans have nothing to offer to create jobs, for they ostensively have argued that government cannot create jobs. So if we are waiting for Republicans to create jobs have they not used all the tools in their toolbox?

As for the Democrats, they are no better, for they have not had the courage of their convictions in creating jobs.

Democrats know that government can create, and save, jobs, at least in the short term. The 2009 stimulus saved thousands of jobs at the state level, jobs that are now being lost to tough state budgets.

And this president knows these same truths.

So why don’t the Democrats and the President act?

Because they have been unwilling to go to the people and fight for spending to turn the economy around when we have large deficits. Yet without action the economic malaise may last for a decade.

America needs boldness now. We need to extend unemployment benefits, for they inject capital into the economy instantly.

We need to expand the Social Security tax rate cuts to the entire 6.2 percent contribution until unemployment drops a full point.

We need to replace our aging bridges and sewers with programs that put people to work.

And we need to revise our tax policy to increase revenue and simplify taxation.

Let the 2012 election be about the direction for our future. Will it be a retreat from America’s greatness, or a bold push to re-invent the middle class that changed the world?

Jim Crawford is retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.