The Insiders: Obama should change tactics and call Speaker Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

Good for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for stating with clarity and specificity what he and his fellow Republicans are willing to do to ensure that some job-creating legislation can pass Congress. The letter that he and the rest of the House Leadership sent to President Obama after Obama’s State of the Union address is especially important in light of this morning’s release of yet another disappointing jobs report. It got very little coverage, but Boehner has a plan that would lessen gridlock and help the president achieve something. He outlines how Republicans are ready to work with Democrats on a few key issues — strengthening workforce training programs, building new pipelines for natural gas, changing federal laws to make overtime pay rules more family-friendly and prioritizing funding for some medical research. Gridlock is a choice.

Today’s weak jobs report shows that while the unemployment rate may have dropped slightly, Obama’s policies are not achieving any meaningful job growth and are actually suppressing economic output. If the idea is to liberate people from work, that plan is going pretty well. Considering the White House revealed this week that they think less work and less initiative is a good thing, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman has already responded to this morning’s dismal jobs report by saying, “Today’s report is another reminder of both the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain.”

Whether it is pink slips being handed out, Americans dropping out of the workforce, or simply a cut in the number of hours worked because of Obamacare, the net effect is the same. While there are plenty of one-off anecdotes about someone who chooses to work less to spend more time with their children, the reality is that family income is diminished and the pain is widespread. Americans have less discretionary income and less opportunity to save for the future.

Although Obama spent the first couple years of his presidency talking about “shovel-ready projects” that never materialized, the president is still refusing to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.  There is no good reason to delay the pipeline. The president’s reticence is purely ideological. He should feel a sense of urgency to accelerate the Keystone Pipeline and create high-paying jobs wherever he can.

We end this week with another revelation about the destruction caused by Obamacare and another lousy jobs report — and all we get from the Democrats and their allies is parsing, spinning and a vicious belittling of anyone who acknowledges the obvious about the CBO report, Obamacare and the Obama economy. The latest jobs report confirms that the president’s economic policies aren’t working, and his 43 percent job approval rating suggests that his political message isn’t working either. The president and the Democrats might want to rethink both.

Follow Ed on Twitter: @EdRogersDC

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