It's coming any minute now, so prepare yourselves. What's the occasion, you ask? You'll recall the "jobs plan" the president outlined last Thursday night. It's the proposal every White House official within a half-mile radius of a television camera has been demanding that Congress pass "right now." Well, until now, the plan itself didn't actually exist in legislative form, which complicates the business of passing it. The administration has finally fashioned it into a tangible bill and they're submitting it to Congress today. Hence the speech. One minor problem: There's still no plan to pay for the plan, despite the president's assurances that the nearly half-trillion dollar price tag is covered. What he means is, it will be covered at some point -- after the supercommittee works its magic. For what it's worth, he'll offer his recommendations on how to answer that $450 Billion question next week. Until then, our intrepid president will be criss-crossing the fruited plain, hectoring Congress to immediately pass an unpaid-for bill that won't make much of a difference either way (more on that later). In the meantime, the DNC is running a TV ad in key swing states, trying to drum up support for The Big Plan. Said support is...tepid at the moment:
Why, look! Democrats are using footage from Obama's joint-session speech to sell his political plan in crucial 2012 states. It's almost as if that speech was devised as an intricate piece of electroral theater to create the illusion that this re-run plan is substantive and significant. Because the president cares, you see, and he's working hard. For you. Unlike those rascally Republicans in Congress. Did he mention they should pass the bill "right now"?
UPDATE: President Obama just wrapped up his remarks. It was a total rehash of Thursday's show, except (blessedly) a bit shorter. I counted at least a dozen exhortations to "pass this bill" right away. He claimed it is "fully paid for," and would not add "one dime" to the deficit. These are false statements. There's a chance it might be paid for, but we don't know yet. He's punted that task to someone else, and -- as I mentioned above -- hasn't even released his own playbook on that front yet. Just for good measure, he decried under-taxed "millionares and billionaries," and attacked Republican strawmen. Ah, good times. If you missed the president's comments, no worries. He'll be delivering this exact same speech for the next few weeks.
UPDATE II: Top White House budget man Jack Lew is previewing Obama's pay-for plan. Surprise:
@EdHenryTV - WH budget chief reveals budget offsets to pay for $447 billion jobs bill -- series of tax hikes
Henry follow up on this nugget with a devastating "reality check" tweet:
@EdHenryTV - Reality check: In early '09 WH proposed v similar limit on itemized deductions to pay for hcr - Dem House & Dem Senate rejected it
Boom. Obama is trying to resurrect a plan that limits tax deductions on mortgages and charitable donations for "the rich." (As Tim Carney quips, limiting charity to fund more federal spending pretty much sums up this administration's worldview). This idea was a total non-starter on Obamacare, and was soundly rejected by a Democratic Congress. Another old, failed idea. Go figure. Oh, and there's this.