David Frum

02.08.13

Who do Americans Think Will Fix the Jobs Crisis?

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From Byron York's very important column this morning: Washington, D.C. lawmakers are bewhilderingly detached from the needs of our country. Worse yet (or, perhaps, better), citizens are saying "to hell with both of you" in response to this savage neglect.

And it's not just free trade and immigration. The Rutgers study found a deep frustration over the fact that no one in Washington is addressing the public's No. 1 concern. In his inaugural address, President Obama did not even mention the problem of joblessness, and both Obama and Republicans in Congress are more caught up in fighting over fiscal issues than confronting unemployment. And when they're not fighting over the budget, they're arguing over gun control.

It's no surprise, then, that when the Rutgers researchers asked whether people put more trust in Obama or the GOP as far as handling the economy is concerned, the largest number of people said "neither."

Coming off re-election, Obama appears to believe slight improvements in the economy will mean an improving public mood. The president, who famously focused on national health care more than jobs during his first term, seems poised to again focus on issues other than the economy in his second. In a 2,100-word inaugural address, Obama devoted only five -- "An economic recovery has begun" -- to even obliquely addressing the concerns of the jobless.