More than half Americans disapprove of President Obama's job performance. 51% of adults surveyed in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll don't think the President is doing good job. Only 44% approve of the job he's doing. Adding insult to injury, 44% of those surveyed say they are more likely to vote Republican in 2012 versus 40% that are more likely to vote Democratic. That's a reversal from earlier polls which showed the Democrats in the lead.
This is bad news for the President ahead of his Thursday jobs speech and following a month where the economy didn't add any jobs. (The poll was taken Aug. 27-31, before the August payroll number was released.)
New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman says the country is suffering from high unemployment because the government has been preoccupied, or he puts it, distracted by deficit reduction, when they should have been spending money on job creation. What the country needs is a government spending program that will create jobs and fill the void not being met currently by the private sector. In other words, follow the Keynesian playbook - government spending will cure the economy. Krugman notes interest rates are as low as they've ever been, so while the GOP is freaking about the growing debt - which is a long-term problem - Congress should be using the cheap borrowing costs to our advantage.
What makes the economic situation even more dire is the political dysfunction infecting Washington. As Aaron Task and Henry Blodget discuss in the accompanying clip, President Obama's plan to improve the unemployment problem may be dead on arrival, no matter its merits, because the GOP may see it politically beneficial to blame the terrible economy on Obama. The problem with that strategy for the GOP controlled House of Representatives is their disapproval rating is even higher than the President's.