The headline of Jeff Mason's Reuters story this morning reads:
Obama Renews Focus on Jobs, Economic Growth on Texas Trip
Politico would have described the president as "pivoting" to jobs and growth, but either way you find yourself asking a couple of questions. For instance: did the president just notice that the economy and jobs are not merely a concern, but the chief concern – by a wide margin – of the citizenry? Did it take this Gallup poll finding?
... 86 percent of those surveyed this month ranked creating jobs as their top priority for action by Congress and Obama, tied at 86 percent with helping the economy grow.
If so, the president and his people need to get out more often and, perhaps, extend their travels to places like Illinois, the president's home state, where things are really tough. Texas is doing fine and one suspects that the president chose to go there not so much to talk about jobs and the economy as to do some political spadework. It is no secret that the Democrats want to turn Texas into a blue state.
That the trip is more about politics than the economy is a reasonably plausible proposition since, if the president and his administration could do something about jobs and the economy by "focusing" on these matters – or "pivoting" to them – then the fixes would have been in place by now. As Texas governor Rick Perry said of the president's visit in a tweet:
"Obama should have focused on jobs and opportunity five years ago."
And done what? When it comes to the economy, the Obama administration is the problem (one of them, anyway) and not the solution. Higher taxes and increased regulation and the overwhelming uncertainties of Obamacare are the boot prints this administration has left after stomping all over the economy.
The administration did, admittedly, announce one marginally helpful initiative:
The president ... issued an executive order requiring that newly released government data be made freely available in easily readable formats.
In the future, people in business have a shot at understanding what the government is saying when it issues some new rule that hobbles enterprise and the economy.
Was it necessary to go all the way to Texas to announce that?