Your Take: Obama's job plan was 'more of the same' or 'light' of hope
President Obama told lawmakers that they should quickly pass his plan, the American Jobs Act.
September 9th, 2011
11:08 AM ET

Your Take: Obama's job plan was 'more of the same' or 'light' of hope

In a speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama told lawmakers to "stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy" by quickly approving a $447 billion package of measures so he can sign it into law.

"The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities. The question tonight is whether we'll meet ours," Obama said to applause. "The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy. The question is whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning."

In detailing the plan, he noted that there was nothing controversial in the bill and that everything was paid for. He spoke specifically to the need to get the economy up and running, help those who are unemployed, and give incentives to businesses that hire the unemployed and groups that are chronically underemployed.

How did you feel about Obama's job plan? We took a look at widespread reader comments, iReport reactions and Twitter reactions to the speech to see whether Obama presented a plan you liked, that you felt would work, or if he disappointed you. More than 16,000 reader comments (as of this post) came flying in, along with numerous iReports and tweets.

Robert Hallman told iReport that as a teacher a substitute teacher in Fort Worth, Texas, he's going to be looking for jobs once he starts an alternative teaching program.

When the president spoke about his job plans, he specifically referenced jobs for military members and teachers, something Hallman was happy to hear.

"If there will be more teaching jobs, that would be good for me," he said. "I have friends in the military as well as some college friends who might benefit by increased job opportunities."

Hallman praised Obama's speech, especially in comparison to how he felt Obama handled the debt ceiling issue, and was hopeful that this speech and bill would change things around.

"During the Deficit Ceiling negotiations the President was a no show, a non participant. He just let the two parties bicker, fight, and whine just like a room full of Kindergartners. Tonight the President had a strong showing. He told the members of Congress that they NEED to work together because WE the the People demand nothing less," Hallman wrote. "Overall the President showed us something that we haven't seen in a long time. A politician with belief and conviction."

John W. Hargis Sr., a 54-year-old disabled veteran of the U.S. Navy, told iReport that he thinks another stimulus would not help, as the money from the last plan was "spent in all the wrong places."

That thought was echoed by many commenting on the CNN.com story who referenced "shovel-ready" projects in the first stimulus that either didn't make sense or got hung up because of red tape - red tape that Obama said he was getting rid of to help make sure building could begin as soon as possible where it is needed most.

Hargis said he felt that although there are absolute infrastructure needs that have to be addressed, as Obama suggested, none of it will matter "if checks are not placed on disbursements of funds."

As far as jobs go, Hargis was skeptical about Obama's suggestion that veterans would get a boost from the bill. He said that having the added concern of being a disabled veteran makes finding a job hard.

"My friends and family are middle class and below," he said. "As we disabled failed to receive cost of living increases in the last three years, the struggle to make ends meet has tripled. There are no jobs to be had, and as many of us drive older-model autos, we are always subject to maintenance issues and inspection compliance."

iReporter David P. Kronmiller of Burbank, California, said he was pleased with Obama’s jobs speech.

“I thought he was direct, passionate - a lot of the things I think his supporters were looking for," he said.

Kronmiller, 34, thought the jobs plan "had a lot of great points," including a training program and aid for veterans. The independent filmmaker added that he was "deeply disappointed" in Republicans and their behavior during the speech.

But many people commenting on CNN.com were wary of Obama's plan and wondered whether they were in the movie "Groundhog Day."

"Meh...I think we all know how this movie ends...," brooklynny95 wrote. "Temporary stimulus/subsidy begets temporary and artificial growth that dries up as soon as the stimulus/subsidy is gone.  Then we're back where we started with more debt."

TforLIberty felt the same way.

"What's the definition of insanity? Trying the same thing over and over again but expecting different results," they wrote. "Everything Obama is trying to do was done in the 30's in the Great Depression. These policies were why a recession that normally lasts about 12 months, lasted 15 years. Let's end the Bush/Obama big govt boondoggle and restore a free market so people can get back to work."

Some people wrote in to defend even the first stimulus. reneN argued that without the first stimulus program, unemployment could have dropped even more. That alone, they said, was a sign things were working. They also cautioned those who say Obama should have been able to fix the economy faster, citing an example everyday Americans would be able to understand.

"Since it takes most of us 2-3 years to clean a garage or a basement, don't pretend that anyone could turn this economy around in 2 year," reneN wrote.

In the end, how you feel about the bill probably depends on whether you truly believe you stand to benefit from it.

And one commenter who was a small business owner saw some big benefits.

"As a small business owner I love the tax credit of 4k for hiring is a great Idea, and loosing up all the government regulations, along with ensuring American workers rights to earn a livable wage," LVAmerica wrote.

Even if people liked Obama's speech and thought the plan was what the country needed, many doubted whether anything would actually get done or if it would remain "politics as usual."

iReporter Mike McCullough, who recently dropped out of graduate school to get a job to support his family, uploaded a video in which he described Obama’s jobs speech as "uplifting."

The Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, resident also shared a message for Congress: "Maybe you should do your job. And if you lose your job, guess what? You're going to be like everybody else.

"Start working for us instead of for yourselves,” he added.

That echoed Obama's statement that Americans couldn't wait 14 years for the government to do something. He alluded to both the urgent need to act now and the idea that Republicans were not working with him merely so they could say he hadn't done anything to help the economy during the upcoming election.

The idea that Republicans are being passive and allowing the situation to worsen was also something readers seemed to connect with.

"The republicans will pay dearly in the next election. Congresses approval rating is at an all time low and a lot lower than Obama's," Garyd2 wrote. "All republicans need to be voted out of office, they are nothing but trouble makers, they do not want the USA to survive and be great again unless they are in office. It is always party first and screw the american worker, this is how it has always been and it will remain the same."

Shirley Pilote, 60, of Edison, New Jersey, who has been out of work for four years, was thrilled to hear Obama’s jobs plan last night - and it showed her why she supported him in 2008 and plans to again in 2012.

Pilote feels that Obama’s plan shows he’s listening to the American people: “I wrote a letter proposing that President Obama give small businesses a tax break...that's why I'm really excited that President Obama listens to what people say.”

“President Obama did something wonderful tonight,” she wrote in her iReport. “I feel he is taking the right course of action and I am very proud that I was one of the people to suggest this. There is light, and we see the light through the darkness now. Bring back the Dodge, the Ford, the Chevrolet and apple pie. This is what made our country great and gave Americans the dream.”

Here’s a sampling of some of the other comments about Obama’s speech:

"For the first time last night, Obama sounds like he has a pair and is willing to fight for what is right. About damn time! Maybe he finally got the message that he's not winning any points or respect with his voter base by bending over to the GOP. It's a step in the right direction."–bTcoy

"I'm very disappointed that the Republicans haven't learned to work with Obama. Republicans should listen carefully to the President, make certain they understand his plans in great detail, and do the exact opposite. American will be back on track almost immediately."–Mirus3

arizonanorm said, "If Obama really wanted to help the economy ... he'd resign."

maybrick said, "If GOP congressmen really wanted to help the economy they'd be willing to negotiate."

mamamayr said, "Republicans won't do a damn thing to help the people get back to work. ALL that they care about is keeping Pres Obama from getting re-elected, that's it! They will do nothing that he suggests. They wouldn't know a good idea if it slapped them upside their heads!"

Capitalism replied, "We do know a good idea and that is to get a new president elected in 2012. That alone will help bring jobs back and turn the economy around. Obama is the president of zero job growth and perpetual unemployment. Failed liberal entitlement policies do not work and never will!"

John201001 asked, "How is this stimulus different from the other stimulus packages?"

urangry replied, "It gives tax breaks and incentive to small businesses so they can hire the unemployed, next question?"

jeannotga said, "Okay, so the long-term unemployed and military veterans will take the place of competent and experienced people, raising the competence of the unemployed. I'm impressed."

Deacs replied, "So basically you think veterans don't have the knowledge and skills to perform civilian jobs? Seriously? I can't speak for the long term unemployed since that deals with local markets, but that's funny."

nobmanov12 said, "George Bush had TARP; Obama had Stimulus 1. They both did not work. So what does he come up with but Stimulus 2. It's not going to work; we have already tried this. We need new ideas and a new methodology."

Chooch0253 replied, "It did not work? Really? CNN.Money disagrees with you."

maybrick added, "Want to talk failed GOP policies? Let's try trickle down economics for size. That has NEVER worked."

Xantippe5 said, "This jobs bill is nothing more than the old tired liberal formula of wealth distribution, but, in reality, this will take wealth away from the private sector and distribute it to the politically well-connected, not to those who need it the most. Just like Obama's previous failed attempt to use your money to shore up the economy. Only the private sector can create wealth, and you liberals who regard big government as a force for good, instead of the force for evil that it is, should jettison your childish belief, alongside your belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny."

guestem replied, "How is repairing roads and bridges that are falling apart 'wealth redistribution?' This is a basic function of government, to build infrastructure. If you think railroads, roads, and ports aren't important, how do you plan to have your business deliver goods?"

ImInFlight said, "If Obama proposed eliminating the income tax, Republicans would be against it."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Auto Industry • Barack Obama • Congress • Democratic Party • Economy • Finance • Jobs • Military • Politics • Republican Party • Taxes
soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. illuminati

    Get rid of o'bombma before he messes something else up.

    September 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. krehator

    "Get rid of o'bombma before he messes something else up."

    I wonder if you said the same thing about Bush......

    September 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ragnarstick

    If you tax the top 1% at a rate of 100%, how much of the socialist dream can that fund? And what about when those who produce decide to go somewhere else before all hell breaks loose like in Greece? Are you going to step up then or just wallow and wail with your hand still out for help from Big Govt?

    September 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    Obama's lurch to the Left may fire up tthe moonbats, but it throws many Dem senators up for reelection in 2012, especially those in red states, under the bus. They are gone in 2012, along with Obama.

    September 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. B-Man

    …well what I liked was his straight on approach concerning taxes. It’s a hard truth but as a government in which the American public depends on, some more than others, taxes are a mainstay. I honestly get tired of “whatever party” disagrees with tax hikes and then as soon as “their” party takes the seat the backtrack and raise taxes anyways. The economy was not the result of the Obama administration, it was defunct when he arrived and sat down. As a republican I sat in disgust as I watched them sit with their hands tightly held together as President Obama shared an initiative… No plan is fool proof and since my party had controlled much of this century I find it disheartening that we couldn’t come-up with something that would’ve started the ball rolling. What I saw was the same ole same ole…pass the buck. America finally has a president who addressed something that has been an ongoing issue since I can remember…Health Care and the need for its reform. It may not be “sound” but it’s a starting point…when Obama asked for bipartisanship my party offered nothing and stood and did nothing…offered nothing…complained…more republicans have been president since I had the ability to vote and all of them made health care a priority that went nowhere. We need America to stop being scared to succeed and start working. The government has allowed for huge bail-outs while I struggle. I work for a company who has not allowed pay increases in fear of possible contract losses all the while the cost of living continues to rise. Shame on the republican party…

    September 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Redsnapper

    More of the same. I say something and then say someone else has to figure it out. I want to spend the money, but i do not want to use current dollars. Want someone else to figure out where the money is going to be obtained, with out increasing the deficit. Obama and his team do not know how to that.

    September 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Homa., Tucson

    I think the American people should vote on the "job" plan " right away", not the Congress. Poilitican are thinking about themselve (election), and do not one to give any advantage to each other. This was proven in the Debt C. troubling event. I don't want the T party nor Progressive left to be involved in this.

    September 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan Da Man

    brock the RETARD osama bama was not born in america,who in the heck spends a over millon dollars to keep his birth certificate hid. also he did not take out bin laden, no body, no proof . under pres bush, the cia took down the real towers mastermind and he's sitting pretty in cuba with three hots and a cot. also free medical and dental. "only in america !"

    September 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jrice

    Why would anyone think the government can create jobs. The goverment can create an environment for the private sector to creat jobs but the government can't create good jobs. Our current problem IS the government. Changing regulations and not knowing if health care will get through the supreme court has businesses at a point where they don't know how much it will cost to hire someone. It's like playing a football game and knowing that the rules are going to change as the game proceeds.

    September 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. thebalancedrepublic

    The people are not in charge. Politicians are in the game for re-election. They pander and take bribes in order to win. We are going no where until we fix that. TheBalancedRepublic

    September 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. calmerheads

    I listened to the entire address, unlike some members of congress. It was a plan, not just political campaigning. The plan has many positive and executable elements – both of Republican and Democratic in origin. It should be passed. It will be good for job growth and for the country.

    September 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Homa., Tucson

    There is huge dis-joint between the people need and the government interest in USA. This is the seed for future uprisning, revolution, and events we are seeing on TV in North Africa and middle east!

    September 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lightdude

    Obo the clown is so stupid. He thinks if he says the same thing enough people will believe it. Got news for him. The people aren't as stupid as he thinks. We are Americans and sorry to say, he isn't and doesn't want to be. He hates this Country and he wants to rule as king. After all, most "kings" at least know how many states we have. Obo thinks we have 57? WOW, he sure is as smart as Nasty Pooploosie.

    September 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Janak Patel

    People are disappointed by politicians on both sides. Democrats wants to create jobs by spending money in this recession and republicans want to help only big business & wealthy. The Obama package only helps teachers & construction workers who gets paid by union rates. What about common people? This is not going to create jobs. Have some bold plan to reduce tax for everybody, reduce corporate taxes etc. so that people at in bottom rung can live comfortably. No body thinks about a guy who earns $8 /hr, how he can live in US? what about his medicare? By recession, Nature wants to teach lesson to us that you cant exploit other societies all the time, you have to live with them and help each other.

    September 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. obo

    These Crazy right wingers would rather toss our nation under the bus again...just to prevent President Obama from saving our nation. With the debt limit crap and the smear/fear to the Christians, they have done more harm to our country than the terrorists ever could. To Osama Bin Laden, the 3000 dead and the twin towers were small potatoes... He stated that he wanted to destroy our economy...and the looney tune wing-nuts gave him his best victory. Will you Rethugs please sit down and shut up, so our nation can heal and recover?

    September 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
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