A day after the New York Times published an editorial praising President Obama for his "ambitious," "robust," and "far-reaching" jobs address the previous evening, the Gray Lady printed a front page story with the shocking headline, "Employers Say Jobs Plan Won’t Lead to Hiring Spur."
The first few paragraphs were just as surprising:
The dismal state of the economy is the main reason many companies are reluctant to hire workers, and few executives are saying that President Obama’s jobs plan — while welcome — will change their minds any time soon.
That sentiment was echoed across numerous industries by executives in companies big and small on Friday, underscoring the challenge for the Obama administration as it tries to encourage hiring and perk up the moribund economy.
The plan failed to generate any optimism on Wall Street as the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the Dow Jones industrial average each fell about 2.7 percent.
As President Obama faced an uphill battle in Congress to win support even for portions of the plan, many employers dismissed the notion that any particular tax break or incentive would be persuasive. Instead, they said they tended to hire more workers or expand when the economy improved.
Checking that link to make sure this really is a Times article?
I understand. I checked it four times, especially as this was in stark contrast to what the editorial staff told readers Friday morning after the President's address:
With more than 14 million people out of work and all Americans fearing a double-dip recession, President Obama stood face to face Thursday night with a Congress that has perversely resisted lifting a finger to help. Some Republicans refused to even sit and listen. But those Americans who did heard him unveil an ambitious proposal -- more robust and far-reaching than expected -- that may be the first crucial step in reigniting the economy.
Perhaps as important, they heard a president who was lately passive but now newly energized, who passionately contrasted his vision of a government that plays its part in tough times with the Republicans' vision of a government starved of the means to do so.
The president's program was only a start, and it was vague on several important elements, notably a direct path to mortgage relief for troubled borrowers. And some of the tax cuts for employers may prove ineffective. Nonetheless, at $447 billion, the plan is large enough to potentially lower the unemployment rate and broad enough to be a significant stimulus.
Now that's more like it!