What was it exactly that Obama proposed in his speech last Thursday?
On Thursday night, President Obama led off his speech by explaining that while reporters were asking, “What will this speech mean for the President?” he was only concerned about the “millions of Americans who are watching right now,” who “don’t care about politics.” But Obama has spent nearly three years crippling businesses, attempting to raise taxes, spending copious sums of cash we do not have, and ripping the health care industry from the private sector. All of that was done in pursuit of Obama’s re-election efforts.
Obama insisted that he had to “restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.” What sort of fairness? Government redistributionism certainly has not historically defined America; neither did an enormous social safety net. Perhaps Obama simply mixed up George Washington with Otto von Bismarck. Easy mistake.
What was Obama’s actual proposal? He called it the American Jobs Act, which apparently means that America has not recovered or reinvested, as per the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. What kind of jobs will this new act create? “More jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed.” If Obama’s plan works, he explained, it “will put people to work right now fixing roofs and windows; installing science labs and high-speed internet in classrooms all across this country. It will rehabilitate homes and businesses in communities hit hardest by foreclosures. It will jumpstart thousands of transportation projects across the country.” These, of course, are not the jobs we need – construction workers working on roads will not do much for the economy, teachers are already paid too much due to union contracts, and the long-term unemployed are generally unemployed because they do not have the skill sets necessary to get a productive job.
But all of this should sound familiar: back in 2009, Obama urged passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in order to “engage contractors across the nation to create jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and schools … build 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries.” It’s now two years later, and he’s calling for the same thing.
How? Obama promises a “tax break for companies who hire new workers” and to “cut payroll taxes in half.” At the same time, he wants to raise taxes on “the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations.” This is deeply problematic and contradictory – you cannot offer to give people a tax break to hire folks, then promise to take the profits they will receive from the additional income from the hires. The fact is that if businesses did not have incentive to hire until now, it’s because they have no market – creating more employees to produce more products nobody needs is not the solution. And, of course, Obama has tried this all before, only bigger – he promised under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to “provide direct tax relief to 95 percent of American workers.”
Obama urged that Congress “pass this jobs bill” repeatedly and annoyingly, especially since has provided nothing whatsoever for Congress to pass. Even more annoyingly, he lied about the choices Americans face. He explained, “Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies? Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers? Because we can't afford to do both.” Actually, we can afford to do both. We just have to cut somewhere else. Cutting the tax loopholes would supposedly add $30 billion in revenues (leaving aside the lowered profits as a result of higher taxes); Obama’s last proposed budget was $3.7 trillion. In other words, Obama is saying that that $30 billion is the crucial $30 billion, not the other 99.2 percent of federal spending.
Obama continued with his false choices. “Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires? Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs? Right now, we can't afford to do both.” Wrong – we can afford to do both. The easiest way would be to renegotiate all union contracts with teachers. But Obama won’t do that. “I reject the idea that we have to strip away collective bargaining rights to compete in a global economy,” he said.
The only problem is that the real world doesn’t answer to Barack Hussein Obama. While he says he won’t end collective bargaining rights, he also says, “If we provide the right incentives and support - and if we make sure our trading partners play by the rules - we can be the ones to build everything from fuel-efficient cars to advanced biofuels to semiconductors that are sold all over the world. That's how America can be number one again. That's how America will be number one again.” Really? We cannot blackmail other countries, particularly China – we simply don’t have that leverage when we owe them cash. And we shouldn’t do that anyway. But Obama believes that just by insisting we can export products, people around the world will buy them.
The big news in Obama’s speech is that he continues to reject the only solution that will work: cutting taxes and regulations, and allowing business to get back to doing its job. “That’s not who we are,” he said. “That’s not the story of America.” Bigger government is Obama’s story of America. Government built the railroads, not railroad magnates; government built highways and dams, not engineers; government created the internet, not individuals.
Obama’s socialist clichés are destroying the American economy. Don’t be fooled by his rhetoric – it’s doubling down on failure, pure and simple.