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September 7, 2011

Without a Clue

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Tomorrow evening President Barack Obama will lay out his job creation proposals in a campaign address to a joint session of Congress. The president previewed his plans Monday in a Labor Day speech in Detroit.


In short, the president said his plan would be to hold the Republican Party accountable if conservatives do not support his plan. The plan? Oh, nevermind. What plan? There is no plan except to shift the blame to the Republicans for the abysmal jobs situation across America. Yup, that’s the plan.


Just move along, people. Nothing to see here.


Nancy Folbre wrote in The New York Times on Monday that the president’s “Republican critics take a ‘been there, done that, didn’t work’ approach to economic stimulus.”


Well, that would be correct.


“But President Obama’s stimulus plan, the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, relied primarily on tax cuts and increases in aid to the states… (Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., at the time, provides a clear account of the administration’s rationale), notes Ms. Folbre.


As for the president’s Labor Day polemic, Christi Parsons wrote for The Los Angeles Times on Monday that “despite the lack of specifics, however, the union crowd interrupted Obama’s remarks several times with chants of ‘four more years!’”


Can you imagine the major-media reaction if a conservative had spewed such empty rhetoric?


“The assembly also cheered wildly when Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., during a pre-Obama warm-up act, urged activists to oppose Obama’s critics by taking ‘these sons of bitches out’,” chronicled Ms. Parsons.




And the mainstream media reaction, crickets chirping. If former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, or Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann had said that, CBS would have broken into regular programming featuring the left’s poster child, Katie Couric’s head exploding.


Oh, it gets better, if that were possible. Byron York, the chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner wrote on Monday: “In his Labor Day message to the nation, President Obama credits himself and his administration with having ‘pulled our country back from the brink of economic disaster.”


According to the fairy-tale world of the president “in the last several years, we have pulled our country back from the brink, through a series of tough economic decisions. While we have come far, great challenges still face us.”


Mr. York then provided the statistics. “According to the Labor Department, the national unemployment rate stood at 7.6 percent when Obama inherited a faltering economy from George W. Bush in January 2009.


“Unemployment rose to 10.2 percent by October 2009, and, with the exception of February and March 2011, it has been at 9 percent or higher ever since. It was 9.1 percent in August – a month in which the economy created no new jobs. In addition, economic growth has slowed nearly to zero, raising fears that the country is entering another recession.”


Many especially liked the reaction of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: “I don’t happen to think Barack Obama’s a bad guy,” said Governor Romney to a crowd in New Hampshire on Monday. “I just don’t think he has a clue.”


Continuing, Mr. Romney said: “Having never worked in the private sector, never having had a real job, it’s not a surprise he doesn’t know how to create a real job.”


Well, Governor Romney is only partially correct. The president was quite successful in creating a job for himself – out of thin air.


And speaking of that job, many thought it was quite special that the president choose to appear in Detroit to celebrate the current state of the American economy and the Motor City’s “economic miracle.”


What a minute. What economic miracle? You mean the one where the once proud icon of American manufacturing and innovation was destroyed by parasitic unions that sucked the lifeblood out of the city?


Yeah, that one.


I once chatted at a national conference with a reporter who covered Detroit and especially Detroit’s form of government. I say “form of government” because it is a fascinating study in the anarchy and chaos that results when an economic structure – and as a result, the form of government – fails and reverts to feudalism.


My colleague, “off the record,” said that other than the fact that it was a dangerous beat, it was spellbinding to actually live and report on such an historic economically and politically failed “state.”


Of course, the president’s appearance in Detroit is easily understood – it’s about employment – his own continued employment, that is.


“Obama needs the unions’ support because his polls show a sharp drop in his support among blue collar workers, especially among swing voting, white, blue collar workers in must-win states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania,” wrote Neil Munro in The Daily Caller on Monday.


“For example, a July poll by Pew showed that 54 percent of middle-class whites, 47 percent of poor whites and 54 percent of wealthier whites supported the GOP.


“But union leaders are also threatening to reduce their financial and political support for Obama’s re-election campaign unless he helps them on some issues. (RELATED: Hoffa on tea party, congressional conservatives…”


As if it were an advertisement to frame the president’s remarks, once again, “World stock markets took a beating Monday over fears that the U.S. economy was heading back into a recession just as the European debt crisis was heating up and the euro zone’s economic indicators were slumping.


Of course, the president learned from the last time he took to the airwaves to address the nation on the economy – during the business day while the stock market was still open. The market darn near crashed.


The jobs presentation Thursday night better be good, although I am not holding my breath.


This is not the time for politics. It is all about jobs (and housing – and burdensome government regulations) and I just don’t think the president has a clue.


…I’m just saying…


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