Friday, September 9, 2011

Obama's Job Speech

Alright, so I watched the big campaign speech yesterday. I know the President called it a “jobs speech” but the man was shouting and he only ever shouts at campaign speeches so no one is being fooled by this. Here again was more of the Obama version of an old Hollywood film set: an impressive front with nothing behind the façade. Of course, as has become the standard rule for Democrats and most Republicans, when confronted with a problem the thing to do is throw money at it and hope it goes away -at least for a little while. And to be fair, this usually works with lobbyists who are about the only people politicians listen to on a regular basis. Obama wants spending on infrastructure, tax credits for job creation and a renewed effort to bring manufacturing back to America. That all sounds great doesn’t it? But, of course, there are big problems, which is probably why his speech gave us no details because the White House knows as well as anyone how crawling with devils those pesky things are. Obama constantly reminds me of what someone once said about another Democrat President, Woodrow Wilson, that he thinks he has actually dealt with a problem simply by uttering some pretty phrase about it.

To start with infrastructure, he has a point, it is falling apart in the good old United States of North America, however, throwing money at it might not be the answer to even the infrastructure problem, to say nothing of unemployment. In the first place, no one addresses how the infrastructure (our roads and bridges) came to be in such disrepair. After all, we pay taxes every year to maintain them; right? They should not be in disrepair if the government was looking after one of its most basic duties and not spending the money on other pet projects. So, if they are not spending the money they take in for what they supposed to be spending it on, why should this time be any different? Besides which, though it brings back warm Democrat memories of the FDR administration (you know, the first President to recognize the Soviet Union, the man who introduced socialism into the American economy, provoked Japan to get the US into World War II and whose primary aim after bringing down the Axis was to destroy the British Empire -that guy) the fact is that infrastructure jobs are temporary and not a long-term solution to unemployment. It didn’t work for FDR (he could thank Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo for ending his unemployment problem) and I doubt it will work now. Besides which, without changing the existing problem of the failure of the government to maintain our roads and bridges they will soon be just as dilapidated as they are now in the future.

Next we come to tax credits for job creation, with special credits for hiring the chronically unemployed (that smells a bit) and for hiring military veterans. Obviously, if someone has been unemployed for a very long time, there is usually a reason for it and trying to bribe people into hiring those proven incapable of holding a job is just silly and will never work. Hiring anybody is too risky these days. As for the veterans, I don’t know of any business that would not love to hire veterans, if not out of the goodness of the heart, then simply so they could say in their advertisements that they are a “patriotic” business that hires more ex-servicemen than anyone else. The problem with hiring people is that (thanks to the government and Obama in particular) there are way too many strings attached. An employer takes a risk on hiring somebody and he/she is suddenly on the hook for a whole lot of potential expenses (even near ruinous expenses) if everything doesn’t work out just right. Why do they think so many people hire illegal aliens? Because there are no strings attached. They do a job and they get paid -that’s it and that’s all. What would help more than tax credits would be a simplification of the tax code but, no one is ever going to go for that.

This also ties in with Obama’s call to bring manufacturing back to America. That would be nice, but the very causes he champions drove manufacturing out of the country in the first place. One of the President’s special guests up in the gallery was Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. It was his types, the overreach of the unions, which drove up the cost of labor to such an extent that it is actually cheaper to ship materials over to China, do the manufacturing there and then ship them all the way back across the Pacific. That is a considerable discrepancy I would say. It is also why there is always a market for illegal alien labor. Also sitting up in the gallery alongside the First Lady was “Jobs Commissar” Jeffrey Immelt, head of General Electric, who himself recently shipped a bunch of manufacturing jobs over to China. So, frankly, Obama saying he wants to bring manufacturing back to America is rather like Robespierre saying France needs more royals.

Of course, with a fourteen trillion dollar debt, the big question is how the President plans to pay for all this. The President says it can all be paid for by closing tax loopholes and raising taxes on the “rich”. I cannot see that happening because if there was any will to do it the loopholes wouldn’t exist in the first place or else would have been closed long ago. There could be a reform of the tax code but neither party wants that because the Democrats and the Republicans both have their super-rich circles of support who they protect from, as Obama says, “paying their fair share”. His buddy Immelt is not paying “his fair share” and that’s okay with Obama. That problem exists on both sides which is why the tax code has never been touched no matter which party has been in power. Right now the Republicans are shouting for it, but of course when they held both Houses of Congress and the White House they did nothing about it. I will predict that if they get back into power after the next election the Democrats will say the same thing when they can no longer do anything about it. However, at the end of the day, it still seems to me that this was a campaign speech and nothing more. This was a show, full of rhetoric on the part of Obama so that when things don’t improve he can blame Congress for being uncooperative. In other words, Democrats or Republicans, it’s politics as usual.


  1. MM: could you delete ALL the comments saying made by marquitosidolo please

  2. I watched a small portion of that speech (I was on youtube, and thought "why not?").
    I did notice he was making all sorts of campaign-like statements. Laying out plans for his hypothetical second term and so on. Politicians will always be worried about re-election, isn't it always the way. There were a bunch of graphs accompanying Obama's speech on the White House youtube channel which I found irritating, perhaps because they essentially were there to prop him up.

    It is always baffling how everyone hates politics and politicians, but everyone feeds them and the system anyway. Even I am guilty, since I am voting Front National in the French elections next year. It is mesmerizing.

  3. Lorraine, thank you, AM I'm not sure what you mean, I checked better than the last 200 comments and found none by that name. A. Nicot, some monarchists believe in boycotting elections but I'm not one of them. I don't think it is a sacred duty by any means but they do have consequences so I see nothing wrong with trying to ensure that the lesser of two evils prevails. Besides, and I don't mean to deter you, but I would guess that voting for the Front National in France would be like voting for the Libertarian Party over here. Which is to say, voting for a party with zero chance of winning. Still, many do so as a form of protest or out of principle. I've voted for a 3rd party before.

  4. I see what you mean, but the Front National is a fairly popular party. In most polls, the FN candidate, Marine Le Pen, reaches the second round of the election.
    France's elctoral system, while it IS dominated by the UMPS (as we call it, amalgam of the center-right UMP and the Socialist PS), other parties aren't shunned in political discourse. The FN is the largest of the "small parties". There are many mayors and MPs in France that are FN.
    It's why I vote for them and not Alliance Royale or similar Monarchist parties. THEY have absolutely no chance of winning. The FN does, if it is ever so marginal.

  5. All I've heard of the Front National is that they are pretty much a single issue (immigration) party. A good case could be made that it would be rather hard to ever restore the Catholic French monarchy if the country becomes majority Arab-Muslim. How well they speak French will not finally be the point.

  6. Well, certainly that is why many people vote FN, but the FN has a very large programme, spanning from rejecting the EU and re-establishing the Franc, opposing Homosexual "marriage", abortion, emphasizing Christian values, rebuilding industry and the military, and so on. It's a fully developed party.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...