Friday, September 9, 2011

The President's Job Speech

Missed the President's speech last night due to black out conditions in San Diego. But all reports indicate that I wouldn't have been surprised. I was just starting a post before the speech to declare it a failure ahead of time, but fate intervened. Anyway, listening to Mark Steyn substituting for Rush this morning and reading some of the reports, I am left with just a few points.
  • Where's the bill? The President, as usual, did no heavy lifting. He demanded that Congress take action, but where is the bill he proposes? Legislation usually requires, well, legislation, as in legal prose.
  • Where's the money? Are we really proposing to add almost a half trillion in new debt? The AP fisked the speech moments after it was given: It will only be paid for if a committee he can't control does his bidding, if Congress puts that into law and if leaders in the future -- the ones who will feel the fiscal pinch of his proposals -- don't roll it back. . . .Essentially, the jobs plan is an IOU from a president and lawmakers who may not even be in office down the road when the bills come due.
  • Everything is temporary. Temporary tax credits and temporary tax cuts do nothing to encourage new hiring.
  • Roads and bridges? Really? This worked so well in the first stimulus package. Good luck getting the projects past the increasingly zealous EPA.
  • Congress gets the blame for the lack of jobs? Whose party decided that healthcare was more important for the first two years of the administration. Nice tone. Way to encourage Republicans to work with you. Bottom line this was a campaign speech. Now we know Obama's campaign game plan, blame the Republicans.
My sympathies go out to the Republicans who sat through the speech. Like Job, they found that you needn't necessarily sin to be punished.


  1. I hear some of the Repubs in attendance got the giggles.

  2. hey there constitutionalists!

    the president doesn't make the laws. He enforces them, and from time to time can, "recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient"

  3. Calivancouver, true. However, he should stop using the term bill. From the transcript of his speech.
    Pass this jobs bill, and we can put people to work rebuilding America.
    He wants America to believe he has put forward detailed legislation, as is clear by his rhetoric, but he has merely floated some ideas. That would be fine, if he didn't mischaracterize it.

    Foxfier, see Dana Milbank's column for commentary on your point.

  4. B-Daddy,
    Thanks for visiting the site last week.

    I'd like to offer a few comments from the OP.

    I completely agree with your first point, he still hasn't provided a bill. You can't call for swift action when your the one holding this up.

    And I also have to agree with your final point. One has to choose their priorities, and early on jobs were not it. I suspect part of the problem is that his cabinet being made up of far too many wall street insiders convinced him that if you save the banks and the investment community that will fix everything. While this segment has thrived, the rest of the economy has languished.

    But I'd argue that if you are going to throw money anywhere, the construction segment would spread the money furthest. Around here I've seen many road work projects advertising that the project is being funded by stimulus money. It hires local companies, which in turn hire local people and purchase local materials.

    Once you get away from the coasts, the infrastructure is in extremely poor shape. State governments here in the west are already pretty lean and don't have rainy day money for repairing large infrastructure items. The money actually does keep people employed and businesses selling. Yes it is temporary, but the idea is to bridge the economy until it has a chance to recover. I'm going to try to flesh out this idea in an upcoming post. I'd enjoy your feedback.

    As for getting things by the EPA, I really wonder if CA is more of the problem. We don't see much EPA interference around here in the wild west.

    P.s. I'd say Dana Milbank was slightly off, it's not his ideas, it's he who is the joke.

  5. A lot of the EPA interference is nearly invisible-- you don't see it unless you're personally involved with this or that. How many people have heard of Klamath Falls?