If you look at the national polls, Obama owns the double-digit unemployment. And Americans aren’t accepting the idea that the president can spend us back to prosperity.
Yesterday the president summoned congressional leaders to a meeting on “jobs” at the White House seeking answers to his political problems — an invitation list that included Republicans. By all accounts Republicans stood their ground at the meeting that was cordial on the surface with a few small flashes of fireworks.
In the president’s opening remarks at the meeting, he drew first blood, accusing his Republican guests of “almost rooting against recovery.” Republicans offered their “No-Cost Jobs Plan” that, among other things, calls for a Federal spending freeze, eliminates tax increases until unemployment reaches a minimum of five percent, freezes new federal regulations and expands domestic natural gas and oil production.
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), top Republican on the House Ways & Means Committee, participated in the White House meeting and spoke with HUMAN EVENTS afterward.
“Shock and awe is a good military strategy, but it’s a disaster for the economy when it’s your tax, spend and borrow policy,” Camp said. “I think people have been shocked and awed by the breathtaking amount of deficit spending, the tax increases that have been proposed and all of these legislative proposals: health care, climate change and others.”
I asked Camp if anyone asked the president to explain exactly how we are supposed to spend our way into prosperity.
“That comment was made,” Camp said. “Yes, people did say that to him. There were eight Republicans there from both House and Senate, and he heard very directly in plain spoken language our concerns, what we thought ought to be done.”
Was there any indication that any of the free market solutions suggested were sinking in?
Camp told us that the president was particularly sensitive on the point of ending the Bush tax cuts which — in real terms — will be a tax increase. Camp said, “I think it hit a nerve. He remarked that he thought the American people were being scared by this discussion. They have every right to be scared because, frankly, it’s scary.”
“Right now, in the cost of hiring employees, the only fixed cost is the wages you’re going to pay them,” Camp added. “So employers are not [hiring] because they don’t have control over energy costs, they don’t have control over health care penalties they may have to pay or what costs they may have to pay to participate in any health care exchange and it’s not resolved. They can’t quantify what they’re facing and frankly the proposals are all more regulation, more spending and fewer jobs.”
Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-Ga.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), was unimpressed when the president remarked yesterday that he was “committed to working with anybody who is willing to do the job to make sure that we can rebuild our economy.” Since January, the RSC has made nearly weekly requests to meet with the president to offer solutions to the nation’s problems. Some in the committee, including Price, have also accepted the president’s offer to go over the health care bill “line by line” to no avail.
“Excuse me if I don’t take the president very seriously about his latest entreaty to Republicans,” Price said. “If the president is really curious why he hasn’t received significant Republican support, he may take note of the fact that only Democrats have been in the room when bills are drafted and only liberal big-government ideas make their way onto the floor.”
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the president has no clue how jobs are created, and Republicans would be more than willing to illustrate to the president the principles that have created our nation’s storied success,” Price added. “And if the president really wants to create a bipartisan solution, he doesn’t need a public relations stunt or another speech. He simply has to roll up his sleeves and get to work with us on writing a bill that puts folks back to work; we’re ready any time, any place. Until then, the president really should drop the contrived sincerity. The American people deserve a little better than pot shot politics and blame gaming that have defined the White House’s efforts at bipartisanship.”
Ouch — that left a mark.
Session to Holder: Suspend Gitmo Transfers to Saudi Arabia
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, yesterday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that the administration halt sending Gitmo detainees to Saudi Arabia. Sessions notes in the letter that Holder has twice this remarked on the “success” of the Saudi Arabian terrorist rehabilitation program, an effort that is, in actuality, a miserable failure.
From the letter:
“The list of failed participants in the Saudi program reads like a ‘who’s who’ of al Qaeda terrorists on the Arabian Peninsula. Those who have either graduated or escaped from the program en route to terrorist acts include:
Said Ali al Shiri, the deputy leader of al Qaeda in Yemen;
Ibrahim Suleiman al Rubaish, al Qaeda’s Mufti, or theological leader, in the Arabian Peninsula;
Abu Hareth Muhammad al-Awfi, who appeared in an al Qaeda video in January 2009;
Yousef Mohammed al Shihri, who was shot by Saudi security forces in October 2009 while trying to pass through a security checkpoint wearing women’s clothing and an explosives belt.
NEW: Nelson-Lincoln Watch
Why not keep an eye on two Democrats who are supposedly moderate and key to the Obamacare mess? We will: for at least the next few weeks.
Lincoln has More Re-election Woes
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), like most Democrats from red states considering voting in favor of the government takeover of health care, is in serious re-election trouble. Only 18 percent of likely voters in Arkansas strongly favor passing Obamacare.
The Washington Post’s Plum Line is reporting that Lincoln could also face a primary challenger from the left from that 18 percent strongly in favor of the government controlling their access to health care, no doubt.
Nelson Claims to Oppose Cloture but Working on ‘Compromise’ on Abortion
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) told his home-state newspaper, the Lincoln Journal-Star, yesterday that he still opposes cloture for the Senate’s health care bill that allows taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. Nelson’s amendment that would bar the funding was killed on Tuesday.
“My position has not changed,” Nelson told the Journal-Star. “I’ve drawn a line in the sand.”
He also says he and a few moderate Senators are working on a “compromise” abortion amendment.
Nelson has yet to explain how you can “compromise” on forcing taxpayers to fund the taking of an innocent life in the womb.