President Obama made a Rose Garden appearance with various human props to push his American Jobs Act today. He was over ten minutes late, as usual.
In the course of a ten minute speech, he exhorted his audience to “pass this bill” a dozen times. He made seventeen such ritual demands in the longer version of the same speech he delivered last Thursday.
Now, every politician wants bills he proposes to be passed – except for special occasions, like when Democrats were grandstanding against President Bush by introducing pointless bills to bring back the draft. (Remember that? Have Democrats proposed any such bills during the years Obama extended Bush’s foreign deployments, and bypassed Congress to launch a new war in Libya?)
But having said that, isn’t Obama’s constant chanting of the “pass this bill” mantra a bit… creepy? It’s obviously more than just a quirk of the speech he delivered last week, since he did it again today. The goal is clearly to get the dwindling hard core of Obama supporters to chant “pass this bill” in unison, without asking any questions about precisely what is in the bill, why the same tired ideas would suddenly become successful after years of failure, or how it’s all going to be paid for.
At least this time, someone standing behind Obama was supposedly holding a copy of the bill, although for all we know, it was a copy of the 30,000 pink slips Bank of America issued this morning, with a White House cover sheet slapped on top.
Obama loves to use human props during his Rose Garden appearances. When he was pushing his health-care scheme, he surrounded himself with doctors wearing lab coats. Some of the doctors ignored specific White House instructions and forgot to bring their lab coats, but luckily the President’s political team had spares.
This time, Obama surrounded himself with teachers, military veterans, cops, firefighters, construction workers, and small business owners. He made a point of identifying each group by name. Now, with all due and sincere respect to the vital contributions of each group involved, the result was a little band of small business owners surrounded by four groups of government employees (teachers, military veterans, cops, and firefighters) plus a bunch of union guys (construction workers.)
The military veterans were there because Obama wants to offer businesses a tax credit for hiring them. What do the rest of those groups have to do with a bill that’s supposed to increase private-sector employment? The President touted his latest “jobs stimulus” plans before a backdrop of public employees (including representatives from one of America’s largest, richest, most powerful special interests, the teachers’ unions), a group Obama proposes to benefit by using government power to distort the labor market (the veterans), and construction workers who look forward to profiting from massive government contracts. Why weren’t any Solyndra executives present, to provide mute testimony to the power of Obama’s central planning?
Optics aside, there was nothing new about Obama’s Rose Garden remarks. Small businessmen are still supposed to be excited about tax credits for hiring people they don’t need, because Obama’s policies have cleansed the American landscape of good business opportunities… and even if businessmen crawl through the barbed wire of Obama’s regulatory fetish, success just means they become Evil Rich class enemies who must surrender whatever rewards entrepreneurship has brought them. It’s downright hilarious to hear the architect of the ObamaCare nightmare urge us to “do something for America’s job creators.”
The President claimed his “American Jobs Act” would “prevent taxes from going up for middle-class families,” while “if Congress does not act, just about every family in America will pay more taxes next year, and that would be a self-inflicted wound that our economy just can’t afford right now.” He’s talking about his payroll tax cut… which comes out of Social Security taxes.
Were any of you still under the impression that you’re funding your own retirement through the Social Security taxes you paid? Barack Obama just explained, once again, that you are wrong. Otherwise, everyone working today would be instructed to expect reduced benefits upon retirement, because Obama took $1500 per year out of our Social Security taxes. You will receive no such warning, because the funding for current retirees comes from current workers in this Ponzi scheme. If you retire in 2020, the people working in 2020 will be funding your benefits, just as you are paying for the benefits of today’s Social Security beneficiaries. Obama’s tax cut merely diverts a bit of the income stream from a program that is already heading into a terrible drought… but it will come after Obama leaves office, so that’s okay.
The President again touted his “$4,000 tax credit for companies that hire anybody who spent more than six months looking for a job,” because “we’ve got to do more for folks who’ve been hitting the pavement every single day looking for work, but haven’t found employment yet.” If you’ve been unemployed for less than six months, you’ll get to enjoy the spectacle of Obama using the taxes you paid to offer employers a $4,000 bounty if they skip you to hire a less-qualified applicant who happens to have been unemployed for longer… and, contrary to the President’s empty rhetoric, payment of this bounty will not be conditioned upon the other person “hitting the pavement every single day looking for work.” There will be no requirement for anyone to demonstrate that they have been aggressively seeking a job while collecting the endless unemployment benefits Obama wants to extend even further. This is all about using our money to buy votes from the new welfare class of long-term unemployed, by “redistributing” the shrinking pool of jobs available under President Zero Growth. It has nothing whatsoever to do with stimulating healthy job creation.
Otherwise, the Rose Garden was pumped full of more gas from the President who has destroyed entire industries with executive decrees, but complains that “you hear a lot of folks talking about uncertainty in this economy.” The President who had nothing to offer during the debt ceiling debate but political tricks and empty speeches whined about other people “playing politics.” He even quoted “one of the Washington newspapers” quoting “a Republican aide” who allegedly said, “I don’t know why we’d want to cooperate with Obama right now – it’s not good for our politics.” Thus was the new virtual strawman for the Twenty-First Century created.
Congress should begin urgently considering a bill… one that would shut down the White House travel operations, to keep Obama from wasting more taxpayer money on his 2012 re-election campaign. Pass that bill right away, before he spends millions of dollars on yet another cross-country re-election campaign bus tour, financed by the large majority of Americans who plan to vote against him. Instead, let’s require him to remain in the office for what remains of his term, start showing up for work on time, and begin accounting for all the money wasted on “green jobs” ventures and lost into the machinery of the Democrat Party. Just for fun, House Speaker John Boehner should propose finding the funds for the “American Jobs Act” by repealing ObamaCare. Then we could get Obama on the record, with some degree of honesty, telling us just how much he cares about private-sector job creation, or even understands the basics of how it works.
Update: so much for the Obama hot air about asking the Super Committee to pay for his new proposals with some sort of fiscal discipline. It will be financed with tax hikes, naturally. And those will be on top of the tax increases that come with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
Remember, in his Rose Garden speech, Obama described the possible expiration of his payroll tax cut in precisely those terms. He called them a tax increase, so the same term would apply to the end of the Bush tax cuts.