One of the most challenging duties I have as an American citizen is to sit through a Barak Obama speech. But do my duty, I will, and I did so last Thursday evening. Sort of. First of all, the conventional wisdom that Obama is eloquent is false. He is not eloquent, he is not a master of communication, he is not as intelligent as we are told to believe. But he is clever, and he has a snake-pit of clever advisors behind him. Obama’s September 8 speech is simply a political set up for him to run against a “do-nothing” Congress in 2012. Clever, yes. More clever than the American people? No.
The content of Thursday’s speech was a rehash of former “stimulus” speeches. His “American Jobs Bill” is just another infusion of tax-payer dollars into the ether of his command economy. If he has his way another $400 billion will waft into the netherworld of socialist failure, just like the previous $3.27 trillion from previous stimulus packages. There is nothing in his AJB that would create a single lasting job. It is an attempt to pander to large swaths of his supporters, like teachers unions, government sector unions, the Teamsters and the AFL-CIO, who would all benefit directly or indirectly from his plan.
Obama pandered to small businesses as well with talk about a “payroll tax cut.” But it is corporate taxes, capital gains taxes, and personal income taxes on the small business owners who make over $200 K per year and declare their business income on their personal returns, that are killing jobs. Obama did not address those, but instead promised again to raise taxes on “those Americans who can afford to pay more.” In his mind that includes all of those small businesses and their owners who we know are not “millionaires and billionaires” but are ordinary Americans, struggling, cutting corners, pinching pennies, and fighting the federal government at every turn just to save the jobs they have created for their employees. As usual, Obama’s plan will kill more private sector jobs in exchange for a small rebate to households that will go to pay down debt and will have no lasting impact on the economy. He will fortify the unions, they will grow in power, and in the end, the government will be bigger, and the individual much smaller. Corporations will continue to outsource to other countries because the costs of production are impossibly large. And small businesses will continue to shutter their doors as the specter of Obamacare looms ever closer.
One of the most ironic aspects of Obama’s duplicity is his avoidance of the most obvious and immediate answers to our failing economy. As a resident of Western Colorado I know that in my region of this vast country, there lies underground enough natural gas and oil resources to fuel our nation and our economy for decades, if not centuries. Obama’s pet agencies like the EPA and DOE have essentially corked the potential for energy exploration and development in the West. If he were to ease the regulations, tell Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to take a long vacation to Fiji, and simply open the door for Americans to take advantage of the vast energy resources underneath our feet, the economy would receive the defibrillation it needs to get pumping again. Thousands of private sector jobs would be created, and dependence on foreign energy would be dramatically decreased.
The American people will not fall for the “run against a do-nothing congress” ploy. The president can’t stay disengaged and ineffective for another 15 months. The economy cannot bear the strain of further taxation, regulation, and statist manipulations of the free market. If Obama was sincere he would do the following.
- Open energy-rich regions of the United States to exploration and development
- Slash corporate and capital gains taxes and close loop holes for his crony corporate buddies like GE
- Cut taxes on the upper 8% of income earners, most of whom are small business owners
- Ask congress to immediately repeal Obamacare
- Offer American corporations who are outsourcing or have moved overseas tax incentives to stay in country
- Decrease the collective bargaining power of public sector unions at the federal level
- Revisit the budget deal and adopt the Paul Ryan plan to address entitlement reform
But we know Obama is not serious about saving our economy or our standing of economic and military superiority. He will continue to point the finger of blame, play the race card, and toy with the free markets of the greatest country the world has ever known, until he begins the longest vacation of his life in 2013.