Several converging essays for your consideration. The first concerns the bills for the amazing spending spree this administration has crammed down our throats, even as we gagged in protest:
President Barack Obama plans to announce in next year’s State of the Union address that he wants to focus extensively on cutting the federal deficit in 2010 – and will downplay other new domestic spending beyond jobs programs, according to top aides involved in the planning.
The president’s plan, which the officials said was under discussion before this month’s Democratic election setbacks, represents both a practical and a political calculation by this White House.
What was that word the politician flung at Obama when he came to Capitol Hill to discuss legislation? “Fibber”? “Prevaricator?” Oh, right: LIAR! As the children’s taunt goes, “liar, liar pants on fire”. Obama must be wearing asbestos Jockeys by now.
He wants us to believe that this new tack of his into a more conservative sea had nothing to do with the recent elections of Republicans. They won despite his efforts to bring the voters back into the Democrat camp. Obama failed because of his own track record.
Yes, we’ll believe this remorse over spending just “happened” the same way we believe that his “energy” legislation won’t turn us into a third world economy, or that his infamous “jobs” program won’t send the unemployment rates even higher than they already are.
Maybe he’s been looking at the polls of the last few months? Perhaps his own negative polling is a clue that socialism doesn’t play in Peoria or Podunk, or in those “small, bitter towns” in Pennsylvania that he held in such contempt during his campaign?
Has he seen that more Americans are calling themselves conservatives than ever before? He ought to take credit for that accomplishment since his illogical, irresponsible (i.e., Socialist) programs were the main factor in that huge right turn by the voters.
Yep, you won, Barry, and look what you did with your prize. Remember the dog that chased a car until he finally caught it? That mutt was so excited he bit big holes in all four tires and the car came to a halt. End of game for the dog. Same thing here: you chased the presidency real hard and you won it, at which point you proceeded to bite big holes in our prosperity. Now what?
Continuing, Politico notes:
On the practical side, Obama has spent more money on new programs in nine months than Bill Clinton did in eight years, pushing the annual deficit to $1.4 trillion. This leaves little room for big spending initiatives.
Well there’s an understatement for you. There is no room for “big spending initiatives” unless he cancels some of the previous nightmares he foisted off on us in those first horrid nine months.
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On the political side, Obama can help moderate Democrats avoid some tough votes in an election year and, perhaps more importantly, calm the nerves of independent voters who are voicing big concerns with the big spending and deficits. Even if Obama succeeds – and that’s a big if – it will be tough for many Democrats to sell themselves as deeply concerned about spending after voting for the stimulus, the bailouts, the health care legislation and a plan to address global warming, four enormous government programs.
This writer is dreaming. The best help Obama can give “moderate Democrats” in their election campaigns next year is to leave them alone. Ask Creigh Deeds in Virginia. Obama’s “help” sank his campaign, though he would’ve lost anyway because he spends.
Democrats are going to have a hard enough time explaining why they ever went along with this series of drunken sprees to begin with. Face it, guys: no one believes you anymore. You’ve created too much bad debt, told too many fat ones, and made too many promises you can’t deliver. The voters can crunch the numbers even if you hide your eyes and cover your ears so you won’t have to see or hear the results of the Biggest Folly of the 21st Century as it grinds on down the track.
In connection with all these issues, Robert Bidinotto sent an email recently linking to a Facebook essay about Obama’s peachy keen new idea: in December he’ll hold a “jobs summit” to solve the continuing unemployment problems (at least I think that’s where the link leads). Mr Bidinotto said, most entertainingly:
On a website I visit, somebody was complaining about news that Barack Obama was planning to hold a “jobs summit” in December to solve, once and for all, the dire problem of soaring unemployment. How could another meeting at the White House possibly end our recession? this Doubting Thomas demanded to know.
His angry outburst struck me as the woefully short-sighted rant of a Tea Party Nazi. It certainly demonstrated a fundamentally feeble grasp of the nuances and subtleties of modern economic theory, which are clearly understood by our president.
Of course Mr. Obama’s “Jobs Summit” will create jobs! Let me count the ways:
First, think of all the boosted employment we will witness in the “Useless Summit” industry: conference organizers, badge-makers, PowerPoint experts, flower-arrangers, coffee-pourers, table-cloth folders-I mean, the list just goes on and on.
But that’s merely at the conference. What about all the preparations for travel to and from the conference?
Think of how many attendee business suits will go to dry cleaners. Think of the airline tickets purchased. The airports. The cab rides. Ponder the army of accountants who will have to go over all the expense reports from this crucial event.
Consider all the wear and tear on the transportation vehicles involved-jets, cabs, limos-putting them just that much closer to being replaced by new purchases, which, in turn, will stimulate the auto and airline industries. Consider the White House electric bill alone, and how much it will mean for the local power company. Think, too, of all the fuel that will be used up coming and going to the Summit, stimulating the oil and gasoline industries.
And regarding that fuel: Reflect for a moment, if you will, on all the CO2 that attendee jets and limos will emit en route to the Summit. This ginormous release of carbon into our atmosphere would not have occurred, except for the Summit. Yes, Barack Obama would be the first to acknowledge that it will contribute to a environmental crisis; but, as Rahm Emmanuel would say, there is always opportunity to be found in a good crisis.
For example, the CO2 emissions no doubt will be carefully monitored by atmospheric scientists and climate-modelers, leading to scores of “jobs created or saved” in this vital field. Consider also the longer-term ramifications. Emergency remediation efforts for the increased CO2 emitted by the conferees will stimulate entire cottage industries of new jobs. A “Keynesian multiplier effect” will occur: Each dollar spent by atmospheric scientists and conference attendees on issuing dire reports and forecasts will, in turn, generate $3.26 spending in the printer-paper industry, $1.82 in the lumber industry, $4.37 for Kinko’s, $1.85 for the ink industry, $5.50 for overnight deliveries by Federal Express, $7,223.44 in overtime for postal workers-plus 378,498 downstream jobs created or saved in federal and international regulatory bureaucracies.
These calculations, of course, do not even begin to include the boost to peripheral service industries, such as Washington-area restaurants, hotels, bars, tourist traps, and hookers.
In short, this single event alone could generate enough economic activity to pull us out of the recession! Why, it would be treasonously irresponsible if Barack Obama did NOT hold this summit.
So, enough of the criticism, already. We should be gladdened and relieved that, at last, we have a firm and steady hand on the tiller of our economy. And I, for one, just can’t wait for the next stimulative product of his ever-fertile brain.
The next stimulative effect? It will probably be a recommendation to invest in prunes.
However, I think Bob’s on to something here: we need conferences, lots of them. Conferences every day in every city, town, and hamlet. We need talking heads and flow charts and slide presentations. We need caterers and housekeeping and pencil and paper manufacturers.
The possibilities are endless for the future manufacture of conferences. And be sure to call them “summits”. Employment for all! We’re the new summiteers and we all need laptops. Don’t worry about any carpal tunnel syndrome, either. With our grand new wonderful health care there will be doctors and nurses at each conference, ready to soothe each boo-boo.
Gosh, this economic stuff is easy once you get the hang of it. And that Facebook entry looks so interesting that I’m going to have to break down and join.
Oops. Here comes the spoiler — from the historians, of course.
Judith Apter Klinghoffer claims our unemployment woes are self-inflicted, America. Bummer. Why does reality always have to show up?
Ms. Klinghoffer says:
Stop telling me that unemployment is a lagging indicator. It may be so but it is higher and is lagging more in the US than in the rest of the developed world. Not only German but even British unemployment is declining! Oh, yes, it picked at 7.9% and declined to 7.8% to the “surprise” of economists. The are probably the same economists who no longer dare attach the word surprise to the ongoing decline in German unemployment to 7.7%. After all, Brown, unlike Merkel, used generous economic stimulus to try to deal with the recession. So clearly the stimulus alone is not responsible for the lack of decline in the American unemployment rate.
What is? More than ever, I suspect the fault lies in the Obama/Democratic congress legislative agenda which creates too much uncertainty in the business community for them to invest in the US.
“Uncertainty”? The legislative psychosis which has seized the collective brain of Congress has us all scared to death. What will they dream up next? What new tax, what new criminalization of behavior will we threatened with? What small business would hire anyone when not buying them enough health insurance could end in jail time?
So with all the crazies running the asylum, where does the American corporate money go? Where it’s safer and saner, of course:
Consequently, American companies, even those run by the American government such as GM, prefer to direct their investment not only to fast growing Asia but also to slow growing Europe. Case in point, GM managers’ enlightened decision not to sell its European subsidiary Opel as it had previously announced.
It was a decision that benefits Britain and Germany, not to mention that it will probably force GM to repay the German government that 2.2 billion dollar advance it was given by the Germans.
GM’s decision stunned Europe. It should not have. Faced With potential costs inherent in thousands of pages of new complicated health care and cap and trade legislation, GM managers sensibly concluded that investing money in Europe is more sensible because the environment is more predictable. [my emphasis]
Imagine that. The Old World still has a few tricks left to teach the New One. Can you say hubris, Congress, Wall Street?
Indeed, the notion that the high American unemployment may be a self inflicted wound may be penetrating even the thick skull of some economists and Democratic politicians. Moreover, they are beginning to understand that the US simply cannot afford Obama’s ambitious legislative agenda. Consider the following exchange between to economists on BBC’s “Head to Head” and remember they have not even mentioned cap and trade.
John Silvia: I agree on the forward momentum. My issue is that the pace will be disappointing to a society and political class that has made significant promises in health care and education that will not be deliverable with just moderate growth.
Middle-income and low-income families will see their standard of living [drop] below their expectations. . . .
Mark Perry: Passing health care legislation, at least the public option part, is looking less and less likely to me, so that issue could be dead by the end of the year.
In other words, as could have been predicted and has been predicted, Socialists such as Obama who purport to put equality before productivity end up making the poor poorer. This is the essential truth Ayn Rand explained so well and that the Left succeeds in covering up so well.
Is there a light at the end of this tunnel? Yes.
The truth is beginning to penetrate and may hopefully restrain Obama and Congressional Democrats…More importantly, ingenious Americans are beginning to tinker again. If only the increasingly coercive Democratic administration does not force them to leave their homeland in search for freedom as those coming to America did in the last four centuries.
She’s not exaggerating. If someone doesn’t rein in Obama & Co., then all the bright, ambitious young “tinkerers” will head for places where their talents are appreciated, not criminalized.