How seriously are we to take President Obama on economic matters? Is anybody still expecting him to “create jobs?”
Since the early days of his presidential bid in 2007, many have marveled at Barack Obama’s dulcet-toned voice and charming demeanor, while applauding at every word he utters – including what he says about the economy and employment. Now, roughly two and a half years into his presidency, it is painfully apparent that mere charisma and smooth talk don’t “create jobs.”
But why not? What, possibly, could have gone wrong? When Mr. Obama began his presidency in January of 2009 he noted that his “economic stimulus plan” would “save or create three to four million jobs.” Why hasn’t that happened?
The only plausible, reasonable answer to this question has to go something like this: in order for any economy to be sustainable, the majority of its employment opportunities absolutely must come from the for-profit, private sector of our economy. Sure, government agencies employ people too, but they should only employ people in numbers necessary for those agencies to provide essential basic services, and pay these employees commensurate with their private sector counterparts.
The most important thing government can do for the economy is to help to expand employment in the private sector, for-profit arena of our economy. And government can help make this happen, not by cajoling and manipulating and threatening businesses into “hiring,” but rather, by providing a stable and consistent regulatory environment, reasonably low tax rates to businesses and their investors, and encouraging free trade.
Unfortunately, both President Obama’s words and deeds have been hostile towards the private sector, while at the same time he has encouraged the expansion of the government sector. Thus here we are in July of 2011, with many government employees having their compensation and benefits packages expanded, as many private sector businesses continue to eliminate eliminate jobs. President Obama has said and done the opposite of what a President should be doing on economic matters, and – not surprisingly – he has produced the opposite of what we would all want.
If you think this is harsh or unfair, consider some of what the President has been saying over the last few years. Let’s start with this quote from August of 2008, when candidate Obama was speaking before a stadium full of his true believers.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.