WASHINGTON -- President Obama sent a warmed-over, five-point "to-do list" to Congress this week that he said will create jobs and spur growth.
There was nothing new in any of the ideas. He's offered these same ideas before, but Congress rejected all of them.
In a gimmicky performance before an audience at the State University of New York in Albany, Obama unveiled his plan on two large flat-screen television monitors in the form of a green Post-it Note with five unchecked boxes next to each proposal.
It was a desperate, hastily slapped-together video show in the wake of last week's bleak unemployment report that showed few jobs were being created and the Obama economy was slowing down, again.
The stock market was tanking, sharply reducing worker retirement savings. Foreclosures were still at severe levels. The real unemployment rate was at 18 percent, including the unemployed, underemployed in temp jobs, and 3 million discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work.
The frustrated president said he'd offer new ideas to deal with the jobless crisis, and his advisers came up with the Post-it Note gimmick to portray Congress as an obstructionist body that was blocking his efforts to get the economy growing again.
Did the White House truly believe Congress was going to take this plate of leftovers seriously?
Three years and four months into his presidency, with little more than six months remaining before the election, Obama is without a plan to put America back to work, without an agenda for the next four years, or any fresh plan of action for economic growth.
His Post-it-Note gambit served as a pathetic symbol of the emptiness of his ideas to deal with a $15 trillion economy. He is still offering small proposals for a big problem.
Obstructionism on Capitol Hill is not his problem. It's his economic policies and the deepening uncertainty infecting the business community that has stymied investment and growth.
One of the bromides on his Post-it Note would give a 10 percent income tax cut to businesses that create new jobs or give workers pay raises.
He offered this idea early in his presidency when the economy was struggling to climb out of the recession and when business had few, if any, resources to hire anyone, let alone raise wages.
Cash-strapped employers could not hire any more workers until they saw more business coming through the door. But Obama's advisers never understood that simple rule of cost control and cash flow.