Many keen political observers have noticed the complete lack of a serious jobs plan, let alone an open and honest discussion about ways his administration can spur economic growth, in the president’s second inaugural address. In many respects, this comes as no surprise: the president ran a maliciously negative and unserious campaign that sought to destroy his political opponent at all costs. And it worked. But with another recession possibly on the horizon, shouldn’t this issue have been substantively addressed at some point during his somewhat lengthy remarks? The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore addressed this question in a recent Fox Business hit:
“In the whole speech he didn’t talk about jobs, he did not talk about private business and entrepreneurs and the free enterprise system. It was a very pro-government speech. Now the president has a big challenge ahead because we still have a near eight percent unemployment rate…as you know the job creation rate has been about 1/3 to 1/2 of what you would normally expect during an expansion."
In fairness -- as the host points out -- the president did in fact mention the word “jobs” in his speech … three times. But he delivered no serious proposals or blueprint to put America back to work. He emphasized, instead, the dangers of climate change and the moral necessity of investing in “green energy” -- not exactly what one expects to hear when 23 million Americans (remember that number from the campaign?) still cannot find a full-time job.
Incidentally, Allahpundit wrote an interesting piece on Monday suggesting that if The One doesn’t reform our broken entitlement system -- or at least try -- the eyes of posterity will not forget his failure:
[A]n economic rebound in his second term will delay the reckoning with entitlements for a few years longer so his legacy is probably safe in the near term, but if he doesn’t do something wildly unexpected in the next four years to deal seriously with mandatory spending, then his place in history is secure. He’s the guy who expanded health-care entitlements at a moment when Medicare spending was starting to go haywire, the guy who doubled down on the welfare state as the bill was coming due, the guy whose second-term agenda was even more aggressively liberal than his first despite trillions more in debt over four years.
Isn’t this same exact principle true, then, if the president doesn’t address chronic joblessness or the stagnant economy? He can ramble on all he wants about “investing in the future” -- and extol the virtues of big government -- but if he ignores the problems of our time, is it unrealistic to think that one day he might be remembered as the 21st century’s James Buchanan or Herbert Hoover? Hmmm.
The Wisdom of Bastiat, as Revealed by Great Moments in Federal, State, and Local Government | Daniel J. Mitchell