“Pass this bill”, is not a rallying cry that one can run to. Obama’s big speech was not Kennedyesque, Reaganesque, or even Martin Luther Kingesque. More like a Nixonesque speech. But I don’t think Obama has a silent majority.
It’s a $447 billion dollar monstrosity. There are tax cuts for businesses to hire. They are payroll tax cuts. There is a sunset on them, so even if you got a tax cut today, you will still have to pay more in tax tomorrow. Figure in the extra costs of employment when Obamacare kicks in and it’s still not cheap to hire anyone. I have heard more than one businessman say a $200 tax break isn’t going to make them run out and place want ads on the internet. Obama’s plan doesn’t do anything to the budget, since all the spending cuts happen years from now.
Obama calls for $55 billion in new spending to extend unemployment benefits. Economically, collecting unemployment benefits and scheming to stay on them has been correlated to extended time on the unemployment line. It sounds cold hearted, but if we end the government transfer payments it’s probable Mr/Ms Unemployed worker will get off their duff and find some gainful employment doing something somewhere.
Of course, there is stimulus. $85 billion to local and state governments who won’t spend it but will use it to shore up already beat up books to make the accounting look better to voters. $10 billion in infrastructure improvements. Obama said he would take his plan to every corner of the US. He must need to rebuild some bridges to get there.
Question: Why are states and local governments laying off teachers? Why aren’t they laying off bureaucrat paper pushers instead?
The other thing that states and local governments could do is address their pension problems. Obama said his plan is simple math. The only simple math elected officials need to look at is the net present value tables. There is a heap of debt whup ass coming due and only pension reform, along with entitlement reform will fix it.
Really this speech wasn’t exciting. It wasn’t even good political theatre. It was too long, as usual. There aren’t any groundbreaking ideas here. It’s more of the same pablum dressed up in shiny new shoes. It’s truly base thinking. Hoodwinking the American public you might say.
Obama defended collective bargaining. In a shout out to the SEIU, he and Joe Biden wore purple ties. No doubt, Obama and the Big SOB James Hoffa will rub elbows in a bar somewhere and drink some beers.
Obama defended big government tonight. Let’s hope it fails just like Custer’s last stand. He pointed out that the American people elected representatives to work for them. He said Congress is failing them.
Mr. President, in my business when things go bad, we don’t fire all the employees. We ask the CEO to resign. Maybe it’s time you consider filling out the forms for your golden parachute. The shareholders get another say in November. Perhaps you didn’t hear us last time.