The title does not refer to this article, it refers to my impression of how President Obama does policy. Chris Matthews was talking yesterday about Reagan’s success in the face of economic conditions worse than Obama currently faces, his guest responded that Reagan made people believe in his plan, and my thought was, “Yeah, but Reagan had a plan that he could make people believe in.” Where is Obama’s overall plan?
“Change you can believe in” is not a plan. Ordering Guantanamo closed as your first act in office, for instance, and then leaving it open and dropping the subject while the military trial of a child soldier is held in it is not a plan.
Obama said that a President should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, but every time he looks at some other task the economy of the common man disappears from his horizon. Jobs was priority one until he got an undersized stimulus bill passed, but even then he didn’t “get” what the purpose of that bill needed to be. He was talking about long term solutions, while people were out of work in the short term. Those who cannot house and feed their families do not need “long term solutions.”
After that stimulus bill passed, for eighteen months he does nothing more than pay occasional lip service to jobs for Main Street, until the elections are two months away and Democrats are facing disaster. Now jobs are back within his horizon and still he does not “get” it.
First he proposes tax cuts and lending programs for businesses to stimulate hiring by businesses who are not hiring because they do not have work for any new employees to be doing; a Democratic president offering a useless Republican solution.
Now he is proposing spending to spur jobs by rebuilding roads, bridges and air traffic control, calling for “an ‘infrastructure bank’ which would be run by the government but would pool tax dollars with private investment.” The cost to government would be paid for by, “eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for the oil and gas industry.”
How many times have we heard that something would be paid for by “eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for the oil and gas industry?” Probably as many times as we’ve heard that something would be paid for by “eliminating waste and fraud in Medicare.” I can recall hearing both of those claims used when JFK was in office. How many times has anything actually been paid for with either method?
Further, he is going to give tax cuts to businesses with one bill, take them away with another bill, and encourage private investment in publicly-owned infrastructure. I’m sure that Hewlett Packard is seriously interested in investing money in owning a highway bridge over Mission Valley in San Diego. This is sheer gibberish.
Not only is it gibberish, but in the words of Robert Gibbs it is not even intended to provide the immediate help that is needed for the current economic situation, but “is about long term growth.” The mountain is on fire and he’s Smokey The Bear, talking about preventing forest fires.