Obama's jobs speech an embarassment
President Obama presented his
campaign speech "jobs program" to the audience he wanted on Thursday. From the beginning, this was a show of petulance unfit for the President of the United States.
First, Obama demanded that he be granted an audience the same night as the Republicans looking to challenge him next year were debating, an obviously political attempt to distract attention from his potential opponents. House Speaker John Boehner was absolutely right to deny this flagrantly political request.
Second, the tone of the speech was unpresidential. Obama attempted to set himself up as speaking from on high, scolding the Congress for not being able to get along. He has attempted to set himself above politics before, but it is not 2008 anymore and people see through him now. After all, this is the same President who dismissed Republican ideas in early 2009 by gloating that he won the election and that was his trump card. Had the Republicans not won the House a year ago, would Obama have any interest in working with them?
Knowing that one of his biggest weaknesses is the dramatic increases in federal spending and the budget deficit, Obama said that this program will be paid for. Republicans should hold his feet to the fire on that promise and expect dollar-for-dollar spending cuts elsewhere to match this new stimulus.
Obama specifically proposed extending the payroll tax holiday, scolding Republicans who have promised not to raise taxes by demanding that the holiday be extended. One thing is now clear: This was never a serious proposal. It was a trap from the very beginning. Obama knew that he could spin the end of the payroll tax holiday as a tax increase and use it for political gain, and as a tool to get what he really wants: Increased taxes on the rich.
Obama again whined that the rich need to pay their fair share, throwing out the red herring about Warren Buffet's tax rate. But as I pointed out last month, the rich do pay their "fair share." The top 1% of wage earners paid 38% of federal personal income tax in 2008, and the top 5% paid 58.7% of federal personal income tax that same year. Is the President capable of being honest?
One of Obama's "generous" tax cut proposals was a proposal that would allow an employer who hired 50 employees at an "average salary" to enjoy an $80,000 tax break. Well, whoop de diddly do, Barack. If each of those employees makes $25,000 a year, it will cost $1.25 million annually to pay them - and that is salary only, not health insurance or other benefits.
This President clearly has no clue how business works. Does Obama really think that an $80,000 tax break will be enough to encourage employers to hire so many employees and take on so large of an ongoing expense? The same can be said for the proposed $4000 tax credit for hire someone unemployed for 6 months or more. The reality is that businesses hire when they have work that needs to be done.
Obama topped it off with a flagrantly dishonest misrepresentation of conservative/libertarian thought. He categorized his opponents' proposal for economic prosperity as an agenda to dismantle government, refund everyone's money, let everyone write their own rules and tell everyone they're on their own.
While libertarian philosophy is certainly enjoying increased popularity, libertarianism and anarchism are not the same. There are no credible voices that are arguing we should have no government, only that government should be much smaller and more limited in scope than it currently is. And make no mistake here: Obama is not confused about the difference between libertarians and anarchists. He's lying. That is unacceptable.