Where are the jobs?
By Dr. Robert Owens
There were two reasons for the election of President Barack Obama. One, after two and a half terms of Bush the Younger, and a Republican shopaholic Congress and half a term with a Democratic shopaholic Congress people were desperate for change. And two, the economy hit a speed bump in September of 2008. Candidate Obama promised to control spending so our free economy could create new jobs. President Obama has so far delivered the greatest spending binge in world history.
His answer to an economy stalled because of government induced bubbles and out-of-control spending was the massive omnibus stimulus filled with “shovel ready jobs” that it took him nearly two years to discover never existed. Next he squandered his massive political capital seizing industries, ramming national health care down the throat of a protesting America, taking over the financial industry, the Internet, and establishing regulatory control over everything from cradles to graves.
Since his election, as the economy languished, the American people from across the political spectrum have sought leadership in the quest for a recovery. And what has been the response of our Progressive President and his Progressive-dominated Congress? Constant promises to focus on job creation to cover the enactment of a radical agenda designed to transform America.
In January 2009, seven days after taking office, President Obama gave his first state of the Union speech. In this speech, after detailing how deep the Recession had become he said, “That is why jobs must be our number one focus in 2010, and that is why I am calling for a new jobs bill tonight,” and “People are out of work. They are hurting. They need our help. And I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay.”
By May of 2009 President Obama’s jobs deficit, which is the range between what has been promised and what has been delivered, reached 6.2 million and was growing by over 500,000 a month. Holding a series of Jobs Summits at the White House the President continued to promise he was going to focus on jobs. By October of 2010 the administration’s jobs deficit stood at 7.6 million.
In July of 2009 the promise by the President was for a focus on job creation. And while Progressive think tanks such as the Economic Policy Institute lauded him for his focus on jobs, in December of 2009 Mr. Obama had to once again promise to turn his focus on jobs since the unemployment rate was stuck at over 9%.
In January of 2010 President Obama in his second State of the Union Address promised to renew his focus on job creation. Also in January of 2010 the President announced he would spend billions to create green jobs even though no one is quite sure what constitutes a green job and they are projected to cost over 135,000 dollars apiece. In addition, these are temporary jobs and many of them would be overseas?
By March of 2010 the President’s advisers were predicting an extended period of high unemployment. Also in March of 2010 the President announced a multi-billion dollar bill to create jobs in small businesses. In April of 2010 the President promised to turn his focus on job creation. By September of 2010 some of the President’s key economic backers as well as over 300 economists were pleading with him to focus on jobs. In December of 2010 The President announced that our economy is past the crisis point and that now it’s time to focus on jobs.
What has President Obama accomplished in almost two years in office? One site proudly lists 100 accomplishments. Another site lists 90 accomplishments. An abbreviated list of nine is readily available. Another complains he is not getting credit for all he has done and lists the eight they feel are especially noteworthy. Another site lists seven.
Taking the opportunity of one of his rare press conferences to remind everyone, “I am President,” he went on to list his latest lame-duck accomplishments, including passing the tax compromise package, ratifying the START nuclear disarmament pact with Russia, and repealing the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. He took the opportunity of reviewing his recent accomplishments to place these bi-partisan legislative victories in the context of November’s election saying, “in the wake of the November elections that we have the capacity not only to make progress, but to make progress together.” Is this the progress you voted for?
Though all these accomplishments have gone a long way in fundamentally transforming America, with the current unemployment rate frozen at over 9 % it’s hard to say they‘ve created any jobs. Perhaps it’s time to tell a President whose only private sector job made him feel as if he was behind enemy lines that except for more bureaucrats and make-work temporary positions government can’t create jobs. At best it can create an atmosphere of freedom and then get out of the way.
We cannot borrow our way to prosperity. We cannot tax ourselves to solvency. And we cannot take one hundred dollars from a productive taxpayer, siphon off fifty dollars in handling fees, pay fifty dollars to a make-work employee and call that a job at least not outside the beltway in the real world. Quit trying to remake America. Quit taxing and regulating business to a standstill. Let freedom ring, and then perhaps you’ll learn where real jobs come from: free enterprise.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens' latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8. Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook. © 2010 Robert R. Owens