September 8 2011
In tonight's Joint Session speech, Obama made it clear that he is a man of words, and not of deeds. As usual, Obama trotted out the same worn-out solution to our economic woes: throw more money at the problem.
The 2009 stimulus, which allocated $800 billion for infrastructure and public works programs, didn't lower the unemployment rate. In fact, the economy has lost 2.3 million jobs since that first stimulus was passed. The real unemployment rate (which includes so-called discouraged workers) is now over 16 percent.
Tonight, Obama gave us more of the same. His new $450 billion, stimulus 2.0 for infrastructure and public works programs will not rejuvenate this economy. Nor is it meant to. Once again, Obama is using the stimulus (ahem, a "jobs bill") to funnel federal funds to his core constituency-public sector union employees-ahead of his 2012 reelection bid. It's a jobs bill, mind you, but the only job it's meant to save is Obama's.
Obama flippantly dismissed the real regulatory burden that is crushing businesses around the country. Every Obama speech presents a "reasonable" option pitted against a false and farcical choice, and tonight was no different. Either we continue our crushing federal regulatory scheme, or we poison our children with mercury. This will not give job-creators any confidence to hire new employees or invest in expanding their businesses.
Obama offers no leadership, and no real solutions-- just words, just speeches.
At this point, the best thing Obama can do for the US economy is to announce that he won't seek reelection in 2012. That would at least give the private sector some economic certainty that things can't get much worse.