President Obama sends his jobs bill to Congress today. Before the bill goes up Pennsylvania Avenue, however, there is a Rose Garden ceremony in its honor. (Has ever a bill been more feted?) I’m interested in who’ll be there:
In the Rose Garden, he will be joined by people who would benefit from the legislation, the official said, including teachers, police officers, firefighters, construction workers, small business owners and veterans.
Now, what do you notice right off about this guest list? Well, except for the small business owners, these esteemed guests tend to have union jobs. You may have noticed that last week when the president gave his campaign speech-I mean jobs address-before a joint session of Congress, he talked about teachers, teachers, teachers.
No doubt, the president loves learnin’. But he really loves the teacher union. Like most of the guests in the Rose Garden today, the important thing that got them on the guest list was not special suffering in the face of a stilled economy but union membership. I am wondering if the representatives of small businesses are representatives of green small businesses.
Indeed, Michael Barone noticed the boondoggly nature of the Obama jobs program:
Political payoffs. Nearly one-quarter of this latest stimulus package — sorry, American Jobs Act — is aid to state and local government, to keep teachers and other public employee union members on the job and paying dues to the unions. Altogether unions gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle. Pretty good return on their “investment,” eh?
If you are a laid-off oil industry worker, don’t count on being at the Rose Garden ceremony. The jobs program for this sector would be immediate drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. That is not going to happen on President Obama’s watch. In fact, the government is suing Exxon over a technicality to prevent the oil giant from creating new jobs.
You must read Holman Jenkins on an early draft of President Obama’s jobs speech:
Jobs are the No. 1 priority of the American people. Jobs are the No. 1 priority of my administration’s rhetoric. Jobs have not been the No. 1 priority of my administration’s policies, however. Let me explain why.
A British statesman-I believe it was Harold Macmillan-was asked what he intended to do if elected prime minister. He answered, roughly, “Deal with matters that arise.” That has not been my approach.
Elections have consequences. We mastered the use of slogans and imagery and won the presidency. Now the power is ours to choose our agenda, and we chose not to be distracted by matters that arise-say, the country’s economic crisis. We chose instead to pursue the things that we know should be pursued.
These things are called shibboleths-badges of identity that signify us as “progressives” and entitle us to a sense of superiority. One is nationalization of health care, an emblem of our “caring.” …
Consider my background. I don’t know much about business and, frankly, don’t care to. You see, I have a self-reinforcing image of Barack Obama. I am high-minded. Business people are greedy and, somehow, lesser. I stay focused on that.
Some might say, “Had I known this I never would have voted for you.” A) You weren’t listening carefully; and B) that was my intention, my art. To conceal-for instance, by dropping one’s Gs-is what it means to be an effective left-wing ideologue in America these days.
I am not anti-business. I get a supreme sense of satisfaction when business leaders approach me and, in a deferential manner, ask for subsidies and regulatory favors that will determine whether their companies succeed or fail. Like solar subsidies. This is the kind of job creation I’m interested in.