Jobs: It’s the Chink in Obama’s Armor

Thursday, May 21, 2009

With President Obama and the Democrats steamrolling their agenda, conservatives have never been more energized. With 2010 midterm elections coming into view conservative bloggers, commentators and pundits are looking for a theme or a message for an opposition platform that will lead to election victory. My take is that many conservatives are searching to bring the Republican Party back in touch with their principles. While I agree with them, I think we need something a little more tangible for a national platform. We need a single or a couple of specific issues to rally around. I suggest that the perfect opposition to President Obama and the Congressional Democrats will be jobs.

Both the White House and Congress are careless, if not flippant in respect to job creation. Sure, Obama talks about unemployment and job creation all the time, but he really hasn’t put his money where his mouth is. Obama’s stimulus is the perfect example of his insincerity. At the beginning of May, only 6% of the stimulus funds had been spent. Obama touted at creating and saving 150,000 jobs, while sending the same number of already employed people working at dealerships to the unemployment line. The stimulus is basically a three year spending bill and all the spending is in areas not likely to promote or create a sustainable number of jobs. For example, NY has finally decided to spend some of the stimulus by extending unemployment benefits for 13 weeks. The spending may be a worthy effort on NY’s part, but where’s the job savings or creation?

Two simple facts will dramatically hurt Obama and the Democrats. Obama promised to save and create 3.5 million jobs (the OMB already has forecast that his stimulus is likely to only save or create 2.5 million jobs). Unemployment is going to get worse and is not going to ease anytime soon. That is not just my prediction, which I’ve been saying for a while. That is also the prediction of the Federal Open Market Committee.

According to their April minutes, all members of the FED Committee were in agreement that it will take 5 or more years for unemployment to recover. What is interesting in this statement is that the opinion was unanimous for all the committee members.

Obama has nothing in the works to deal with this issue. Obama’s budget agenda and policies were written with a different economic landscape in mind. You see, Obama crafted his budget plans during his primary race, which was most of 2007. Did Obama revise his plan when the 2008 recession hit? Of course not! What might have been good policy in a 2007 economy must also be good in a 2009 economy, right? Did anyone else find it weird that the same ideas Obama thought out in 2007 were then touted as the solution in 2009?

Truthfully, there is nothing about job creation in Obama’s budget. In fact, much of it is going to cause more job losses than spur job creation. Ideas like cap and trade will put many more millions out on the unemployment line. This is a huge opportunity for opponents to the President’s agenda. It was economic unrest and uncertainty that led to Obama’s election. However, it is the disillusionment of that choice that can lead to the Democrats defeat.

11 comments

Devrim said...

Jobs can be a platform where the conservatists can attack the current administration, "you promised, but failed to deliver".

Apart from that I don't think the government should be in the business of "creating or saving" jobs. Just speaking of it is against what I am for, small government, but than again I am more of a libertarian not a conservative.

The deficit, government owning banks, insurance companies, auto makers; way the government spends your and my money I believe are more viable platforms

May 21, 2009 at 7:15 PM
The Law said...

I think of the GOP is going to mount another Rovian styled campaign, then I'd have to agree with CGen: jobs is the place you have to attack. Bailouts, insurance companies and things of the like have given American's ear fatigue... if I was a political strategist, that's a topic I'd avoid.

What made Obama a winner in the primaries (I bring this up becuase its dem vs. dem) was his message of unity. Divisive polticis is a big turn off.

However, I'm confused about the Chrysler statement. If Chrysler wasn't bailed out, they would have had to go into bankruptcy, which means they'd have to let go a ton of workers anyway. If they failed, all the workers would be gone. All the bailout did was buy Chrysler time to make a winning strategy. Whether the solution they came up with was a winner or loser is up for debate, but I think it is unfair to blame Obama for the layoffs at Chrysler. They were a doomed company for over a decade.

May 22, 2009 at 3:41 AM

Dev,

I am saying the government needs to go out guarranteeing jobs. However, it would be foolish to not try and offer solutions to a huge unemployment problem.

tL,

Normally I'd feel your Chrysler comments have weight, however I don't think your arguements hold water under the circumstances. We know Obama's Chrysler plans were politically motivated to prop up the UAW. You can't dispute it. In fact, he went out of his way to overturn the law, while robbing teachers and police pensions funds to do it. Now I don't know all the options on the table, but given the fact he went out of his way to prop up the UAW dispite the worthy claims of the bondholders and made his decision based on politics and rewarding political allies as oppossed to making a sound business decision, I think their is reason to doubt that closing the dealerships was necessary.

Furthermore, Obama, his administration, and your party has gone out of the way to demonize managers that lay people off for cronyism. I'm simply holding Obama to his own standards.

May 22, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Dev I meant *I'm not saying the government needs to be guarranteeing jobs.

May 22, 2009 at 9:46 AM
Devrim said...

Cgen, jobs are an easy message to convey and which many people would listen.

Today the conservatives have a great opportunity as people are more than ever involved in politics. I, for example, never bothered to join political discussions till last year, save some discussions over a beer. After all, just like ex-VP Cheney, I'd rather be fishing/hunting (and yes I tough it didn't make the news I have impaled couple friends with treble hooks), but there comes a time when a man needs to get out of retirement/ignorance to serve the country. Where comes the opportunity of the right wing, they have an audience who is willing to listen and discuss; I can promise to save jobs by saving less and spending more, or taking on more credit to get that 56" LCD, when we bring it down to individual level people will get the idea. I save less now, I will have less to spend in my retirement, I spend less, someone looses a job. I take credit, buy me that fancy 56" LCD somebody gets a job, I overextend my credit, default, someone else's rates goes up or their perks get cut to cover those losses.

tL loves "cap and trade" so I'll play alongside with him. Today the CO2 credits in European countries which has such laws in place are worth ZERO, as all factories are idling due to the global recession. If any company had enough cash reserves/creditability , and bought those credits all, they would be able to operate for the next 300 years raping the earth.

Two years ago, that above paragraph would be a "big" one that would make people's heads' explode. Today we have people who are willing to search/analyze/question/blog/discuss those facts.

Instead of just "promising" effects, (i.e. I'll create or save 3 to 5 million jobs) we need to "discuss" how we we will create those jobs at minimal cost, competitive with the world economy; or where we would place/release the GITMO detainees.

I'm ready to listen..... anyone at the government ready to listen or they care more about that $5 million in contributions from ACLU ?

May 22, 2009 at 11:23 AM

CG - I agree with Devrim that the government should not even be in the business of 'job creation' in the first place, all that the feds and pols should do is encourage, and put in place laws and a regulatory framework that is conducive to entrepeneurism and maximum economic output. Everything, and I mean everything that they are doing right now is the equivalent of killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Thus, as you say, jobs will eventually be there downfall.......

May 22, 2009 at 10:35 PM
The Law said...

government should not even be in the business of 'job creation' in the first placeReally? There goes the post office, teachers, fire fighters, police, EMTs, librarians, construction workers, and... the military!

Government jobs as its place just as much as private sector jobs do. Jobs that require 24/7 service without fail, worry of stock markets and can't go under if the company runs out of money. The government is only creating jobs that are within its purview... you will NOT see a government run wal-mart of gome depot.

all that the feds and pols should do is encourage, and put in place laws and a regulatory framework that is conducive to entrepeneurism and maximum economic outputYou're 10000000% right. And guess which party has been systematically deregulating the free market...

May 23, 2009 at 3:13 AM

The Law - Yes, really, where in the Constitution is it clearly enumerated that the Federal government is to be in the job creation business? As to your points...

1 - Post Office - better to be run by a private business, likewise with Amtrak

2 - Teachers - Union largess, stifling bueracracy, American public schools trailing ALL industrial nations in results, need I say more for the case of privatization?

3 - Fire Fighters, Police officer and the Military - Should be government sector jobs, proper function of a limited government

4 - EMTs, Construction Workers - I don't think that the vast majority of EMTs should be under government pay, likewise construction should be a for-profit private enterprise, as I would argue the case for slashing funding of most government functions at this point in our history - we wouldn't engage in 'hole-digging' just to provide jobs to put the dirt back it.

Also sir, I am not a Republican as you seem to be referring to the 'deregulation of the free market' on Republican watch. I reject that notion as well in that the recent calamity has nothing to do with deregulation but everything to do with NeoCon Corporatism and Cronyism. The same thing that is going on now in the Obama admin, on steroids. We haven't had truly free markets in the US for decades! Why don't you bring some of your debates over to my blog sometime as well, I have too much approval, not enough dissent over at my place....
LCR

May 23, 2009 at 3:08 PM
The Law said...

FedEx and UPS are the nations two largets parcel services. Let's say in your free market model, FedEx crushes UPS out of existence, and FedEx workers go on strike for more pay (of course this is highly unlikely to ever happen). How do we get our mail?

There are some functions that are just too large for corporate entity to handle appropriately. Imagine how much it would cost FedEx to put a station in every town in America! It is not a sustainable business model. I mean the closest FedEx to where I lived in upstate NY was a 50 minute drive!

I am a strong beleiver in capitalism and the free market, but there are some entities that are far to large to be effecitively services by private enterprise.

And yes, I will add your blog to my list, so I can keep up with it =)

May 23, 2009 at 8:35 PM

LCR,

Thanks for participating in the debate. It's my opinion that tL is a credit to the prog argument. Look, as I commented with Dev, I'm not saying we needs some kind of works program. I left what to do open for debate. I believe that government is choking job creation in America. We need to clean it out.

tL,

I live 5 houses down from my post office and can't get the mail delivered to my house. I find not convenience in having a post office in my town. In fact, I hope it closes. I've seriously considered switching to UPS store instead and pay extra money for it!

Government jobs are in fact a drain on the economy. I think more than ever the recent economic downturn has highlighted the government as a leach on the US worker as opposed to a savoir. You live in a state with 32 billion dollar short fall when economic chips are down. Instead of seeing this as a threat, you are in fact stating that we need more. What will happen if the economic downturn is even worse? How will we feed the leaching government that apparently can only successfully exist when the times are good?

May 27, 2009 at 12:44 PM

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