The President unveiled his jobs plan this evening, the gist of which was that he wants Congress to spend $450 billion over the coming year on teachers, construction workers, the unemployed and sundry other Democratic constituencies. He stressed that Democrats and Republicans have done this before, and so they should do it again. Now. (NOW?)
The fact that America is now $5 trillion deeper in debt than the day Nancy Pelosi moved into the Speaker's chair is not relevant. Neither is the fact that the country now owes 100% of GDP unlike ever before except after WW II. Context doesn't matter.
He erected the usual straw men: the super wealthy who don't pay their fair share in taxes (he even invoked Warren Buffet's plea to be taxed more. He failed, however, to mention the 42% of people in the country who pay no taxes, and faithfully vote Democrat); opposition party members who want to trade off safety and throw people to the wolves in order to drive the economy; those who would have had us living in the stone ages by impeding former government gifts to mankind; generally, politically-driven, ideological monsters who don't buy into his schemes without question.
People are suffering, you see. And to the President and his party, the leap is automatic. The government must spend money and increase taxes on boogie men, now, period. And, when people suffer in the future as they inevitably will given the uncertaintly of the human condition as temporal beings in need of continuous material sustenance, when this government grab fails to stimulate anything but outsized balances in cronies' and charlatans' bank accounts, the solution will be for the government to spend more, no questions asked. Because people are suffering, you see.
The President's repeated call to get this passed now underscores his petulance and recalls everyone of his legislative initiatives from the original stimulus to ObamaCare to Financial Reform. The rush to approve expenditures and impose regulation is always palpable with him. Just once, Noman would like to hear him counsel caution and prudence in order to ensure that things get done right, and that only the right things get done. But, that would defeat the real purpose of redistributing the earnings of those who made right choices to those who didn't. At least this time, as opposed to last, the money will be redistributed right away. Then again, the next election is right around the corner this time.
Among things that caught Noman's attention was the President's assertion (by rhetorical question) that children can't learn without constructing brand new state-of-the-art facilities. What about books and a lumpy chair? What about all of the computer software that enables children to become math wizards in the comfort of their homes? What about parents sitting with their children to read rather than watch TV? He cited Abe Lincoln elsewhere in his stump speech. Didn't Abe Lincoln receive his early education by candlelight in a log cabin? Does the federal government really need to spend tens-to-hundreds of billions of dollars on this to ensure that it gets done? To the President's mind, is there anything people can accomplish on their own without depending on the federal government to provide it to them?
The President's speech was followed by the announcement of a credible threat to national security. Noman doesn't doubt that bad people want to do bad things to American on the decennial anniversary of 9/11. The timing of the announcement conveniently shifted attention, however, from the President's solemn promise to give us the rest of his super-duper comprehensive plan in a couple of weeks, after another vacation perhaps, and presumably after his latest unassailable blessing to America is passed without question. Overall, Noman was reminded of nothing so much as President Clinton's release of photos and intelligence of Osama Bin Laden after his August 1999 grand jury testimony (and perjurious equivocations: "It depends on what you mean by is"), and his stony flight to Martha's Vineyard with Hilary during which he allegedly confessed to her for the first time that, despite public assurances to the contrary, he had indeed had sexual relations with "that woman."
Noman expects the House to rebuff the President's low, short jobs plan--which is undoubtedly the President's hope as it will give him cover to blame others for his failures--and focus attention on a growth, not maintenance-for-some, agenda. But, it's crass of Noman to suggest that the President is playing politics as he's assured us repeatedly that only the bad guys in the other party do that. Republicans outlined their proposals for getting the government out of the way of job creation three months ago at the linked website.