Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reflections on President Obama's Speech

President Obama can still deliver a speech. This is his most impassioned speech in eons. He was in his groove; his mojo was humming. He was smoking. The President regained his cadence. Vice President Biden stayed awake.

Forget the details; the presentation was great.

He felt this jobs speech; it is personal for the President is facing unemployment.

This speech was the kickoff of his reelection campaign, but it was good.

But was anyone listening?

Has the public tuned him out?

If so, nothing he says will make a difference.

As he spoke out to Congress, was he thinking how many of the Senators and Representatives will be unemployed after the November 2012 election? How many of the Senators and Representatives fear unemployment?

He repeatedly demanded “Pass it now” 17 times! That was the President’s tag line. He threw down the gauntlet. He challenged Congress, but the Republicans remained seated. They were not moved.

The Democrats stood, as they must for a Democratic President, but there were no long, time-consuming ovations.

The sounds of silence from both sides of the aisle are telling.

Of course, his campaign is based on running against Congress – a “Do Nothing Congress” – but that was President Truman’s campaign theme in 1948.

"Pass the American Jobs Act Now," but no Bill has been presented to Congress.

Pass the bilateral trade bills with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea, but he has yet to present these agreements to Congress.

As for the contents of the speech, it was poor. Nothing new, just repackaged fairness and spending. President Obama is big on recyling. “Shovel ready” is now “infrastructure.” Extending unemployment benefits is still extending unemployment benefits. Tax increases on those who can afford to pay more are still tax increases.

He quoted Warren Buffet in support of raising taxes. Just increase Buffet’s taxes, and be done with it.

The President proposed targeted tax breaks, up to a $4,000 tax credit for hiring those who have been unemployed for at least 6 months and for increasing wages.

Employers hire when they believe it will be profitable to do so. The targeted tax cuts to date have not worked.

The former political science major, community organizer remains ignorant of even basic economics.

The $450-500 billion plan is paid for, but the details won’t be available until Monday (Is it next Monday or a week from Monday? Promises, Promises!

And put teachers back in the classroom, and hire more teachers. Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO was an invited guest at the speech. President Obama knows the base of his reelection campaign.

The Republicans did not even present a televised response. Representative Pelosi was offended that the Republicans would insult the President by not responding. Why respond, when nobody watches these responses anyway? Why respond, when it would conflict with the pre-game show?

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