JOBS – The Four Letter Word of the Obama Administration

September 16, 2011

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I’m convinced that “jobs” is a four letter word in the Obama Administration. I can see it now. Barack stubs his toe on an end table and yells, “Oh jobs!” *giggles*

But in all seriousness, I find it interesting that he’s been the President for TWO AND A HALF YEARS already and JUST realized that jobs is an issue. Either that or he “hoped” that things would “change” without him having to do anything.

And yet, he did have to do something. So he did what he does best….the only thing he ever does. He gave another speech.

Now, those who voted for Obama who are upset with him and his performance, I don’t feel sorry for you. You elected a man because he gave good speeches….are you at all surprised that it is all he’s done thus far?

Back to the jobs bill. During the speech Obama kept saying “pass it” and to be honest, it had a little bit of an Obamacare feel to it. Do we need to pass this bill to before we can know what is in it? I don’t like it. Not one bit.

Here’s what I know. The Government can’t mandate that people hire. Only the people can hire. When people have more funds to hire, they hire. And that’s where this “income adjustment” aka taxes comes in to play. Keep taxes low, people have more of their own money, with more money they can hire more people, more people working means more money in the economy…it just makes common sense.

Then again, common sense is something this Administration is severely lacking.

I love watching the Liberals start freaking out about 2012. Unless Obama does something big–and I mean really, really big, he’s not going to win. America has had enough and, like I said unless something really big changes, we’ll have moving trucks in front of the White House in January 2013. But hey, that’d be a few jobs Obama could take credit for creating!

I hope you all enjoyed my live tweeting of the straw poll and the GOP debates. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, be sure to follow @SoapBoxersLive on twitter.

Obama’s Jobs Speech

September 12, 2011

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The President of the United States was involved in two major events over the last week.  Most recently, he was the guest of honor at the 9/11 remembrance in New York City.  The president along with all of the other dignitaries and special guests did a phenomenal job of participation without ostentation, but with dignity and reverence.  The right wing fears of exclusion of first responders and prayer were just simply wrong.  The memories of those who lost their lives on that September morning 10 years ago, and those who have lost their lives in the defense of our nation since then, were honored.  The poems, letters and scriptures read, the musical performances, the reading of the names, and the personal testimonies, all added to the somber yet hopeful atmosphere of the entire day.

The second event, was a speech before a joint session of congress, advertised as the solution for the joblessness being experienced in the United States.  This event was not nearly as mature, dignified, or effective as the 9/11 anniversary.  This speech, which was supposed to be a new message, was in fact a restatement of some fifty previous speeches that he president has given.  The immaturity of the event was exposed in the political squabbling that went on before the actual speech accrued.  First, the president asked for the joint session on the same night that a previously scheduled debate of the Republican presidential candidates.  The speaker of the house, a republican, refused.  His refusal was not well taken by the White House, both sides acting like children.  The President eventually asked for the joint session on the following night.

The content of this speech in no way required a joint session of congress.  The speech promised a proposed piece of legislation that he insisted must be passed quickly.  He had already promised to have legislation ready when they returned from their summer vacations.  There was no legislation, that is the prevue of the congress anyway, there was just another promise to get it to them.  Now there were some ideas presented that are good, but not new.  Training for the long term unemployed is a great idea, a democratic congress with Ronald Reagan had a program for the same purpose back in the 1980’s.  Preferential employment of veterans is another good idea, but it has been in place for federal employment, post office and contractors to the government since World War II.

The most frightening part of the speech was not the repetitiveness of the ideas for jobs, but the repetitiveness of the exorbitant cost and methods of payment. Yet again the suggestion is hundreds of billions of dollars spent.  Once again there is a call for taxing the “more fortunate” members of society, as if earning is a gift that is not fair.  And again, we here of a rich man who does not think it is fair that he pays less in income tax than his secretary (Mr. Buffet, you do not have to claim all of your deductions if you think you should pay more).  Although there are plenty of things wrong with the tax code (the complexity alone is mind boggling), increasing taxes is not the solution.

The only way to get the economy going again is to have actual work for people to do.  Not shifting of payment of projects from states to the federal government, not addressing an unreported surplus of unemployed teachers, and definitely not another hand out to some bankrupt entity be it an car company, a bank or a union.  This country needs to spend within its budget and reduce the burden of taxes and regulation on everyone.  It worked for Kennedy and Reagan.  When we spend beyond our means and broaden the scope of government, the economy goes into the tank, as happened under Johnson and prolonged by the “price freezes” of Nixon and Carter and is now happening from the spending frenzy of Bush and Obama.  In each case, we identify the president, but the blame is equally if not more the responsibility of the congress at the time.

The last issue with the speech was the return to blaming the previous president for the problems being faced today.  There is always a lingering effect of the previous administration, but up until now, the president has remained above the blame game.  It is one thing if a partisan group blames Clinton for 9/11, it would have been quite another if the Bush had gotten on front of congress and blamed him.  Yet again, President Obama is blaming Bush.  Since he took office, the deficit has gotten bigger, unemployment has gotten worse, and up until eight months ago, he had gotten everything he wanted.  Eventually, the president and especially congress will have to start acting like adults.  We cannot expect the partisans or the press to mature, but we should expect it from our elected officials.  It will not be possible to create jobs until at least one thing happens – Congress must do its job and actually pass a budget.  Nothing that the president suggests or sends to congress to consider will have any meaning until a budget is in place.

It’s About Jobs, Stupid

September 8, 2011

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My timing might be off on the article subject this month, as people might think I’m talking about the often controversial, usually brilliant former Apple Computer CEO.  I’m not.  Everywhere I tune in people are talking about how this economy boils down to jobs.  Too many people are unemployed, which leads to too few people paying taxes and spending money, which leads to layoffs in the public sector, which leads to more people being unemployed, which leads to more people not paying taxes and spending money, which leads to … well, you get the idea.

Back in the 1980’s “Trickle Down” was the term for how Republicans wanted to run the economy.  Their theory is that if you give tax breaks to the richest people those people will turn around and hire some non-rich folk.  Think of it like watering your plant, you pour the water on the plant and the water dribbles all down, into the soil, and makes everything in the area go to varying degrees of wetness – it “trickles down” over the whole area.  Trouble is, the economic theory doesn’t work like that.  It doesn’t really work at all, actually, so much so that Republicans have taken to calling it “Supply-Side Economics.”  Trickle down has that whole male urination connotation, “Supply-Side” sounds so much more business-like, so much more professional.  Too bad over 70% of the money that factors into GDP is because of consumers. The economy is consumer driven, so the real-world theory should be “Consumer-Side Economics.”

What does consumer driven mean?  Well, it means that the people who buy the bulk of stuff – everything from houses and cars to televisions and appliances to diapers and toys – are running 70% of the economy.  70% of the money that factors into GDP is because consumers – the bulk of which are everyday Americans – bought stuff after getting paid by their job.

One of the favorite current conservative talking points is that businesses aren’t hiring because they’re stifled by regulation and taxes.  As far as taxes are concerned, theoretically, that’s true.  Reality has a different view, however.  Using loopholes and tax breaks the richest of corporations can often avoid paying no taxes at all – GM didn’t pay a dime in taxes in 2010 despite having over 14.2 billion in profits.  The truth of the matter is businesses aren’t hiring because people aren’t buying.  People aren’t buying because so many are unemployed or underemployed, and the media has scared many into saving rather than spending.  While that’s not a bad thing, everything needs to be in moderation.  Saving for the future is fine, but not at the cost of the now.

So is government regulation the problem?  The 2008 Wall Street crash was because of a lack of regulation.  The 2011 Fukushima Nuclear disaster was because of a lack of regulation enforcement.  Bankers taking home billions in profits after getting billions in bailouts while the middle class saw nothing was because of a lack of regulation.  Say what you want about the government, but at least in theory I trust profit-driven corporations a lot less than I trust government.  I say “in theory” only because the current campaign finance laws and political atmosphere allow corporations to essentially buy politicians.  In addition, if government regulation is the problem, why are big oil, the finance sector and many other important economic players reporting record profits the past few years?  I don’t think Reagan making deregulation one of his biggest issues and the start of economic disparity in the US is a coincidence.  Corporations have proven time and time again that they will put profit ahead of anything, including the well-being of people.  You can argue that corporate charity does exist, it often does so only because tax breaks and good publicity make it economically practical to do so.

So jobs are the problem, what’s the solution?  I’m going to put one forward that all you right-wingers out there will completely balk at:  Government spending.  This flies in the face of the debt reduction debate this past Summer, but our country has faced bigger debt before and we spent our way out of it.  The power grid and transportation networks in the US are laughable, at best, compared to many other nations.  A government-wide sponsored program to rebuild/replace either of those two would employ millions for years – millions of people who would start spending again.  I’m sure conservatives will ask how can we possibly pay this off?  Well, eliminating the outsourcing of our wars would help.  It was recently reported that as much as 60 billion dollars was wasted or defrauded thanks to so-called “private military contractors.”  As far as the big-picture is concerned, take a look at any finance news the past few months – US debt is selling faster than ever.  The yield on treasury bills is at an all-time low, which means anyone with money is still scrambling to buy US debt.  If we had a debt problem, doesn’t free-market economics dictate that T-bills would be a bad buy?

Tonight President Obama is going to present a jobs bill, and no matter what he says Republicans will oppose it out of partisanship.  The number one way Republicans will take control of the White House in 2012 is for the economy to suck, so why is it in their interest to help the economy get better?  Like drooling, greedy shareholders they are slaves to short-term profit, and creating jobs just doesn’t mesh with their current goals.

Speaker Boehner: Where Are The Jobs At?

March 31, 2011

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So Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs at? Before the elections in November this seemed to be Rep. John Boehner’s mantra, so it is only fitting to turn it back on him ow that they have been on the job a while now a show no signs of actually wanting to create any jobs. Instead the Republicans have led a crusade to end abortion, repeal the healthcare reform of last year, end social security and medicare, generally anything under the sun that is not tied to their corporate masters.

It seems really that Boehner and Republicans are most concerned about doing anything to make it seem that Obama and Democrats are failing, that actually doing anything to heal the economy and the country. Yesterday it seems that Boehner expressed this mindset perfectly. “If we stick together and keep the pressure on the Democrats, we’re going to win this fight,” he said to a group of assembled Republicans. “We’re gonna kick their ass.”

Really Speaker Fake Baker? Ass kicking? How does that actually do anything to improve the country? It doesn’t. I fact the most recent standstill to the countdown to shutdown has exposed that the overall effect of Republican sought cuts to spending will eliminate 700,000 jobs. To use their tired at old line when they refer to tax cuts, is this the time we really need to cut 700,000 when we need to be creating them?

Then again as I said jobs are not the focus as clearly stated earlier this week by Illinois Congresswoman Judy Biggert who she said in front to Congress that Democrats just needed to stop talking about jobs. Well Rep. Biggert that was the main task that people supposedly had in sending Republicans to control Congress this time around, and like every time before you have failed.

BAD NUT OF THE MONTH

I haven’t done these in a long time so I thought I’d bring it back. The Bad Nut of the Month award goes to Wisconsin State Senator Randy Hooper. Hooper one of the Republicans eligible for and soon to be facing a recall vote showed how much of a moral authority on things Republicans truly are. In a time of budget cuts in the state Hooper helped get a cushy job with a raise for his mistress. Despite not having any better qualifications than the previous person to have the job and not formally applying for the position, Valerie Cass was given the job with $11,000 more than the person who had the job before. Just bad on different fronts. For one this happenedd during the time that the state was supposedly broke and they needed to cut the budget, cut jobs and bust unions. And on the other for a person and a party i general that touts themselves as the absolute moral authority on everything, it seems pretty immoral to me to cheat on and leave your wife for a woman almost half your age. However I guess if you are the Senator’s mistress jobs are created for you and not cut, however to go to a Republican talking point. This is a real threat to marriage.