Our nation’s economy must be strengthened. No new jobs were created during the month of August, and unemployment remains over 9 percent, meaning 14 million Americans are still without jobs. Cue President Obama’s preferred style of leadership: a high profile speech followed by campaign-styled stops in future battleground states.
Throughout history, numerous politicians have believed that if they say something enough times, the people will believe it’s true. I used to say that President Bill Clinton had a gift for being able to say things that weren’t true with greater conviction than anyone else. That was before President Obama came along, proving that he is even more gifted than President Clinton.
Take, for instance, Obama’s 32 minute long address to a joint session of Congress earlier this month. Billed as a “jobs” speech, President Obama pitched his ideas for yet another stimulus package, calling on Congress to “pass this bill” right away 14 separate times. At the time of his call, there was no such bill, and up until that point, the President had failed to work with Congress and provide leadership to address our nation’s economy. Now that his own re-election draws near, the President is trying to pivot and pass the blame to Congress.
In 2009, President Obama and the Democratically controlled Congress passed the President’s so-called stimulus bill that increased government spending by over $800 billion. It failed to stimulate, and now the unemployment rate is higher than it was before the bill was enacted. More government spending didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.
What’s worse, using the trappings of this major speech, he told the American people – who are rightfully concerned about runaway government spending – that the bill will be fully paid for. He said that three separate times during the speech.
But all he has proposed to pay for the proposal are tax increases on job creators and domestic energy producers that he’s tried many times to have enacted. Each time he has tried this approach, even when Democrats controlled Congress, it has failed! Saying over and over again that the bill is paid for with tax increases that will never pass Congress does not mean that the bill is actually paid for.
In reality, his promise that “everything in this bill will be paid for” is akin to those who say “the check is in the mail” to buy time and dodge a debt collector when in fact, there is no check in the mail. We are long past the time of using Washington gimmicks, failed tax hike proposals, and sleight-of-hand accounting to justify out-of-control federal spending.
By telling Congress to pass his bill, he expects the American people to accept the assertion that even more government spending will fix our economy without bleeding any red ink. Hogwash!
Like a broken record, President Obama wants to use more deficit spending to stimulate the economy, but he doesn’t want to pay for it with spending cuts. Rather, he wants to pay for his one-year “jobs” bill with economy crushing and job-killing tax hikes that will plague the economy’s future.
As the President trots around the country campaign-style repeating the phrase “pass this bill” over and over again, Congress and the American people should answer: “Mr. President, your check is in the mail.”