The New York Times puts on a brave face for the president,
Having ceded considerable ground to Republicans in the debt ceiling fight, President Obama set out Tuesday to reclaim the initiative on the economy, promising a new effort to spur job creation while seeking to position himself as a proven voice of reason in an era of ideological overreach.
After being cloistered in Washington for a month haggling with Congressional leaders, Mr. Obama will embark on a bus tour of the Midwest the week of Aug. 15 — a chance to show his commitment to reviving the economy in a region of important electoral battlegrounds, and to turn the page from the tangled, often toxic, debate in the capital.
and still manages to mangle the fact that Obama is off to a glitzy fundraiser tomorrow night, not just August 15. And never quite gets around to noting just how many times the president or the Democrats have “pivoted” to jobs since 2009. That number looks to be seven.
And the story of the Administration is, in no small part, one of a constant attempt to pivot formally to jobs. Emily and I identified what seem like six really attempts at it, with the seventh starting now:
February 2009: In a speech to Congress, Obama says his economic plan will be focused on jobs.
November 2009, during the lull in health care debate: “This is my administration’s overriding focus.”
January 2010: “What they can expect from this administration, and I know what they can expect from you, is that we are going to have a sustained and relentless focus over the next several months on accelerating the pace of job creation, because that’s priority number one.”
April 2010: Post health-care, Obama goes on a bunch of “Main Street” tour stops to talk about jobs in April and May.
June 2010: The beginning of recovery summer.
December 2010: “And I think we are past the crisis point in the economy, but we now have to pivot and focus on jobs and growth.”
January 2011: Obama’s State of the Union focuses on jobs and afterward he makes a big jobs push (even though Egypt is taking up his, and the world’s attention), launches “Startup America” initiative.
Plus the latest, and you have seven. The fact that Obama et al keep having to “pivot” toward jobs tells you that, for all the talk, they’re not actually paying attention to jobs or prioritizing economic growth. They’re still fixated on their own agenda. And from Obama’s own remarks begging for yet another stimulus, it’s clear that he’s not living in reality. And the numbers reflect the Democrats’ lack of focus and their lack of understanding of the economy: The US economy added an anemic 114,000 jobs in July, net 85k after all the layoffs, to keep us at an unhealthy 9.2% official unemployment — nearly a full point higher than the worst case scenario presented in the case for the 2009 stimulus.
It may be just as well that the Democrats’ pivot is more like a pointless spin. Word has gone out among the mediaDemocratleft that corporations are eeevil because they’re “hoarding” cash rather than hiring. That would be their own cash, by the way, and it doesn’t belong the the government, but never mind that. Via ObamaCare and all the class warfare and threatened tax hikes on “the rich” when jobs were supposedly the number one priority, and in the wake of the various regulatory attacks on the private sector, the Democrats have only themselves to blame (but being Democrats, they will never actually blame themselves). They have disincentivized hiring from small business on up to the largest conglomerates. Businesses are leery of taking on new hires when they have no idea what the liabilities will turn out to be. Rather than blame themselves and their union allies, as they should, look for the Democrats to try some sort of “jobs initiative” that will try strongarming employers into hiring against their will.
Democrats still don’t get why Texas is creating jobs, while California isn’t. All it takes is a low tax burden, a fair and predictable regulatory environment with reasonable tort, and a government that doesn’t try to create Utopia. The Democrats want ever increasing tax burdens, a regulatory state that is omnipotent, and a government that jams itself into every nook and cranny of life.
That won’t lead to a growing economy anytime soon.