Obama Versus the Strawmen
The president claimed that he has ordered a full review of government rules and regulation:
“We should have no more regulation than the health, safety, and security of the American people require. Every rule should meet that common sense test.”
A good place for the president’s team to begin their rules review might be to take a look at the greatest monstrosity of his administration -- the “Affordable Health Care Act,” or ObamaCare, as it is known by the 3/5 of Americans who want the law repealed. One six-page section of that 2,000-plus-page law, on accountable health organizations, has now led to 400 pages of new regulations. Ask small businessmen, or leaders of large businesses, and they will tell you that the uncertainty surrounding this law, including all of the details yet to be released from the 168 different panels and commissions which were created by it, has constrained job growth. Oddly enough, the best news that Obama’s reelection effort could get on the jobs front might be for the Supreme Court to consider the challenges to ObamaCare early in 2012, and then invalidate the law in the spring. This would be a twofer for Obama politically -- it would dampen some of the anger over the law, and remove an obstacle for businesses to hiring.
This president can not make any speech on the economy without injecting a class warfare approach. He did it again tonight, calling for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share, and offering another strawman test:
“Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies? Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers? Because we can’t afford to do both. Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires? Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs? Right now, we can’t afford to do both.”
I could offer some of my own such choices, which might be more serious. Should we create more domestic energy (and domestic jobs) with fracking, or continue to rely on hundreds of billions annually of foreign oil and gas to keep the environmentalists and the Saudis happy? Should we pursue trade agreements with other countries that can open up markets to U.S exports and create new jobs, or should we keep some dinosaur union leaders happy by sitting on these agreements for three years? Should we repeal the Davis Bacon Act and bring down the cost of government contracting (to free up federal money for all those essential Obama initiatives to win the future), or continue to overpay for union labor?
One final point is worth noting. It took a while, but Barack Obama morphed into Paul Ryan tonight on Medicare policy with these words:
“But with an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program. And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it. We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.”
Any Republican who faces a Democratic Mediscare campaign smear this campaign season now has a little ammunition to respond.