Dana Milbank of the Washington Post is trying to steal my thunder:
The Irrelevancy of the Obama Presidency
This speech will go down in history. Unfortunately, not in a good way. Traditionally, the President will speak to a joint session of Congress for an annual State of The Union address, or some pressing policy matter or something of relatively great importance. Now, I'm not saying unemployment is unimportant,but the President's speech was.
First of all, he didn't even believe it himself:
Tonight we meet at an urgent time for our country. We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless, and a political crisis that’s made things worse.
Urgent? Crisis?? His speech was what? 45 minutes? Are you telling me that he couldn't have delayed his ten day Martha's Vineyard vacation 45 minutes to make a speech he considered both urgent and a "crisis"?
To make matters worse, he said nothing of substance. A lot of vague platitudes about how American needed jobs and Congress needed to pass the jobs bill.
Drumroll please! ..................What "jobs bill"? He didn't submit one. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. There's a funny video going around, a montage of Obama saying nothing but all his variations on "Pass the bill". I counted 14 times in that video, Levin said he counted 17 or 18 times in the speech.
But, Obama hadn't delivered a jobs bill to Congress yet. He was selling a "pig in a poke", as it were, channeling the Home Shopping Network or Billy Mays. I half expected the video to have a countdown clock of how many minutes were left to get this great deal!
So why does the President of the United States call to address a joint session of Congress for a nothingburger speech about a vaporware bill that possibly hasn't even been written yet?
I speculated earlier that he might need a captive studio audience to pop up with standing ovations and provide applause to punctuate the most mundane policy projections. It was worse than I thought. Not only was his "jobs bill" short on specifics, there was nothing at all except Obama's snake oil spiel about what those specifics might be.
Wouldn't it made more sense to bring a substantive and specific bill and sell the positive aspects of that?
I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It’s called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans — including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.
...Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight is the kind that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past.
Again. Obama doesn't believe it either. I mean, think about it. If this jobs bill were nothing controversial, with bipartisan support, that wasn't going to break the bank adding to the deficit, why would anyone possibly oppose it? Why the hard sell infomercial in front of a joint session of Congress to sell something that, according to Obama (stop laughing!) didn't need selling?
Now for the "class envy" part of the program:
I’m also well aware that there are many Republicans who don’t believe we should raise taxes on those who are most fortunate and can best afford it. But here is what every American knows: While most people in this country struggle to make ends meet, a few of the most affluent citizens and most profitable corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets.
Tax breaks and loopholes and profits, oh, my! You want to see the irony in this (and why he probably doesn't believe this either), look at what he proposes in other parts of the speech:
it will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers,Really? I though tax breaks were only for the "most fortunate" who can "best afford to pay taxes"?
small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or if they raise workers’ wages.Um, don't you usually call those "loopholes", Mr. President? Some loopholes are more equal than others, I guess! I guess they're tax breaks if you like them and "loopholes" if you don't!
Another hypocrisy moment:
I know that some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live. Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes, which is why you should pass this bill right away.This is the guy who tried his damnedest to end the Bush era, across the board tax cuts just last December.
I’ll also offer ideas to reform a corporate tax code that stands as a monument to special interest influence in Washington. By eliminating pages of loopholes and deductions, we can lower one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Our tax code should not give an advantage to companies that can afford the best-connected lobbyists. It should give an advantage to companies that invest and create jobs right here in the United States of America
Too funny! Jeffrey Immelt of GE, Obama's top business adviser, who recently moved a hundred year old division of GE Health to Red China (while GE paid no domestic corporate taxes in the US), was sitting in the audience next to the president's wife. The word "cozy" comes to mind.
And speaking of "best-connected lobbyists" would that include solar panel companies, run and owned by political cronies who frequently visit the White House, and contribute generously to Democrat campaign coffers in return for half a billion dollars in loan guarantees for a business that had never shown a profit and was unlikely to in the future? The kind of access to the White House that Solyndra had, would you characterize that, Mr. Obama as something "few of the most affluent citizens enjoy"? (We'll save "most profitable" for the stand up portion of the program.)
And Warren Buffett, whom the president mentioned is also quite a bit in arrears on his taxes. That qualifies him for a cabinet position, doesn't it Mr. Obama? Or at least a Czarship!
Another irony alert: Mr. Obama, just who do you think is responsible for creating all those "tax breaks and loopholes" for "the most affluent citizens and most profitable corporations"? Congress, primarily composed of Democrats for more years than not in the last half century created all those exemptions, all those breaks, all those so called "loopholes", often in exchange for campaign contributions.
So, you create those "loopholes" for your friends and the wealthy and those who contribute to your campaign or increase your power, and then you make a big show of being "shocked, Shocked!" that they would actually take advantage of what you created for them. Yeah. Right.
And now for the really big lie. I'm sorry, there's no polite way to say it. Obama is lying through his teeth!
This is the American Jobs Act. It will lead to new jobs for construction workers, for teachers, for veterans, for first responders, young people and the long-term unemployed. It will provide tax credits to companies that hire new workers, tax relief to small business owners, and tax cuts for the middle class. And here’s the other thing I want the American people to know: The American Jobs Act will not add to the deficit. It will be paid for. And here’s how.
The agreement we passed in July will cut government spending by about $1 trillion over the next 10 years. It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas. Tonight, I am asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act
It would be one thing if Obama said his cuts would slow the rate of government spending beyond what they might have been, but to claim that new programs are going to be "paid for" by reducing the amount of deficit spending, is not telling the truth. It is not "paid for" if we still have to borrow money to do it. The "agreement" which Obama claims to save a "trillion dollars over ten years will not be binding on Congress for even the next two years, and does not reduce government spending, even if it did. The truth is, the size of government spending under Obama's "agreement" continues to rise every year for the next ten years.
Obama is implying that the cuts would produce tangible funds that could be used to pay for his program. In truth, he's just playing a shell game with the debt.
Which, even if it happens (and don't hold your breath or we'll all look like Smurfs!), won't begin to cut into the nation's debt. And personally, I don't think it will happen, which will trigger this gutless administration's plan to gut the military, at a time when we have boots on the ground in multiple wars and conflicts around the world.
It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas
Sweeping back the sea with a broom might not be a hard task for the Lightbringer, who makes the sea levels lower at his word, but Congress needs to run for re-election every two to six years, and might be beholden to special interests and pork laden projects designed to keep them in office. Obama glibly says, "We'll just cut a few more programs between now and Christmas!"
I am asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act
Here's the extra credit portion of the program: Can you think of even one program (outside the military) that Obama has personally suggested that the country might be able to do without?
Remember when Candidate Obama said if he were president, he would go through the budget line by line to eliminate waste? In the last three years (even accounting for the budget the Democrats failed to pass last year), how many of those lines items do you think he sent to Nancy Pelosi while she was Speaker of the House, to eliminate. How many times did he sit down with Harry Reid, (and only use the Negro dialect when he wanted to) to urge the Senate to take his line by line evaluation of the budget to heart? Beuller? Beuller??
So, Congress is unlikely or unable (or both) to find enough cuts to keep the country from going further and further into debt, but that's okay, so long as it's more of the good debt (the kind that already lowered America's credit rating once and probably will again before we inaugurate our next president).
And when nothing gets done, Obama will parade his laundry list of platitudes and good intentions on the stump and blame Republicans for not passing the American Jobs Bill.
...Whatever that is!
More at Memeorandum
Cross posted at Proof Positive