Stagnator-in-Chief: A Cyber Post-Mortem of Obama’s “Jobs” Speech

The following is an unedited email exchange between a TBP member and his Democrat friend after watching Mr. Obama’s joint address to Congress on September 8, 2011: 

“B”: “So, what did you think of the speech this evening? I think you just watched the president secure his second term.”

“D”:  Sure. Keep on dreaming. Same stuff as before. He’s trying to buy union votes:  teachers, construction workers, police and fire are the beneficiaries of his largesse with your money. Fortunately, they’re already voting for him so I doubt his campaign speech changed many opinions. The best part was “it’s all going to be paid for.” How? Let Congress figure it out (like that’s going to work). Also, when Lincoln started to build the roads and infrastructure, it’s because they didn’t exist. Repairing them won’t have the same impact. He is stagnating growth and innovation by coddling to the unions (not the workers, the management). Jobs will be there with or without the union bosses. So will competition. 

Did he say anything new and bold as had been promised all day? All he did was breach to his choir, and say “compromise by agreeing with me.” In the world of creativity and problem solving, there is no such thing as a bad idea, and you don’t ridicule the other side because their ideas are different than yours. That stifles free and open discourse, i.e., ideas. He is the Stagnator in Chief!

Government spending, particularly when it spends more than it has, does nothing but destroy capital. Government doesn’t produce anything, it merely takes what the private sector and individuals earned, redistributes it or pays off money it borrowed. Raising taxes to pay debt, therefore, destroys capital. That would not be true if there was no debt, since the money would go back into the economy, but that is not the case and won’t be until government gets its act straight – or we get rid of them. 

If government (all sides) want to stimulate growth at the grassroots level, then grease the track and get out of the way. Since government wants banks to make risk free loans, and there is no incentive for private individuals to make riskier investments, capital for new business is gone (as you know). Eliminate the first 5 years of capital gains taxes for private investors that put, say, $100,000 into a start-up or small business. If they make a profit, they will likely reinvest. If they lose it, the money was still spent locally, some jobs were created even if for a year or two, and the banks are not hurt. Instead of Buffett paying more in taxes, which will just destroy that capital, why not encourage him to invest in start-ups and small businesses? Perfect example is our tackle company. Imagine how much easier it would be to find 10 investors at $100,000 each if they stood to make a healthy tax-free profit. That would create a lot more local jobs than paying off China. 

Paying off the debt can only be done by controlling spending and raising revenue through expansion of the economy. More government spending of money it doesn’t have, raising taxes, and destroying capital is not the answer. 

I could go on but he made my head hurt.

“D” Ok, hold on to your hat and sit down…here it comes….I agree with you, every bit of it (as I usually do). 

However, you are missing the point of my email. My email had nothing to do with whether or not his plan made sense or could work but rather the way in which he presented and the way in which he called out the republicans and put the onus on them … to pass or not to pass. It was nothing but a political move … it was oozing re-election but I think it will help give him the boost he needs. Remember, the typical, average American is probably closer to an idiot than a rocket scientist. Furthermore, when the competition is Romney and Perry (or Bachmann?), they are all too conservative and whack-a-doodle for the mainstream constituent. Plus, since when does the content of a speech matter? It doesn’t. But ‘how’ it is presented and the political gamesmanship that surrounds it is really what matters.

Bottom line is that we are all screwed. We haven’t talked in a while…how the hell are ya??

“B”: I’m doing good – work sucks – but I’m good.  Still waiting for you to come visit.

I don’t think his speech will give him the election as it had no effect on independents. At best he’ll get a short term bump. His hardcore base will vote for him no matter what. Repubs will vote for whoever their candidate winds up being. What’s interesting is that few people who voted for McCain are saying that “maybe I should have voted for Obama?” I haven’t heard of any. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who voted for Obama that are questioning whether he is the right guy and deserves a second term. His strategy has to be to not lose the independents, many of whom helped tea party candidates. You’ll be proud to know, though, that your question last night and my response are being used by a friend of mine for a commentary on Obama’s speech – I dubbed him the Stagnator in Chief. “Clio” runs – a conservative forum. 

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