Four nights from now, President Obama will be giving his much anticipated jobs speech. The speech that is supposed to be so good that we had to wait a month for it to happen. Under pressure from the country’s dismal employment picture, last month the White House announced it would be announcing a jobs plan – but only after the President’s Martha’s Vineyard vacation.
This speech is supposed to be different than the jobs speech he promised after his vacation last year. In 2010 President Obama sat down with Brian Williams just before he went on his “end of summer vacation” to Cape Cod. Obama’s promise then was as soon as he is back from his family vacation he was going to present a jobs plan to the country.
As we leave this long Labor Day Weekend and realizing that for almost 14 million unemployed Americans this has been a 950+ day weekend, rather than one of only three days. I thought it might be appropriate to save people’s time and review the President’s jobs speech even before he gives it.
Some of you may say how is that possible? Its easy, the administration has already hinted/leaked what he is going to do.
This time is going to be different. This speech will be all new ideas that’s what was originally promised.
At the same time the President also promised a bi-partisan speech, with ideas that will appeal to both sides.
The bi-partisan part of Obama’s speech was generated through an unusual method, the scheduling debacle where this “major” speech was childishly scheduled to conflict with the debate of Republican candidates wishing to replace him. When Boehner asked the President to move the speech and he agreed, it did cause a bit of bi-partisanship as Republicans were angry at the administrations original childish move, and the inflexible progressive Democrats were angry at the administration for agreeing to move the speech one day. Not quite the bi-partisanship I expected, but bi-partisanship nevertheless.
As far as Thursday’s speech itself. President Obama delivered nothing new or earthshaking just the old tried and failed policies.
Obama’s jobs speech will likely include a renewed push for several familiar pieces of pending legislation, such as a payroll tax cut extension, additional unemployment benefits, three international trade deals and an infrastructure project bank, officials said.
The president is also expected to unveil new ideas to spur growth, including possible tax incentives for businesses that hire new workers and short-term direct government spending on construction projects. All proposed before.
In fact after a month of calling this a major speech on jobs, the administration is telling people its not going to be so major. According to Fox News, the administration is already downplaying Thursday’s speech.
In what could be a way of lowering expectations for next Thursday’s big economic speech, aides to President Obama are privately spreading word that he will not present his entire jobs plan in his address to a Joint Session of Congress.
Aides say Thursday’s speech will be part of a bigger plan the White House will roll out throughout the fall with the president hitting the road for speeches and town hall appearances. Aides have already confirmed that Obama will be traveling to California, Colorado, and Washington state for one three-day swing later this month that will include economic events as well as some fundraising.
The move could be a way to try and lower the stakes for Thursday’s Joint Session appearance, but it could also be an attempt by the administration to show the president is trying to stay all over the economy heading into what will likely be an uphill re-election battle.
In other words, the speech will be nothing new, but we promise the good stuff will come soon. Unfortunately, this is not encouraging for the unemployed, the underemployed or those businesses that are trying desperately to hang on. This doesn’t help the people who like me have had a 950+ day weekend.
What will be discussed in the President’s speech is new pandering to his union base. More construction products which thanks to the President’s executive order, known as the “High Road Contracting Policy” is a union gift. This order gives preferential treatment to government construction contractors that pay their hourly workers a “union wage” and provide additional benefits such as health insurance, employer-funded retirement plans and paid sick leave. In other words, they will be “cutting out” the non-union shops (which represent over 80% of all construction companies) out of the $500 billion dollars worth of Federal construction Jobs, thus raising the cost of construction jobs between 10-20% and increasing the federal deficit.
According to the Atlantic he is going to identify infrastructure project that do not need Congressional approval. The purpose of this project is to send a message to lawmakers: We can do this without you. In a piece titled “Obama Rolls Out a Jobs Plan That Doesn’t Need Congress:
Under Wednesday’s order, the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Transportation will each select up to three high-priority infrastructure projects that can be completed within the control and jurisdiction of the federal government. The effort is labeled as a “common-sense approach“ to spurring job growth ”in the near term.”
Last week, the President previewed the jobs plan as a “series of steps that Congress can take immediately” that are “bipartisan ideas that ought to be the kind of proposals that everybody can get behind no matter what your political affiliation might be.”
That’s the kind of bold, specific, business friendly approach that the country would welcome. It is not what the President will do next Thursday. You see the President wont do anything to upset his inflexible progressive base, or move off his own ideological philosophy that spending is the only answer to our economic ills. Thursday’s speech will reveal how little President Obama has learned from his mistakes and the nation, especially those on the 950+ day weekend, will pay the price.