Morning Bell: Debunking Obama’s Latest Jobs Myth

Morning Bell: Debunking Obama’s Latest Jobs Myth

Posted By Mike Brownfield On November 3, 2011 @ 9:37 am In Enterprise and Free Markets | No Comments

Imagine a high-speed train zooming down hundreds of miles of glistening train track stretching across sunny California, connecting Anaheim to San Francisco. It’s a bullet train dream, and it’s a prime example of President Barack Obama’s latest plan to create jobs in America. The trouble is that this dream is far from reality.

The Los Angeles Times reported this week [1] that the California high-speed train–which is funded in part by $3 billion in federal grants from President Obama’s stimulus–is now expected to cost $98 billion, twice what was expected, and will take an additional 13 years to complete, extending the project to 2033. Questions remain about where the funding will come from, whether the project is viable, and whether the projected ridership will even materialize.

But projects like these are central to President Obama’s plan to put Americans back to work. Speaking yesterday from Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, D.C., Obama declared [2] that his plan will “put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our airports, our bridges and our transit systems.” And that is, of course, all at the expense of the American taxpayers.

The President once called these projects “shovel ready,” meaning that as soon as money arrived from the federal government, workers could be on the job. He made it sound as easy as flipping a switch, but unfortunately it didn’t work as planned. Despite a $787 billion stimulus package, America’s economy continues to languish with 14 million out of work and a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. The President joked [3], “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.” Though he didn’t use the phrase “shovel-ready” in his remarks yesterday, the implication was still there. If Congress approves his jobs plan, he argued, all the construction workers sitting on the sidelines will be put back to work overnight.

But that’s not the way things work in the real world. Associated Press and Congressional Research Service reports [4] show that infrastructure spending does not create jobs and, in fact, can even have a negative effect. Heritage’s Patrick Knudsen explains [5]:

Building and repairing roads and bridges neither creates net job growth nor boosts the economy in the near term.

First, increasing government spending on these projects simply moves resources from one place to another — it may employ construction workers, but only by reducing jobs in other sectors. Further, the money never gets out the door soon enough to promote near-term job growth.

And then there’s the President’s flawed argument that since others are doing it, the United States should be, too. “How do we sit back and watch China and Europe build the best bridges and high-speed railroads and gleaming new airports, and we’re doing nothing?” he asks. It’s not a new line of argument from the President, and it leaves out some very important facts.

Dating all the way back to the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama spoke of the need to “invest” in infrastructure in order to be competitive with the likes of China. At the time, Jim Geraghty reported at National Review Online [6] that while Obama puts China on a pedestal, he entirely overlooks some serious problems with transportation in China–namely, stories of severe power shortages affecting the country’s exports, an episode where 500,000 train passengers were left stranded for days, and outbreaks of violence where airplane travelers were left grounded without accommodation. And that’s not to mention the working conditions under which China builds its infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Europe, which heavily subsidizes its passenger rail systems, receives a poor return on its investment. Heritage’s Ron Utt explains [7] that despite massive spending, passengers are opting for more efficient transportation in the air:

In Europe as a whole (EU-27), rail accounted for only 6.1 percent of passenger travel in 2007, including travel by air and sea. Buses accounted for 8.3 percent of the market, and air travel accounted for 8.8 percent. Despite Europe’s huge investment in passenger rail, its market share declined from 6.6 percent in 1995 to 6.1 percent in 2007. Over that same period, commercial air increased its share from 6.3 percent to 8.8 percent. By providing faster service and competitive prices, it took passengers away from rail, buses, and autos.

But to hear President Obama tell the story, building a European- or Chinese-style infrastructure is the key to the future–and to creating new jobs. Workers are ready to go, and all they need is your money to get started. But this is something we tried once already with the last stimulus, it didn’t work, and it’s not going to work this time, either. Obama’s infrastructure plan is a train that shouldn’t leave the station, headed for a bridge to nowhere, and jobs are the last thing that it will deliver.

Quick Hits:

Obama “God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work” I Don’t Think Obama has Asked God

President Barack Obama spoke in front of the Key Bridge, which spans Arlington, Va. and Washington, this morning, urging Congress to pass the infrastructure piece of his jobs plan, the American Jobs Act.

“If Congress tells you they don’t have time, they got time to do it. We’ve been in the House of Representatives, what have you guys been debating? John (Speaker John Boehner), you’ve been debating a commemorative coin for baseball? You have legislation reaffirming that In God We Trust is our motto. That’s not putting people back to work. I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work,” Obama said.

Another Day, Another ‘We Can’t Wait’ Executive Order

Another Day, Another ‘We Can’t Wait’ Executive Order

By Doug Powers  •  October 31, 2011 04:34 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

The “jobs bill by executive order piecemeal” initiative continues:

This afternoon, in yet another executive action intended to boost the economy, President Obama signs an executive order that addresses prescription drug shortages.

The signing marks yet another move in the president’s “we can’t wait” campaign to grow the economy through unilateral actions while his $447 jobs bill remains stalled in Congress.

The president will direct the Food and Drug Administration to take steps to further reduce and prevent drug shortages, and price gouging.

For some reason I’ve got a feeling that prescription drug prices are about to rise.

**Written by Doug Powers

Is Herman Cain the Answer?

Is Herman Cain the Answer?

By Ron
Lipsman

Whenever I see the inane bumper sticker War Is Not
the Answer
, I always think: That depends on what the question is. If
Roosevelt had answered the real question posed to him by the Japanese 70 years
ago according to the bumper sticker, then the idiot who pasted the sticker on
his bumper would likely not have had the freedom to do so. If the Israelis had
answered the actual question posed to them by Nasser in May 1967 according to
the bumper sticker, there would be no Israel today. Similarly, the answer to the
query in the title depends on the exact question.

The short form of the question is obviously: Who
should the Republicans nominate to oppose Obama in 2012? For me — a staunch
conservative — the long and much more important and meaningful form of the
question is formulated as follows:

The US has been listing left for a hundred years,
drifting away from a constitutional Republic devoted to individual liberty, free
markets and limited government by the consent of the governed toward a statist
society of forced equality, shared economic misery and unlimited, unresponsive
government. Following a brief (and temporary) course correction under Reagan, we
have continued our inexorable slide toward socialistic oblivion under the two
Bushes, Clinton and especially under Obama. There have been signs in the last
two years that a significant percentage of the electorate has finally awakened
to the existence of the cliff toward which we are speeding. The next election
provides a chance — perhaps the final chance — to irrevocably halt the mad
dash to the edge and then to restore America back to its original
political/cultural roots and traditions. Is Herman Cain the Moses we so
desperately seek to lead us back to the promised land?

The odds may be slim, but I believe that the United
States has the opportunity to effect a fundamental course correction next year.
It is possible that the people might elect a truly conservative President and
supply him with a sufficiently conservative Congress so that together they could
halt the leftward drift and set the country on a more traditional course. It may
be that enough of the electorate is actually ready to bring this about. Reagan
would have done it a generation ago, but he lacked the requisite companion
Congress and the people had not sufficiently awakened to the gravity of the
progressive threat. Today the conditions are more ripe.

One thing is clear: Mitt Romney is not Moses. Of
course he would be immeasurably better than Obama. But it is absolutely certain
that he desires to be president not in order to answer the question in the form
that I posed it. While his instincts might be more conservative than liberal,
Romney is a “big government Republican,” another Bush or McCain, who:

  • has no appreciation for the perilous course that our
    nation has traveled in the 20thcentury;
  • thinks that Obama pushed the wrong levers rather than
    sought to radically transform the nature of the country;
  • and who will do no more than briefly arrest the
    country’s mad dash to the left, while leaving intact the socialist
    infrastructure to be further ratcheted up by the next Social Democrat that
    succeeds him.

Make no mistake — there are people out there who
understand the perilous state in which we find ourselves and who might formulate
and implement a program to rescue the nation. People like Jim DeMint or Mike
Pence come to mind. Paul Ryan perhaps. But they are not running. Who among those
actually running might be our Moses? As I said, Romney definitely is not. And
the people know it. That’s why, despite his advantage in experience,
organization, money and recognition, he can’t break away from the pack. Who then
is the answer? Certainly not Huntsman — another faux conservative. Not Paul –
an extreme libertarian whose opinions on national security and social morality
are frightening.

That leaves five: Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Perry and
Santorum. In fact, I believe that each of those five understands the horrible
drift of the country over the last century and would be determined to reverse
it. So which of them should be Moses? Well, none of them is a perfect redeemer.
And our American Idol style of selecting a nominee has exposed the warts in each
of them. Santorum is severely damaged goods. His overwhelming loss in his Senate
re-election run in 2008 makes him a sure loser. No one is taking him seriously;
his poll numbers are anemic; he would do us a favor by joining Pawlenty on the
sidelines. When the Idol process began, Bachmann raced to the front. But then,
apparently due to her relative inexperience and her permanent “deer in the
headlights” facial expression, the ardor for her cooled. Next to streak to the
front was Rick Perry. But his feeble performance in several Idol rounds knocked
him off the pedestal. Gingrich’s numbers have not oscillated up and down like
the previous two. In fact, he is clearly the sharpest tack in the bunch, but his
track record of quixotic behavior and moral ambiguity gives pause. And so that
leaves the Hermanator (a term that Cain uses for himself in his 2005 book).
People like him and for the moment at least, he has leapt to the front of the
Idol polls.

So what about Herman? Can he play the role of Moses?
He has no money, no organization and no political experience. And there is
something about him that suggests political naïveté. But his heart and, more
importantly, his head seem to be in the right place. I just finished reading the
2005 book, which he wrote following his unsuccessful run for the Senate from
Georgia in 2004. I believe that he understands what has happened to the country
and would work assiduously to bring about a course correction that conservatives
so fervently desire. Does he have the gravitas to pull it off? The last
non-politician that the country elected president was Eisenhower — who only
commanded the most formidable army in the history of the world. Somehow CEO of
Godfather’s Pizza doesn’t quite match up. But let us not forget that Reagan was
president of the Screen Actors Guild and Lincoln’s resume wasn’t all that
impressive either.

The dispatching of Obama and his replacement by a
committed conservative is a paramount task for our nation. The choice we have
for the leader who is to accomplish that task is limited to Romney and one of
Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich or Perry. Romney might defeat Obama, but it will not
herald the transformation that we seek. I believe that there is a reasonable
chance that any of the latter four, if given the spear of leadership, might be
up to the task. If Cain turns out to be the Idol selection, then I will support
him enthusiastically and pray that he can deliver. Personally, I prefer Perry
for reasons that I outlined in another
article
in this journal. But if the Hermanator gets the nod, then on the
basis of what I have seen and read thus far, I can live with that and I will
vote for him optimistically.

The Media

Barack Obama ‘Acting Stupidly’

Barack Obama ‘Acting Stupidly’

Jeannie
DeAngelis

Without saying anything, Barack Obama’s silence speaks
louder than all his empty words. The President who likes to define himself as a
champion of racial equality and promoter of civility has thus far stood by in
silence as liberals attempt to lower the stature of Herman Cain by portraying
him as a conservative version of Stepin Fetchit.

By failing to address the prejudicial remarks directed
at Herman Cain, the President of the United States is revealing a side of
himself that reeks of a form of discriminatory selectiveness that should further
discredit his claim to be the purveyor of civility and racial
justice.

Who can forget the President’s response to the
supposed prejudice leveled against Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates?
Without the benefit of all the information surrounding the incident, Barack
Obama rushed before the cameras to publicly condemn Cambridge, Massachusetts
police officer Joseph Crowley and insinuated that, due to the color of his skin,
Gates was the target of racial profiling and victimized by ‘stupidity’ on the
part of law enforcement.

Recently the President spoke at the dedication of the
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.  It was there that he
described
Dr.
King as “a black preacher with no official rank or title who somehow gave voice
to our deepest dreams and our most lasting ideals, a man who stirred our
conscience and thereby helped make our union more perfect.”

Yet, while Herman Cain, a man who fits a similar
description, is whacked by MSNBC analyst Karen Finney with a verbal billy club
and drenched with a fire hose of mean-spirited rhetoric that described him as
merely a “Black man who knows his place” – Barack Obama has remained
silent.

Where is the President’s usual predictable
indignation?  Why no public correction or call for mutual
respect?

At the Martin Luther King Memorial dedication, in an
attempt to portray himself as a great black leader, Obama didn’t hesitate to put
a self-referential spin on the narrative of Dr. King’s life, saying:
“Even after rising to prominence, even after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr.
King was vilified by many, denounced as a rabble rouser and an agitator, a
communist and a radical.”

Barack Obama had the temerity to place himself on the
same level as Martin Luther King Jr. and yet, soon after, he stood by while
left-wing pundits with zero content of character made racially humiliating
comments about Herman Cain that were based solely on the color of his
skin.

Thus far, Obama hasn’t said a word.  He has neither
corrected, condemned, nor cited mentor Saul Alinsky, whom he
quoted
at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication
when he said, “We can’t be discouraged by what is. We’ve got to keep pushing for
what ought to be.”

Maybe the President also believes that if a black
American such as Herman Cain is a conservative,  he should know his place and
that, especially in politics, they are nothing more than a stereotype, a
caricature.

When not diminishing the memory of Dr. King by
pretending to be much like him, Barack spends some of his off time making the
rounds collecting campaign contributions in Hollywood.  In the meantime, liberal
comedian David Letterman is on a mission to replace GW Bush with
Herman Cain as
the newest late-night-created Republican stammering idiot.

If any of the Letterman “Top
Ten
Signs Herman Cain’s Campaign is in Trouble” were
applied to Barack Obama, the left would be picketing the Ed Sullivan Theatre and
demanding an Imus-style resignation.  If the butt of Dave’s jokes had been named
Henry (as in Professor Henry Gates), Obama would never have stood for Letterman
implying that Henry was “less fun-crazy and more crazy-crazy.”

It doesn’t end there either.  In the name of fairness
and economic equity the President, who insulted Tea Party activists by referring
to them as
racists
and by using the vulgar sexual slang term
tea
baggers
” to describe American citizens, has yet to condemn
the behavior taking place within the ‘Occupy’ movement.

So far, Obama has not disassociated himself from a
protest infiltrated by prostitution,
public masturbation,
filth, violence,
and people fighting over money, blankets and food, nor has he called for
civility from a nationwide movement presently populated by ingrates that scream
police brutality after defecating on the bumpers of squad
cars.

Which brings us back to Obama’s disingenuous attempt
to convince people that he possesses a measure of righteousness that sets him
apart from mere mortals.

When it benefited him politically and he wanted to
paint the right as impolite, he hosted a civility conference in Tucson Arizona,
quoted Scripture, and called for a measure of tolerance he demands for himself
but is unwilling to extend to anyone else.

If Hollywood liberals promise to put cash in Obama’s
2012 campaign coffers, he casually overlooks demeaning comments directed toward
Herman Cain by asinine comedians because what would otherwise be viewed as
racially-tinged humor may instead help advance his cause.

If a group of deadbeat derelicts squat in public parks
and proceed to behave like savages, if the signs they carry support “sharing the
wealth” and condemn the wealthy, and in time for the next election hold the
promise of swaying the general public toward liberal policies, then by saying
nothing the President, America’s self-proclaimed purveyor of non-discrimination
and equal rights, is condoning rape, racism,
and barefaced anti-Semitism.

By exhibiting selective indignation and failing to
address the negative racial remarks directed at potential presidential
opponents, supporting the nationwide disgrace that is the ‘Occupy’ movement, and
choosing to associate with liberal comedians who make Herman Cain the butt of
racial jokes, President Barack Obama is proving he doesn’t understand the
responsibilities of his role, or understand his place as a
leader.

Author’s content: www.jeannie-ology.com

Obama Chooses American Defeat

Obama Chooses American Defeat

James G.
Wiles

In April, 2007, at the height of
American casualties during the Surge in Iraq, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
(D. Nev.) famously announced
“the war is lost.” His remark attracted national headlines – and a big push-back
from Republicans, who, in the wake of the 2006 elections, controlled neither
House of Congress.

An American President – George W.
Bush of Texas – had refused to accept defeat. He changed his military leaders,
launched the Surge and victory followed. And, even though, the Republicans had
lost control of Congress, President Bush’s control of the Executive branch and
the American people’s refusal to accept defeat prevailed over leading Democrats’
desire for American defeat.. It enabled the forces of the Sunni Awakening,
General Petraeus and the coalition’s troops to crush the Iraq
insurgency.

Over a thousand American soldiers died  in
Iraq
after Leader Reid’s remarkable press conference.

Democrats, like Reid, who’d predicted
defeat, never changed their views.  Now, President Barack Obama has just
guaranteed that Senator Reid’s remark will come true. Iraq is not Vietnam and
the Middle East is not Southeast Asia. Yet, the parallels – 36 years after a
Democratic Congress cut off U.S. funding for South Vietnam – are
unsettling.

Once again, a leader of the
Democratic Party has opted for American defeat – after a splendid American field
army has achieved military victory. Former New York Times Baghdad
bureau chief John Burns predicted  disaster as a result of Mr. Obama’s decision
on Hugh
Hewitt
on October 24.  “We’ll see” was the most optimism Pulitzer-Prize
winner Dexter
Filkins
could muster  on his New Yorker blog.

These guys aren’t
conservatives
. But, with Michael Yon, these famous war correspondents are
not hopeful about whether America’s sacrifice in Iraq will be
redeemed..

How can Democrats ever be trusted
with America’s national security again?

It’s a simple as
that.

Read Fred and Kimberly Kagan’s
excellent piece this weekend in the new issue of the  Weekly
Standard
for the post-mortem. The Kagans were part of the intellectual
brain trust behind the Surge – the Surge which President Obama has just thrown
away.

 

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