Obama Wants Fairness More than Jobs
Surely Obama has noticed that his stimulus policies have not created jobs. The assumption by his economic advisors that spending a trillion dollars automatically creates 2.5 million jobs has not worked out for him -- or us. Unemployment and poverty are at record levels and the federal government is insolvent. Thanks to Obama's belief in stimulus spending, our debt will be 100% of our GDP by 2014 -- Greek territory.
Conservatives debate why Obama doesn't do a Clinton, move to the middle, become more effective, and give himself a shot at a second term. Instead, stimulus II, which calls for another half a trillion in government largess, seems to be doubling down on failure. Why doesn't Obama learn from his mistakes? Is his problem incompetence or ideology? conservatives wonder. Others suggest that it is pure politics, with Obama's focus groups telling him that voters respond to his tax the rich rhetoric, and will blame Republicans for our economic woes. Yet surely Obama's advisors have crunched the numbers, and know that even taxing the rich 100% of their income will pay for only a tiny fraction of Obama's annual spending.
There is another factor at play. Our president has made it completely clear that for him, making America a more fair country trumps mundane economic considerations. As it turns out, every time he acts for fairness, he is also rewarding his political base and holding onto power. So our president keeps hoping that by doing good, he will do himself good -- as he defines good. Those who disagree with him are not just wrong; they are selfish and unfair -- in a word, Republicans. His Democrat base agrees and eggs him on. So our president doesn't focus on the suffering of the unemployed, now 50% among young blacks. He doesn't admit to himself that he is clawing middle-class families down into poverty. He applauds himself for working on fairness.
In a debate with Hillary, Obama explained that even if raising taxes on the rich brought in lower revenues -- as it usually does -- he would prefer it to more revenue because it is "fair." To Joe the Plumber Obama explained that "spreading the wealth around" was the reason to raise taxes on a hardworking plumber. Joe was building up a quarter-million-dollar-a-year small plumbing business -- Obama's definition of the selfish rich.
To the rest of us, it is obvious that Joe's business would help others become prosperous by creating jobs, as well as providing a valuable plumbing service. Our president doesn't see it that way. Our president told Joe that the higher taxes on him would be given to other people "behind him" so they'd have "a chance for success, too." Obama's frequent accusations that the rich aren't paying their fair share implies that Joe's twelve-hour days and years of self-sacrifice are bringing him unfair prosperity. According to our president, money should be taken from Joe and given to the less fortunate.
Obama's latest jobs idea is to take more money from the "rich" earning more than $200,000 a year and sending it to favored recipients to spend. In the case of stimulus I and II, 80% of the 800 billion federal dollars went to unionized teachers. Obama lost our country's credit rating by subsidizing unsustainable teacher benefit packages for a single year. His policy meant that teachers lost their jobs, as school districts faced bankruptcy: the moment the stimulus funds ran out, they began to fire young teachers. The result is net job loss, but in Obama's mind, giving money to unions is automatically virtuous. Unions are Good, since workers are the exploited underdogs. Coincidentally, teachers are the biggest single source of contributions and of campaign workers for the Democratic Party. In putting union teachers above job-creators like Joe, Obama is helping himself. For him, it is a policy that enhances his virtue and power -- spending most of the stimulus on teachers was good for Obama, even if bad for our economy, and he plans to do more.
Following his ideas of fairness is more important to our law lecturer president than rule of law. We see this over and over. He suspended normal bankruptcy laws and awarded the major part of General Motors assets to the union instead of to the stockholders who legally own the company. He was rewarding the underdog, punishing the fat cats, and cultivating his union base. Rule of law is essential to economic growth based on private enterprise, but that is not as important to Obama as favoring his privileged category, the unions.
No matter that 100 million Americans own stock, relying on their investments to put their kids through college and pay for a comfortable retirement. Obama noticed that the public has no sympathy for stockholders. Obama doesn't know about markets and business realities, nor does he care to know. He cares about rewarding the virtuous (his supporters) and punishing the enemy (investors). If GM went bankrupt and sold its assets to other companies, more workers might retain jobs in the long run working for profitable new owners, but they would have lost their union deals. Better for stockholders and taxpayers to take the economic hit and keep the unions going. It works for Obama, morally and politically. He sees it as a win, even if it harms our economy and our system of laws.
Obama would not learn from it as a mistake even if a business he poured money into were to go belly-up after consuming millions of taxpayer dollars. How do we know this? Obama's response to solar company Solyndra's bankruptcy -- 500 million taxpayer dollars down a black hole -- was more Obama promises of "investment" in green jobs. Better for the government to pick business winners based on how much their products please Democrat voters than the marketplace picking winners based on consumer demand. So what if no jobs are actually created -- better green poverty than oil wealth for our country.
And so it goes. Our president is upset that the economy hasn't recovered under his treatment. Since he has no interest, no understanding, and no sympathy for how capitalism works, he thought he could verbally attack and raise taxes on "the rich," increase health care costs for employees, and multiply regulations on their businesses, and the golden goose of the free enterprise system would keep on giving. It hasn't turned out that way for him, and he is angry and frustrated. So are we all.
This president is not going to change course and take the obvious steps that work, the steps that are creating jobs in Wisconsin and Texas and North Dakota even in the midst of economic meltdown. He is not going to balance the government budget. He is not going to allow the private sector breathing room as Republican governors have done. Obama knows better: government helps people and business is selfish.
He is not going to lighten the regulatory harassment of businesses and citizens by bureaucrats -- we belong under government control. Bonus to Obama: government workers heavily vote Democrat. He is not going to rein in lawsuits that harass legitimate business -- trial lawyers fill his campaign coffers. Obama is not going to unleash our vast oil, coal, and gas wealth -- we have greater reserves than Saudi Arabia, China, and Iran combined. Development of our fossil fuel resources could be creating a million high-paying jobs, but Democrats vote for green candidates. He is not going to limit public unions' abuse of power, their ruinous benefits that are bankrupting cities and states -- the unions provide his army of campaign workers. He is not going to rationalize and lower our tax rates to bring in more revenues and stimulate the economy, not if it benefits "the rich."
Our President would rather America be Virtuous than Rich, and we are all going down with him. But oh, how pleasantly sanctimonious Democrats can feel that they are against the selfish and for the needy. America may not have an economy anymore, but hey, we have only half as many millionaires. Doesn't that make you feel better? Money isn't everything -- not to our fair-minded president.