Obama's Belabored Labor Day Speech

An increasing number of Americans wish President Obama would stop trying to fix the economy, since his every effort seems to bring the country closer to bankruptcy. Obama's accomplishments in his first two years have already earned him the crown of the most reckless and profligate president in history, so why not rest on his leftist laurels and give a stimulus to those green jobs on America's putting greens?

The president's speech to honor Labor Day, delivered last Friday, naturally addressed the issues of labor, jobs, and the economy. Unfortunately, the president shows no signs of coasting. White House summary: "The President talks about his fight to make America work for the middle class and make sure hard work is rewarded -- rather than greed and recklessness." The speech was full of praise for his own hard work; the failed Stimuli, the monstrous ObamaCare takeover, the hijacking of the college loan industry and the women's equal pay for equal work legislation were all described by their sponsor as constructive job-creating measures.

Furthermore, the President pledged to do more of the same -- "we're fighting to build an economy...blah blah blah." And: "I will keep working day-by-day to restore opportunity, economic security, and that basic American Dream for our families and future generations." How reassuring.

(What's with praising the "American Dream"? The intellectual class long ago dismissed that stuff as hopelessly naïve pabulum for the rubes. And I thought "middle class" was a pejorative in Hyde Park.)

Mostly the speech was a tired collection of divisive class warfare attacks, in which Obama paints himself as the champion of the "great American middle class," and the enemy of the "powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for far too long."

Obama the Unifier vilifies the usual suspects (my italics):

  • "That's why we stopped insurance companies from refusing to cover people with preexisting conditions and dropping folks who become seriously ill." (In contradistinction to Democrats, they don't care if you die a slow, painful death.)
  • "Companies were rewarded with tax breaks for creating jobs overseas ... We also ended a tax loophole that encouraged companies to create jobs overseas." Did the teleprompter mention the tax breaks for overseas jobs? (Obama learned in his junior year seminar, Semiotics of the Oppressed, that multinational corporations are evil. They don't care if you lose your job and starve to death, slowly and painfully.)
  • "Wall Street firms turned huge profits by taking, in some cases, reckless risks and cutting corners." (Profit and risk, bad; government, good.)
  • "That's why we've put an end to the wasteful subsidies to big banks that provide student loans." (So we in government can confiscate those profits and waste them ourselves.)
  • "For a decade, middle class families felt the sting of stagnant incomes and declining economic security." (If you're still playing find-the-villain, substitute "During the George W. Bush presidency" for "for a decade" -- which inconveniently includes the first two years of Obama's own spendthrift presidency.)

The only real news in the speech was this vague announcement threatening future bellicosity: "I'm fighting to pass a law to provide tax breaks to the folks who create jobs right here in America." The proposal, apparently involving tax cuts for small businesses, will be revealed in a speech in Cleveland on Wednesday.

Obama is correct to praise small business as the major job creators in America. Given the lack of details, it's difficult to judge whether small business owners will actually see any cash in pocket, although it would surprise no one if the Small Business Administration had to hire 11,576 new SEIU caseload workers to administer all this help to middle-class "folks."

Regardless of the final form of the law, we can observe the Obama administration's strategy for defending the expiration of the Bush tax cuts: while Bush gave away the government's money to his rich cronies, including the "powerful interests" and stock villains listed above, Obama will distribute money from his stash to deserving small business owners -- with the possible exception of those grocers in food deserts who sell junk food at inflated prices.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs continued in this vein: "Republicans are bent on spending an additional $35 billion [next year] ... extending the tax cuts for the wealthiest, those that are making that million dollars ..."

Aside from the jab at millionaires -- hasn't Obama repeatedly defined "rich" as anyone making over $250,000? -- Gibbs repeats the Orwellian Newspeak talking point that extending tax cuts can be described as "spending." Cutting taxes = spending? I feel like I need a flowchart to follow the logic. The argument presupposes that taxes before the Bush tax cuts were the "real" level the government was entitled to collect. The cuts therefore deprived the government of what was rightly theirs. For statists like Obama and Gibbs, extending the Bush tax cuts is not a matter of letting people keep their own money, which would not be fair because some people make more money than others. They demand two additional steps: government expropriates your money at the right and true rate of taxation; then it gives some of it back, minus the government commission, with a little redistribution to even the playing field.

Only in the upside-down world of Obamaland could you argue that confiscating less money from taxpayers is equivalent to the government taking money and spending it on its chosen constituents. The "great American middle class" that Obama pathetically pretends to represent knows instinctively that lower taxes means less government spending, and higher taxes equals more government spending.