Published September 06, 2011
From the Toronto Star: "President Barack Obama's Labour Secretary, Hilda Solis, wanted to show her support for American auto workers by swapping her standard government-issued limo for a crossover Chevrolet Equinox. There's just one problem: The Equinox is built in Ontario." I guess they don't teach geography in the White House.
Talking after the disastrous August jobs report, a financial guru got right to the point. "Labor is getting the short end of the stick here," said Bill Gross, co-head of Pimco, the giant investment firm.
Indeed it is, making for a bleak landscape on this Labor Day weekend. A time that should be devoted to honoring working people is instead dominated by mounting evidence that the greatest jobs machine the world has ever known is broken.
As a consequence, the American dreams of millions of workers and their families are being shattered.
America has faced worse before, but the difference this time is that our government, under the guise of liberal compassion, wealth redistribution and environmental justice, is pursuing job-killing policies. President Obama's anti-capitalist fervor is taking a devastating toll that could take a generation to repair.
The centralization of power in Washington has produced a skewed economy. Underserved and unaffordable perks are lavished on the well-connected few, especially government unions, while opportunities for most workers are snuffed out. If the best social program is a job -- and it is -- then the Obama administration is guilty of malpractice.
Friday's report was bad news, from top to bottom, with the Labor Department finding that not a single new net job was created in the 50 states.
It is no consolation that the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent. The tragedy is that about 25 million people are without work or are stuck in part-time jobs.
In light of those numbers, imagine you have ideas for creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Imagine also you are president of the United States. Do you wait another minute to reveal those plans?
Of course you don't, and therein lies the truth about Obama's long-planned speech on Thursday. It's not a jobs plan; it's a political photo-op.
He will get his joint session of Congress as a backdrop, and he will use it for a campaign commercial. Voice rising, he'll sing the greatness of the American worker and blast Republicans for not bowing to his demands.
Proposing grand spending schemes, he'll paint himself as a bold leader trying to "do something."
Oh, please, give it a rest. The problem is that he has done too much already.
To be really bold, he should undo much of what he did.
He should say he is holding off on implementing ObamaCare and stopping the slew of financial restrictions in Dodd-Frank. He could order the National Labor Relations Board to get its boot off companies so they can hire and tell regulators to stop suing the pants off banks and other businesses. He could stop his attacks on success and wealth.
To my surprise, the president actually did something sensible Friday, telling zealots at the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw changes to smog rules, which could have cost $90 billion a year and killed thousands of jobs.
It's a good start, but only a start. Americans need work, not more red tape. And they definitely don't need another speech aimed at saving one man's job.