"The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations." — Adam Smith
Seeking to boost a slumping economy along with his hopes for re-election, President Obama on Thursday night implored Congress to pass a nearly $450 billion jobs plan that he says will give an array of tax cuts to small businesses that hire while reforming the corporate tax code and investing in infrastructure projects.
In a highly-anticipated speech to a joint session of Congress, Obama repeatedly called on lawmakers to pass his plan "right away," saying "there should be nothing controversial" about the American Jobs Act. Obama said all the proposals are paid for with spending cuts, although he won't detail them until next week.
Faced with the reality of historic unemployment rates and record federal debt, I had hoped that President Obama, by now, would understand that even more government spending doesn't create jobs. Rather than offer a new roadmap for recovery and reform, he merely dusted off a tired agenda of old ideas wrapped in freshly partisan rhetoric."
The biggest element in Obama's plan calls for increasing and extending a cut in the payroll tax from workers that goes to Social Security, while providing the tax cut to employers, too. For workers, the tax that has been cut from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for this year would fall to 3.1 percent under Obama's plan — a $175 billion cost. The tax will go back up to 6.2 percent without congressional action by the end of the year.
The president's plan would also spend $25 billion on school infrastructure to modernize at least 35,000 public schools, including spending on computer labs and on emergency repairs. He would spend an additional $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers and support the hiring of thousands more.
Like last night’s Republican debate I kept some raw notes during Obama’s speech. The raw notes will be shown in italics with my latter added
Started watching at 3:45 pm on Fox News. There is 1 hour and 45 minutes to kickoff.
Shots of Congress and the politicians all milling about waiting for the ammoniated one.
This isn’t a speech; it’s a set-up, Charles Krauthammer on Fox News
That’s right Chuck. It’s the beginning of his reelection campaign right in front of Congress.
Waiting for the Commander in Chief to chuck and jive down the aisle to tell us about the American Jobs Act, How important.
Lord Leon Panetta has a big nose
There’s Michelle in her purple dress with Richard Trumka right nest to her. How sweet.
Oh, here comes Hillary and the silver back gorilla Janet Napolitano
Obama is setting the stage for his big entrance
Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States, Yea, cheers, applause
Here comes Mr. Chuck and Jive
What a staged event
Tonight we meet at an urgent time for our country
Everything is urgent to Obama, especially his reelection.
Here comes the antidotal tales of giving up nights with the family to get by
Obama can’t make a speech with bringing heart rendering tales of woe. He wants to tug at your heart strings so you will have sympathy for him and his big spending plans.
What compact? The decks stacked against them
It’s a bit like Truman calling a special session of the Republican congress in 1948 to run against the congress.
As he heads into a presidential year with polls showing him barely leading or in some cases trailing “Generic Republican,” President Obama yesterday sent a not-too-subtle hint that he was counting on fired-up labor unions and their members to help put him over the top. Although his Labor Day address in Detroit was devoid of any fresh policy items, Obama made it clear he was taking a page from Truman’s ’48 campaign book: He would run the kind of gloves-off, hard-punching campaign against Republicans in Congress that energized labor enough to help Truman win re-election as well as recapture control of Congress.
Obama even invoked Truman’s Labor Speech in Detroit in 1948, which he said Sen. Carl Levin (D.-Mich.) showed him on the flight to Michigan. Pointing out how “things haven’t changed much” in 63 years, Obama recalled how Truman spoke of Americans voting for “some folks into Congress who weren’t very friendly to labor. And he pointed out that some working folks and even some union members voted these folks in. And now they were learning their lesson. And he pointed out that--and I'm quoting here, ‘the gains of labor were not accomplished at the expense of the rest of the nation. Labor’s gains contributed to the nation’s general prosperity.’”
Truman campaigned hard in ’48 against the Taft-Hartley Act, which mandated stricter monitoring of union activities and was enacted by Republicans over his veto. Obama yesterday invoked similar irritants to labor, declaring “[s]o when I hear some of these folks trying to take collective bargaining rights away, trying to pass so-called “right to work” laws for private sector workers." To no one’s surprise, this prompted “boos” from the audience.
The big difference is that, unlike Truman, Obama had a Democratic controlled Congress for two years and after 2010 the Republicans only control the House.
He’s trying to restore the tarnish on his image by looking and appearing presidential.
Ah, the American Job Act. Give us all plastic shovels so we can dig ditches
More jobs for teachers? Aren’t there enough already?
How is hiring more teachers on the government payroll going to turn the economy. This is play for Trumka and the teachers unions.
Tax cut if you hire new employees and give raises. What??
This is the most asinine thing I ever heard. Employers hire for need, not for tax credit. Why would an employer hire someone for $30,000 for a $15,000 tax credit? It makes no business sense. Or, the unscrupulous employer would hire someone, take he credit, and then when time required to keep the new hire was up he would be let go. This is just another dumb, socialistic attempt to fix the economy. They just don’t work.
We can "stop the circus" if you roll back your program
Fairness" does not define our country. Ambition and hard work do
"Fairness" is his code word
Same language he used to sell his stimulus package which we had to pass immediately and did no good
"Everything will be paid for" but he won't tell us how
It about the kids, every child deserves a great school
It’s always about the children.
Fixing roofs on school houses, oh how poignant.
Here comes HSR
Suspend the Davis-Bacon act so we don't have to pay prevailing wages when we fund construction
Sounding anti-china theme. Are those jobs shovel ready? We know how long it takes to get going
Kentucky line is aimed at McConnell
More about the teachers. A good pitch for the unions
This is whole thing is hogwash
Veterans and teachers. How about the lame and the blind?
More ladders out of poverty
People don’t hire for tax credits, they hire for need.
Extend Unemployment Insurance for another year. Why not two or three more years and turn the whole thing into welfare
More spending. It will take years and years to get the money spent
Independent fund to do construction is the new Fannie Mae able to sell bonds without congressional approval and we pay debt
Infrastructure bank leaves the issuance of bonds in the hands of a board without congressional ok
Full campaign mode
But with a government guarantee of the bonds
Appeal for a new entitlement for vets
Pay your fair share
What role does government have?
This is like shopping in a store where the sales clerk won’t tell you how much stuff costs
By repeating "pass this jobs bill" he is laying the blame on Congress if they don't
Is there anyone who believes that more teachers is the key to better schools as opposed to school choice and reform?
Again we have a pitch to the teachers unions
Ah, blame the Republicans
Tax loop holes. He did not mention GE
He is making unemployment insurance the new welfare. it used to be 26 weeks. Now it is 99 weeks and he wants it longer
How about letting the gas tax lapse instead of spending all the money on construction? 18 cents a gallon
Ah, teachers back to work again. The unions love this one
Sit down Sanchez
The more he talks, the more I ask HOW is it going to be paid for?
Reforming our tax code to tax the wealthy. Here we go again. This federal money won't help if rich consumers won’t buy.
Job should stay here. What about GE?
He is justifying Medicare cuts. That throws away his best issue. It could get us out of trouble caused to GOP
Michele hasn't smiled
Whole speech is class warfare and political grandstanding
What about GE?
The union will be calling a strike on Ford you big dummy
Obama wants to sell Fords, Chrysler and GM cars in Korea. Fat chance. Right now Ford is under a strike threat by the UAW. As the union cannot strike against GM and Chrysler, due to the terms of the bailout, this outs a big hurt on Ford. If the strike comes Ford will layoff workers and lose money. What about that one Obama?
His jobs council includes Jeffery Immelt, What about GE
How about Solyndra? 535 million down the drain.
He is sure because he's polled it
Right now everybody is thinking of the goodies in his program. But as debate evolves it will focus on revenue
It’s not wasteful spending it’s about all government spending
500 reforms? How about you shutting down the coal industry
Kids exposed to mercury – how sad.
Don’t touch collective bargaining rights – yea for the SEIU and NEA
Right now everybody is thinking of the goodies in his program. but as debate evolves it will focus on revenue
The more the debate evolves, the more it will be about deficit reduction and tax increases
Nationalist jingoism while he pushes free trade
What jingoism. Land grant colleges, GI bill, national academy of science.
Grow manufacturing while EPA blocks it with new regulations
Rigid idea of what government could do? Article 1, Section 8 is some antiquated rigid idea?
You have tripled the amount of federal regulations
Choose between jobs and safety?? Who is proposing that?
Collective bargaining rights? of public employees? Global economy? Come on now
Pollution standards? We are talking about carbon dioxide not pollutants
The people who sent Congress to Washington were the Tea Party
Freedom from government is the thing Americans are about
“All connected” means we will ruin your health care so we can extend it to illegal immigrants
I intend to take this message to every corner of this country during my campaign tours
45 minutes to kickoff
And if he can't pass it, he will be hit for a lack of leadership Medicare cuts will set up party civil war
Michelle won't smile. I don't think she likes it here
Will be paid for? Raise business taxes and ask them to hire more people
Can't wait for next election! Unless we get rid of you nothing will improve
Urgent, urgent, urgent. Just like the stimulus. Pass it now so I can get elected.
Pass it now
The democrats won't support Medicare cuts
Problems man made: YOU THE MAN
Great campaign speech! It did not work for Roosevelt, it will not help you.
All of the government programs enacted during the Great Depression did not lower unemployment in seven years (1934-1941) and it won’t work now. Dump the regulations, cut the taxes and let business get on with what it does best – create jobs.
The micro will make the macro worse
37 minutes to kickoff
Harry Truman model to get elected in 48, blame the do nothing congress
I have had enough, I quit