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  • Reaction Roundup: Heritage Responds to Obama's Jobs Speech

    Heritage’s experts watched President Barack Obama’s jobs speech delivered to a joint session of Congress. Here are some of their immediate reactions:

    Jobs for Teachers?

    In his remarks tonight, President Obama argued that his jobs proposal would create more jobs for teachers. He went as far as to say laying off teachers…”has to stop”.

    But since 1970, student enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools has increased just 7 percent, while public elementary and secondary staff hires have increased 83 percent. Moreover, in the 1950′s, there were approximately 2.36 teachers for every non-teacher in a school district. Today, in our nation’s school systems, that ratio is closer to 1 to 1. So every teacher in the classroom has an administrative counterpart in your local public school district. That is a tremendous strain on state budgets. But it is also a huge boon the education unions.

    President Obama’s call to spend more precious taxpayer dollars to “prevent teacher layoffs” may do more to inflate schools’ non-teaching rosters than to retain teachers.

    On a per-pupil basis, federal spending on education has nearly tripled since the 1970′s. And those who have benefited the most from this profligacy aren’t the children sitting in the nation’s classrooms. No, the increase in federal education spending (and commensurate increase in Washington’s involvement in local schools) hasn’t led to improvements in academic achievement, to increased graduation rates, or even to a narrowing of the achievement gap. It hasn’t served to improve outcomes for children, but it has propped-up the public education jobs program that too often aims to meet the needs of the adults in the system, not the children it was designed to educate.

    - Lindsey Burke

    A Puzzling Plan to Allow Refinancing of Mortgages

    One of the more puzzling parts of the President’s plan promises to allow more Americans to refinance their mortgages, but provides no details about how.  The President promises that with refinancing, families could save about $2,000 a year, but like similar past promises few homeowners are likely to see those savings.

    Briefing papers released by the White House say that the economic team will “work with” Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the regulator that runs them since both effectively failed three years ago, and “industry leaders” to make the 2009 Housing Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) more effective.

    This means that the White House still has no idea how to do this. HARP, which was supposed to help between 4 and 5 million homeowners who owe more than their property is worth, and several other attempts to help under water homeowners have all been resounding failures.

    In theory, refinancing at today’s record low mortgage rates is a good idea that would reduce monthly mortgage payments for those whose mortgages are refinanced. This would especially benefit homeowners who have paid their mortgage on time, but still owe more than the house is worth. These homeowners would be more likely to stay in the house.

    However, even a well planned refinancing program would still be slow and complex. And sadly, there is no sign that the Administration has figured out how to successfully structure such a program.

    Mortgages are both made and refinanced one at a time. The several past efforts to do mass refinancings have foundered in a mass of overwhelmed phone lines, complex paperwork requirements, and confusion. Some housing advocates talk about redoing hundreds of mortgages at a time, but have no idea how to legally implement such a goal.

    Another question that must be answered if the mortgage refinancing proposal would cost money. Briefing papers are silent on this, but a refinanced mortgage will produce lower earnings for the lender. If the mortgage value is written down to the actual value of the house (which is unknown at the moment), there would be additional costs. And most importantly, how would this proposal create jobs?

    Until there are details, the President’s proposed mortgage refinancing program, like its predecessors will be little more than another unkept promise.

    - David John

    Obama’s False Choice – and Missed Opportunity – on Regulations

    The President tonight missed an opportunity to constructively address one of the major problems facing the economy: regulation.

    After acknowledging that “there are some rules and regulations that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, and claiming credit for the small steps taken so far toward reform, he then slipped into a rhetorical — and rather cartoonish — description of the issue.

    “What we can’t do,” he said, “is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.  I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety.”

    But no one is suggesting that any basic protections be erased — instead the pressing need now is to stop the tidal wave of regulation — costing almost $40 billion dollars — that has swamped Americans and the economy since the president was elected.

    From lightbulbs to the Internet, from guitars to health care, Washington has imposed new rules. It is time to stem this flow. This need not be a partisan issue – both sides agree the current rulebooks are too fat. But demagoguery and rhetoric will get us no closer to a solution.

    - James Gattuso

    The Futility of Infrastructure Banks

    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: “shovel-ready” projects are not nearly so shovel ready as they may seem, as the President himself recently acknowledged.

    Further, the infrastructure bank the President proposes would require a whole new bureaucracy that would only increase the central government control over transportation — which would be consistent with the President’s government takeover of health care, student loans, financial markets, and other sectors.?

    - Patrick Knudsen

    The Absurdity of Obama’s Spending Offsets

    It is absurd that this President — who ignored the recommendations of his own fiscal commission, and then sought to raise the debt ceiling without a nickel of spending reductions — now demands the super-committee created in the debt-ceiling negotiations to come up with additional savings to pay for his jobs proposal.?? ?

    - Patrick Knudsen

    And When, the Rest of the Story, Mr. President?

    In giving his big jobs speech this evening before a rare Joint Session of Congress, also gave us a classic “Paul Harvey” moment.

    Paul Harvey was a famous radio commentator and personality with one of the longest running national radio programs in history.  His trademark was to tell the audience the big lead into a big story and then break for a commercial.  When he came back he would then announce, “And now, (pause) the rest of the story”.  We’re still waiting for Barack Obama to give us the rest of the story.

    In his jobs speech, the President laid out a bunch of retread policy ideas that two years after they were first tried managed to create an arithmetic novelty – exactly zero job growth in August.  In total, the President is calling for more new spending on proven policies that are proven failures, and he says these will all be paid for with budget reductions elsewhere.

    But he refused to give his proposals for offsetting the cost of his proposals.  Desserts only, no spinach?.  We’re still waiting for “the rest of the story”.  Was he unable to decide in time on what to propose?   Did he think perhaps no one would notice?  Why put out what is literally a half-baked plan?

    - J.D. Foster

    President Calls for Ill-advised Federal School Construction

    As expected, tonight President Obama called on taxpayers to send their hard-earned money to the federal government so that Washington can pour that money into public school construction. In an attempt to boost job growth, the president suggested spending billions on school infrastructure projects to “modernize 35,000 public schools.”

    Since President Obama came into office, spending on public education has skyrocketed:

    • Education budget in 2008: $59.2 billion
    • Education budget in 2011: $69.9 billion
    • Department of Education “stimulus” award (Spring 2009): $98 billion
    • “Edujobs” public education bailout (Summer 2010): $10 billion

    And state and local school construction spending has also seen significant increases.

    By some estimates, inflation-adjusted school construction spending has increased 150 percent in the last two decades. And unfortunately, profligacy and waste are the norm. Remember the $500 million RFK high school in Los Angeles, built last year after a California bond referendum was enacted? There are certainly schools in ill-repair, but this maintenance should be a local concern. Washington should not be in the business of school window repair, updating facilities, or repainting buildings. Schools don’t need increased federal funding for school repairs; they need more flexibility with funding to be able to use dollars for needs they consider pressing.

    The president’s proposal to funnel more taxpayer dollars into school construction has both constitutional and pragmatic problems. School construction has historically been – and should remain – the job of states and localities. Federal forays into school construction have been rare and indirect. Federally-funded school construction is also a terribly expensive way to build schools: Washington-funded jobs must pay prevailing wages, increasing costs on average by 22 percent.

    In calling for federally-funded school construction, President Obama is once again supporting Washington overreach in education. But he’s also behind the game in terms of the direction school policy is trending. As states and localities begin embracing online learning  – and as education shifts to a world outside of the walls of physical school buildings – President Obama is pushing to subsidize the old model. The administration might think “school construction” polls better than other government “jobs” projects, but it’s just as destined to be a waste of taxpayer money, and a public policy failure.

    - Lindsey Burke

    Not A ‘Jobs Plan’ — Just Stimulus Redux

    What President Obama calls a “jobs” plan is really just stimulus redux: a typical Keynesian-style set of infrastructure, school construction, teacher pay, unemployment benefits, and temporary tax breaks that have demonstrably failed in the two-and-a-half years since the $825-billion Recovery Act.

    Obamanomics has left the economy with a growth rate just a fraction above 1 percent, nearly 2 million fewer Americans working, and an unemployment rate higher now than when he took office. Government cannot “grow the economy” (as if it were a field of strawberries), and it cannot create private sector jobs. It can only maintain conditions conducive to growth — limiting government spending and regulation, keeping tax rates low, and removing the uncertainties caused by feckless public policies.

    - Patrick Knudsen

    Obama Calls for Tax Hikes on Job Creators – In Jobs Speech

    It was expected that President Obama would rehash and recycle a litany of policies that have no hope of stimulating job creation in his big speech tonight. What comes as a surprise is that he called for offsetting the costs of his sure-to-be-ineffective policies with tax hikes. On job creators.

    The President has said himself that tax hikes slow economic growth and deter job creation. That was the justification he gave in December for extending the Bush tax cuts through 2012. It seems he has forgotten what he himself said less than a year ago.

    The President called for raising taxes on investors, businesses, and entrepreneurs in his speech. These are the job creators he so desperately needs to help revive the economy. Raising their taxes will reduce the already limited incentives they have to invest and add new workers right now.

    This is akin to bailing water into an already-sinking ship.

    If Congress foolishly passed the President’s ill-advised plan the tax hikes would be permanent and the jobs policies permanent. The American people would get a permanently enlarged federal government for temporary jobs policies that won’t create any jobs.

    Uncertainty is the major factor causing businesses to hold back on new investment and refrain from adding workers. One of the biggest sources of that uncertainty is the President’s never-ending crusade to raise taxes. As long as their taxes might go up, job creators will be hesitant to add new workers.

    If the President stopped incessantly demanding higher levies it would relieve some of the uncertainty. That alone won’t cure all that ails the economy, but it would be a big help.

    C’mon Mr. President, surprise us in your next major speech by not calling for tax hikes.

    - Curtis Dubay

    Unsurprisingly, Obama Ignores Energy Exploration as a Solution

    Increasing energy supply should have been a no-brainer for President Obama.  It’s a policy that can lower energy prices, create jobs and generate hundreds of billions in revenue from more royalties, leases, and rent.   And it’s a massive revenue raiser that occurs without raising taxes. Instead, the president used the opportunity to take a jab at oil companies and the “tax loopholes” they receive.

    To be clear, what the President and anti-oil crusaders label a tax loophole is not tax treatment specific to the oil and gas industry. These are broad tax policies that apply to many industries.

    The reality is the economy is weak and steep energy prices will hurt the economic recovery.  Despite the fact that oil settled at $89 per barrel, gas prices remain high and the economic pain as a result of higher gas prices spreads far beyond the pump. Higher energy prices also drive up production costs, which must be reflected in product prices, especially for goods reliant on transportation. Since higher prices reduce quantities sold, producers produce less. In turn, this drives wages down and incomes decline.

    At least the people of Louisiana have the Saints to watch, because they don’t have jobs. Despite the fact that the administration lifted the official moratorium on deepwater drilling, the molasses-like permitting process is impeding the Gulf’s economic recovery; 20 rigs are in jeopardy of leaving the Gulf.

    But it’s not just the Gulf that would benefit from allowing access for energy exploration and creating an efficient regulatory process that allows energy projects to move forward in a timely manner.  Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming have all suffered from a slower permitting process would see tremendous economic benefits if companies could explore and drill in a more timely manner.  Alaska has 19 billion barrels of oil of its coasts and another 10.4 billion in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).  Increased proven natural gas reserves increased states like Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana has increased regional interest.

    Increasing access to oil and natural gas reserves in the United States both onshore and offshore, would help offset rising demand, increase jobs and revenue, and provide the real economic boost our country needs rather than more the same tried-and-failed government spending programs.

    - Nicolas Loris

    Obama Calls for Reviving Failed Hiring Tax Credit

    What to make of President Obama’s plan in his speech tonight to revive a tax credit for businesses hiring new workers? In March 2010, the President signed into law an almost identical credit.

    It was a credit he pushed for Congress to pass. The credit lasted from March through the end of December. It had no beneficial impact on job creation and added billions to the national debt. There is absolutely no good reason for trying it again.

    As we argued before the first hiring credit became law, such a policy won’t spur permanent hiring because it only temporarily reduces the costs of employing new workers. Businesses only hire new workers when they anticipate those new workers will increase their profitability over the long haul.

    A credit of a few thousand dollars, a mere fraction of the cost of hiring a worker, does nothing to change that calculation. The only positive effect on hiring the credit could have would be on temporary positions if it makes adding a few new temps profitable in the short term. But once the credit expires businesses will let those workers go.

    To get the true picture of the credit’s effectiveness, however, you can’t just look at the few temporary jobs it might create. You also need to subtract the jobs foregone because the government took the money for the credit out of the hands of the private sector by taxing or borrowing to give it to the businesses that qualify. In the end it is more likely the hiring credit will actually destroy jobs on net.

    - Curtis Dubay

    Extending Unemployment Benefits

    Today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) quoted Albert Einstein who he said once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By that measure President Obama’s plan to boost the economy by spending more on unemployment benefits is insane. Unfortunately, the President isn’t joking.

    Congress has expanded unemployment insurance (UI) dramatically since the recession began. Laid off workers can now collect up to 99 weeks of benefits in some states. It isn’t hard to see why Congress did so. Normally workers can collect benefits for to up to six months. But the average unemployed worker has now been out of a job for nine months.

    For welfare reasons Congress wants to help workers who cannot find jobs. This is understandable. That doesn’t mean it will help the economy, no matter how much the President wants it to.

    The stimulus bill extended UI benefits. Congress has kept them in place several times since then. All told the government has spent over $300 billion on unemployment benefits since Obama took office. All that spending has done nothing to boost the economy. Unemployment is higher than the Administration projected if Congress did nothing. This failure was predictable.

    The studies that show that UI spending stimulates the economy are based on macroeconomic models programmed to show large “multiplier effects” from government spending. These models assume that each dollar of government spending creates more than a dollar of economic growth. They essentially assume their conclusion. Actual empirical research shows that UI payments do not boost GDP. This is exactly what economic theory predicts.

    One of the most thoroughly established findings of labor economics is the fact that extended unemployment benefits cause workers to remain unemployed longer. Even Alan Krueger, President Obama’s nominee to chair the Council of Economic Advisors, agrees. Studies show that raising benefits to 99 weeks during the recession has increased the unemployment rate by 0.5 to 1.5 percentage points. Extended benefits come at an economic cost.

    There are understandable reasons for wanting to extend UI benefits despite this cost. But as much as it would be wonderful if doing so also boosted the economy, it does not. It would be similarly wonderful if an all you can eat bacon and ice-cream diet helped shed pounds. Wishing does not make it so.

    If Congress thinks that keeping extended benefits is good policy then Congress should pay for it by reducing spending on less important programs. But spending tens of billions more on unemployment insurance will not stimulate the economy any more than the last extensions did.

    - James Sherk

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    103 Responses to Reaction Roundup: Heritage Responds to Obama's Jobs Speech

    1. Heywood Jablome says:

      Was he dangling a watch in front of us whenever he says "You should pass this right away"?
      I felt like I was getting sleepy half-way through the speech.

      • R.J. Garwood says:

        NO. That was indicative of boredom for hearing more of the hoopla and pony nuggets Nobama is noted for. Is was a gauntlet thrown down for more political chicanery to be watched while the real nuggets are exchanged behind closed doors.

    2. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting a different result. – Einstein

      • Rich says:

        Are you referring to the failed right-wing policies of deregulation and historically low tax rates that have been in place for eleven years and governed one of the worst economic periods in this country's history? I'm sure you are.

        • Todd says:

          Sounds to me he is refering to the Obama adminstration just throwing tax payer money at a problem with no real plan, no accountabilty and only false hope that soemthing will come out of it. But maybe he is only trying to buy votes – maybe he is not as stupid as most of America thinks he is.

      • stage9 says:

        Actually the definition of insanity is liberalism….

      • Larry says:

        The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
        Misattributed to various people, including Albert Einstein and Mark Twain. The earliest known occurrence, and probable origin is Rita Mae Brown, Sudden Death (Bantam Books, New York, 1983), p. 68. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin

    3. Alice Young says:

      We are in so much trouble….can this country withstand this President and his administration until Nov 2012??? He needs to be stopped he is destroying this country !!!!!!

      • MargO says:

        How??? No one seems to want to get this guy out of office. There are tons of reasons to impeach him, but no one will start the ball rolling. For one, it is unconstitutional for him to have ordered our troops into Libia just because the United Nations suggests it. He must get our country (Congress) to back him. There are just so many reasons to impeach this guy and I don't understand why he is still in office.

    4. ken stout says:

      this was for union,no real jobsfor real american workers,real americans ,the beard and butter ones,not unions

    5. sallymorem says:

      Here's how I responded to the speech on FB:

      So, we've heard from Obama. He credits government taxes and regulation for the enormous growth of the country over its 225 years. He promises more of the same. Tax unto death the job creators, then give some a tax break for hiring. Continue the past deluge of regulations, some 16,000 pages of them per year, lest we all die of tainted meat. Spend another trillion dollars on "creating" a few measly jobs. Gaaaaawwwwd! Guaranteed failure.

    6. Sheba says:

      It's a waste of time to watch Obama. I only watched him for a few minutes. He just keeps saying the same things over and over again and probably expects people not to remember any of what he had said. This president is a joke. I hope those who voted for him don't have anymore jobs.

      • livyrene says:

        I turned on the television for just a few seconds. Obama was screaming, so I quickly turned off the television. I didn't like having Obama yell at me.

      • MargO says:

        Everyone is entitled to make a mistake from time to time, but we MUST learn from our mistakes. I hope that my fellow Americans are so stupid that they would repeat the same mistake expecting different results.

    7. gary sheldon says:

      Nobody was impressed commander of the corpSSSSS obama; not even the easily impressed Biden was phased. Oh! That's right, he is usually barely conscious anyway. Boehner was perfect for as long as I could stomach the schrade.

    8. Kent Kressenberg says:

      Should anyone be surprised that this Socialist-In-Chief just doesn't get it? These policies haven't worked, won't work… indeed, can't work. Neither can many Americans as long as Barack remains (putatively) at the helm.

    9. Edman68 says:

      Really enjoyed the "i'll take care of you unions" part of the speech. Lying sob.

    10. mark says:

      keep is short.sad,sad,sad,sad,sad

    11. Lynn from CA says:

      Unemployment insurance is designed to keep people in homes, eating, with bills hopefully paid.

      Your suggestion from your tweet, quoting: "@Heritage Spending billions more on unemployment insurance will NOT stimulate the economy any more than the last extensions did!", that UI alone stimulates the economy is dissing those struggling without jobs, and the other attempts made to resolve a problem (recession) that not only is bipartisan in foundation, but has been growing for decades!

      Typical conservative perspective – feed the rich and diss the disadvantaged.

      The disadvantaged did not cause the recession so why blame them for it? Why cause an epidemic of homelessness? UI goes right back into the system, while those burned by the true causes of this recession at least have something to live on. Have a heart!

      • Tony says:

        Lynn, we can all appreciate your feelings for the un-employed. However job creation is what the unemployed need. This was supposed to be a jobs bill. The merits of extending unemployment benefits can be debated as a separate issue..but logically I hope you can see that extending these benefits does not create any jobs.

        • Todd says:

          Government spending and unemploymet will not help your situation or any one else who may find themselves in a similar situtation. Allowing the private sector to feel confident enough to invest in new ventures, expand existing ventures and invest in their respective communities will spawn the economy and more people will get back to work. The government is not supposed to put people to work, it is supposed to establish an environment where private sector organizations and companies do that. Mandates and regulations that may seem well-intentioned but raise doubts in the private sector for future tax regulations, employment requirements, or government rules will cause the private sector to pause and stop expanding/investing, which kills job growth. The has been something that started before Obama but he has done more to create this doubt than all the other presidents combined.

      • Bobbie says:

        Unemployment discourages people from looking for work while losing their freedom and personal dignity to provide for their own! Creating more dependency on government. This is all in the control of government.

        tax payers money keeping people unemployed, doesn't GROW the economy. The focus is always "stimulate" and it's failed with lots of wasted money AND MISSING MONEY! government is never the solution! Americans and freedom are!! Where's your faith? In your family, friends, fellow American or government? I feel sorry for you if it's the latter. It reveals the type of character you have… The rich didn't cause the recession. Why punish the rich when you can WORK FOR IT yourself, like they do?

        America needs permanent jobs to provide for our families. Not temp shovel and sign in hand, overstaffed school administrations and excessive regulations that are holding back hiring all costs burdened on the tax payers, jobs.

        GOVERNMENT jobs COST money! Private sector, free market jobs MAKE MONEY!!!!!!! AND GROWS WEALTH!!!!! AND PROVIDES FREEDOM AND LIBERTIES!!!!! BIG GOVERNMENT and it's costs, DOES THE OPPOSITE!!

        …no I'm not a business owner, we're not rich, we believe in the freedom of America and the opportunity to prosper if it's within our grasp and for our children to do the same using their personal skill and intelligence that EARNS their wealth, not stolen.

        There's no reason for government, when the disadvantaged can use their ability to see beyond. Plenty of good willed helping hands in America where the less government and it's expense, the more we see them who act from the kindness of their heart, totally contrary to tax funded, overpaid government charity services. Homelessness is what the government is causing by subsidizing $500,000 dollar homes!! Rules posed by government in America, aren't equally applied to Americans anymore!! Sends a message of personal belittlement and division between Americans! EXTREMELY UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

        Typical leftist exploiting inferiority!! YOU HAVE A HEART!!

      • JoeTexan says:

        Any time you subsidize something, you get more of it. Subsidizing unemployment merely gives you more unemployment. If you know you can get 99 weeks of unemployment, when are you going to start seriously looking for a job? Probably week 98.

      • Paul says:

        Give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish feed him for life. Both parties have been handing out fish to secure votes, we need someone to stand up and be honest. Unfortunately I am afraid most people in my country are too used to having someone drop off their daily fish to grow up and take responsiblity for their own success or failure…..

        How many of your so called "disadvantaged" are using their time to get a degree or update their skills? in your state I went to college for $13 a credit, people need to grow up and stop expecting the government to give them other peoples stuff.

      • E. A. says:

        No is diss-ing anything. Yes there is a problem, however, it is the remedy that is the issue. No one is denying there is a problem. People are out of work. Our country needs help. But think of it this way – putting a band aid on cancer doesn't work. If I tell you that putting a band aid on cancer won't work, I am diss-ing you, I am helping you.

    12. Jim Witherspoon says:

      This is the same dribble that got us into this mess. Where are your plans? You apparently know all? Have the extension of the Bush tax cuts spurred job growth. There were plenty of new ideas, such as supporting tax cuts for business that create American jobs. A tax increase is inevitable, we have been fight 2 wars for 10 years. Since none of you took up on arms to support your nation, then by a patriot and pay for it.

    13. Victoria says:

      The same BULL we've heard before…. This guy is in for the destroying of the American way of life… I don't trust him, I'm a Tea Partier, and very fed up with the labor name calling…. This guy and the President need to be replaced….

    14. jemars says:

      And he wants this done NOW? What has he been doing besides spending and vacationing?

    15. GA Val says:

      Why I didn't even listen to the speech: #1, I can't stand to listen to this man any more. I am so burned out on his pontificating, speechifying, egotistic appearances that I cannot watch or listen to even one more minute of his speaking without my head exploding. #2, I don't believe or trust a word that comes out of his mouth. #3, I knew it would be more of the same ol', same 'ol. I'll watch reruns of Friends or Seinfeld or Modern Family because they're still enjoyable to me the second time around. Just can't handle any more of our "Commander in Chief." If he is re-elected I really think I'll have to be institutionalized.

      • MargO says:

        I might just find a way to become an illegal immigrant to some other country that makes sense. I have a LOT of pride in my country of the U.S. and to see it being destroyed is making me more angry all the time he opens his mouth. I wish some one would have the guts to impeach him. We just sit back and watch him wreck it more and more every day. I really don't know if we can make it to November 2012 keeping in tact any part of what make America America! If anything, Obama is a total embarassment to all Americans.

    16. Chris says:

      My headache hasn't gone away.

    17. Joe Pinter says:

      Obama has offered what amounts to no more than a spit in the ocean of temporary gimmicks and more government projects we can't afford right now.

    18. Barry Wuthrich says:

      What did you expect? He's a community organizer for crying out loud. Talk about in over your head.

    19. Gary B says:

      His speech was nothing more than "politics as usual…"

    20. Tim G says:

      How can we ever have a meeting of the minds or "sides" when Obama's perspective misses on so many levels?
      While unemployment insurance meets an acute need, it creates little incentive to look for work.
      The answer to much of this is to let the energy sector lead us to energy independence. This lowers transportation costs which inflate costs of all products. What will it take to have common sense solutions?

      • wznhnt says:

        you are so right. obama is essentially saying "oops, i got it wrong". now, "pay for my mistakes…..NOW". audacity of incompetence. obviously we could get out of this quickly w/ drill now, cut/cap/balance, and you might want to check out http://www.strongamericanow.com he has great ideas that newt and others are onboard w/.

    21. Mary from Washington says:

      Obamas plan is an insult to thinking Americans. Extending the payroll tax cut is the one semi–positive thing. The rest is just garbage. A rehash of the first failed stimulus. Why no increased energy exploration?

      • Toni says:

        That tax cut is the Social Security Tax which further weakens The program. What is he planning to do anyway? I don't like this game much. Seniors are depending on that program so why is he lowering that tax?

    22. dan says:

      Hey James Sherk – thanks to you I just read Krueger's paper, fairly confident that I'd find you'd distorted his message (and unsuprised that you did not provide a link to facilitate people checking your interpretation).
      Here is a relevant passage from the paper's conclusion (you'll note he suggests that increasing unemployment insurance during economic downturns may well be the right thing to do – your version has him saying the opposite):
      "Despite labor supply responses to social insurance programs, we would emphasize that the desirability of social insurance depends on the intended as well as unintended effects (or, more appropriately put, undesired side effects) of the programs. Thus, a finding of labor supply responses to incentives is not necessarily cause for abandoning a program. The undesired side effects must be balanced against the improved welfare from providing income maintenance to those in need. Moreover, for some programs, such as UI, it is quite likely that the adverse
      65 incentive effects vary over the business cycle. For example, there is probably less of an
      efficiency loss from reduced search effort by the unemployed during a recession than during a boom. As a consequence, it may be optimal to expand the generosity of UI during economic downturns (assuming the initial starting level was optimal). Unfortunately, this is an area in which little empirical research is currently available to guide policymakers."

      So, did you not actually read the whole thing, or did you just choose to misrepresent it to make your own argument seem better than it really is?

      • Campman says:

        Did you not read it?
        "Unfortunately, this is an area in which little empirical research is currently available to guide policy makers"
        Or do you just want to be able to draw your own conclusion to fit your side of the argument?

      • T.C. says:

        All that quote says is that there have to be more positives than negatives for UI to be a feasable solution. "desirability of social insurance depends on the intended as well as unitended effects (or, more apropriately put, undesired side effects) of the programs.", "assuming the initial starting level was optimal". Or did you just read it the way you want it to read?

      • SoonerRedState says:

        Name ONE thing the gov't does that is "optimal".

    23. Barbara says:


    24. karen w ramey says:

      Excellent analysis. Thank you, always, Heritage Foundation!

    25. Jan Woodman says:

      Thank You; a review that heard exactly what I heard:-)

    26. Mr. H. says:

      Looks like everything he said has been tried before, and failed miserably every time it's been done. Nothing new. Just more of the same failed destructive stuff from his ideology.

    27. bipartisan says:

      is there nothing in the proposals that anyone here likes?

    28. It seems that the gist of the reaction to Obama's jobs speech Thursday night is that it was lacking in detail and seemed to be a retread of ideas the common voter doesn't believe in. In his speech Obama noted that this "Jobs Plan" wasn't going to solve all of our problems, but the speech seemed to be…underwhelming. Right now the chances of Obama getting reelected are very slim. My expertise in politics is basic, so please excuse me.

    29. Larry says:

      Unfortunately, I was not able to hear his entire speech. I came in towards the end of it.
      Now I am economically challenged/illiterate but all this seems to be a nobrainer
      He is the prime example of how the universities are producing highly educated idiots with absolutely no common sense.

    30. Edna Earle says:

      We shouldn't blame him if proposals are so skinny on details, for if you play golf as often as he does…when does he have time to do research for our country's best interests? Add his golfing "time outs" to his travel agenda and we can clearly see that he is not a president "in office," but a president "on the go."

    31. Eric Esshaki says:

      I think it is absurd to spend more federal dollars on an education system that is already broken. It's like adding an addition on a house that is about to crumble. What we need to do is save money on public education instead of spending more on it. I propose that we do this by cutting the BS classes that are offered to high school seniors and by giving high school seniors the opportunity to take only pre-college level courses or stop going to school at this point. This idea cuts costs significantly by eliminating the need to pay teachers $60,000+ a year to teach students how to lift weights, paint pictures, and use a hammer. (Certainly it is unnecessary to add more teachers!) I don't feel that the tax payers have any obligations to pay for students to take "blow off" courses nor the teachers' salaries that teach them. If we want to compete with China, we should start by paying for students to actually get an education that can help them get a job in the future and just save the money on the ones that don't! I feel like the Chinese sit back and laugh at the very idea of gym class and, in this day and age, we should too.

    32. Eric Esshaki says:

      I think it is absurd to spend more federal dollars on an education system that is already broken. It's like adding an addition on a house that is about to crumble. What we need to do is save money on public education instead of spending more on it. I propose that we do this by cutting the BS classes that are offered to high school seniors and by giving high school seniors the opportunity to take only pre-college level courses or stop going to school at this point. This idea cuts costs significantly by eliminating the need to pay teachers $60,000+ a year to teach students how to lift weights

    33. Michelle says:

      Well said! Frankly, I agree with severe cuts in government spending being the #1 way to boost the economy. James Sherk's comment about Einstein's definition of insanity is right on! What I don't understand is why these guys (and gals) want to keep doing the same things over and over! It hasn't solved the problem in the past and won't solve it now–no matter how much money they throw at it! You don't get out of debt by creating more debt! In my lifetime, government has taken over way too many things that should have been left to the original caretaker–the states.

      • SoonerRedState says:

        They aren't interested in solving the problems, they want us all to be begging for them to "save us" when the problems get totally out of hand. Then they own us and they can sit back and tell themselves how much smarter they are than us. And they'll be right if we let this happen.

    34. Alex James Andrews says:

      Tough times call for uniquely creative measures! Here's my VERY high risk plan. POINT 1:
      All members of the Fortune 1000 must in unison buy into it for at least one entire year. I call it the "Economic Big Bang". Basically, the entire nation's leadership(Executive + Congressional) need to authorize the Federal Reserve to "Open the Monetary Spigots" and allow the Money supply.to exoand at an unprecedented high rate. Simultaneously, the Fortune 1000 members must voluntarily agree to keep all wages and prices for all goods and services in temporary (9 – 12 months) stasis. Those same companies must in tandem expand their resources(fixed capital and variable) of production to prepare for the increase of demand that will follow the monetary expansion in a cascade-like fashion. If production of goods don't keep up with rapidly increasing demand, supply shortages will most certainly follow; which in turn will place enormous upward pressure on prices. The sequential order and the timing of each event must be ideally synchronized to prevent a pre -WWII Germany – style hyperinflationary economic and resulting socially chaotic implosion event from occurring.

      • Todd says:

        Wow – talk about being in over your head! Do you know you are a communist or just drinking the liberal kool aid?

    35. Alex James Andrews says:

      CONTINUED: Part 2 of POINT 1:
      Once the "monetary water begins flowing", resource underutilization will cease and will immediately be followed by a expansion of production to full capacity utilization. This is another area where timing is crucial and of the utmost importance. Once resource utilization passes the 90-95% level, Capacity itself must expand in a parallel manner to keep up with the correspondingly explosive increase in demand. This in turn will allow the GDP itself to experience a rocket like detonation that will send the economy into a near vertical like trajectory upward. This will allow our economic output to mimic, at the very least, the PRC's early years of hyper-rapid industrialization – based gargantuan leaps in annual Real GDP, year after year.

    36. Alex James Andrews says:

      CONTINUED Part 3 of POINT 1: It is imperative that the government and the Fortune 1000 leadership coordinate and properly manage this reinflationary "Economic Big Bang". If this sequence of related events is not properly and astutely overseen, then, the consequential fall out could literally destroy the country's economy and seriously injure the rest of the planet's financial system. Nevertheless, if managed correctly, the benefits could provide enough momentum and financial energy to buoy the entire US and global economic system for decades.

    37. Alex James Andrews says:

      CONTINUED Part 1 of POINT 2: The US Government has approximately(roughly) 500 departments and agencies. The easiest way to gain the population's economic loyalty is to provide all citizens with a "piece of the economic pie". This can be done by privatizing all 500 or so Federal agencies and departments. Let's use the power of capitalism to go one step further. Let's launch IPO's for each of those newly privatized agencies/departments.The government will keep a simple majority of shares to be held by the US Treasury. The rest of the shares will be distributed to the ENTIRE US population of law abiding hard working citizens.

    38. Alex James Andrews says:

      CONTINUED Part 2 of POINT 2: Let's take this approach even further still. Every citizen will be FAIRLY allotted(to be determined) a specific number of restricted pre-IPO shares in each of the newly privatized Corporations. Since the shares are restricted shares, they cannot be sold, traded, or bartered for a pre-determined length of time. With proper checks and balances, criminal cartels can be prevented from exploiting the average share holders. As a result,no one will be able to pilfer a single share of newly distributed "Citizen's" stock from a single unsuspecting shareholding citizen. This endeavor will not only give every American a substantial stake in the success of America, it will give them hope for a better financial future.

    39. Alex James Andrews says:

      CONTINUED Part 3 of POINT 2: As America prospers, everyone holding shares in America's governmental corporations will financially prosper as well. In addition, the spill-over monetary supply from the "Economic Big Bang" re-inflationary event can be used by US citizens and businesses to invest in the US equities markets EN MASSE; which in turn will generate perhaps, the GREATEST explosion in wealth creation in human history in the SHORTEST amount of time. Not only do the citizens of America gain financially, the 20 year moving average percentage increase in equity prices will allow the US Government to eventually sell its stakes for hundreds of trillions or even quadrillions of dollars by the end of the 3rd decade(2030) of the 21st century.

    40. Alex James Andrews says:

      CONTINUED Part 1 of POINT 3: All those that have lost their jobs previously and those that will lose their jobs during the privatization due to increasing efficiencies will be given free retraining at special retraining colleges. Retraining will be focused exclusively on 21st century globally competitive industries Mind you, this is a way, way, way, out of the box three point plan to Repair, Recover, and Reinvigorate the US Economy, and as a result, the entire world's financial system. As I stated earlier, it is very risky and can be very dangerous. But, at the same time, the rewards can be great as well. There are literally dozens of other less risky approaches; which I can go into at another time.

      • Campman says:

        To quote a line from "Ruthless People":
        "This could possibly be the stupidest man on the face of the planet… perhaps we should shoot him"

        • Alex James Andrews says:

          Thanks for the great vote of confidence! Although I'm not very bright, I did state repeatedly that this was a way out of the box idea that was fraught with potential problems! I also stated that my purpose was to basically get people thinking NOT shooting! Thanks again for demonstating foolishness and violent tendencies are alive and well, even on a discussion board of this great organization! Calm down and take it easy because postings that you don't agree with are NOT worth killing people over! Lastly, don't forget to take your meds as well! Otherwise, the next time you threaten people with bodily harm in a public forum, you may find a few men in blue with a few in white at your door where you will be escorted to a paddy wagon and then taken straight to the closest mental hospital!

        • SoonerRedState says:

          I'm reminded of the movie Billy Madison, where after Billy (Adam Sandler) answers a quiz question, the teacher gives a scathing critique that includes "everyone in this room is now dumber for having heard it."

    41. I'm glad my NBC affiliate didn't carry the president's speech. It would have ruined the enjoyment of watching the game. Stop trying to grow government Mr President, and let business turn the economy around.

    42. Joe Orange says:

      A well thought out and absolutely TRUE analysis of Mr Obama's vision for our country. Unlike the liberals, Im not going to go into name calling and personal insults….. so although Obama's 'heart' may be in the right place. I just feel like he doesnt know what he's doing and he is certainly not the man that should be shaping American policy; especially not the American economy. We need to hang in there a little longer and replace him with someone with executive and leadership experience. IMHO

    43. Robert says:

      Hmmm. First one to post a comment. Where is everybody? Oh yah…. everyone is soooo tired of TV reruns of Presidential speeches repackaged as new and improved. Reaction Roundup: the silence from the voters is deafening.

    44. Job speech-Campaign speech-More of the same-www.wastewatchers inc.org-government out of Control

    45. Campman says:

      The whole purpose of the speech was not to propose anything, but rather to have the Republican Congress deny enacting any of his ridiculous propositions. In this way he can lay blame on Republicans for not wanting to create jobs. Heading into a presidential election year this will allow him to paint Republicans as anti-jobs. This speech was nothing more than a calculated maneuver to put the Republicans in a no win position. Congratulations Mr Obama, you have taken over as the worst president in the history of the United States. Jimmy Carter is smiling.

    46. Rich says:

      I love the assumption that the stimulus failed. Since when? All objective analyses have concluded that it has provided an enormous boon to the economy. In fact, as stimulus spending runs out, we see growth start to peter out.

      Let's not forget that the Heritage Foundation, and right-wing's solution, is to do nothing. So come out and say it. Come out and admit that historic deregulation and historically low taxes have ACTUALLY demonstrably failed to spur economic growth since 2001, but that you think they will work now–and tell us why. Come out and say that you want to let the unemployed twist in the wind with no income. Come out and say that your idea to create jobs is to do exactly NOTHING. Admit all of this, and then lets talk.

      • Ron says:

        What planet are you living on? "has provided an enormous boon to the economy"?

        You must work for the government, because that is ABSOLUTELY the only part of our economy that has experienced growth of any consequence. The borrowed money of the stimulus – grew government, how in the hell does that actually help any of the rest of us. Our country is in extreme decline and one thing is for sure: It's NOT because the government hasn't spent enough!

        It's not rocket science, but it does require you to oat attention to the actual data, and not what is fed to you by the dead brain media.

      • Todd says:

        Enormous boon to the economy? Where do you live? I think more of an enormous boon-doogle and waste of tax-payers money.

    47. Charon says:

      Thank you Heritage for keeping us so informed; we need to show our appreication by continuing to support both the foundation AND those conservative principles that have made this nation exceptional! BUT, we as individuals, must keep on trying to inform, educate and pass on those same principle to others. We cannot automatically assume that Obama will not be re-elected. We must work very hard to ensure that he will not be because this country cannot aford another 4 years of him and his failed policies. Actually, we cannot afford another year of him….and we certainly cannot afford STIMULUS REDUX!

    48. Gary says:

      The one thing he siad I could get excited about was that we can't wait 14 months. So maybe we should have the election much sooner. Get the GOP to select a candidate than have the election asap.

      The other thing he could have said that would have helped is 'I don't have a clue, I give up, i'm leaving'

    49. atalatal says:

      We have heard the theme of Obama's re election campaign -protect the unions and tax the rich. In texas he would be characterized as "All hat and no cattle".

    50. AmericanLass says:

      Will this go to the unions again and then back into President Obama's campaign war chest ? Who is tracking and where is ALL of the 2009 $787 Billion Stimulus ? We know a lot of it went to the Unions, but where is the rest. I have searched for answers and cannot find any to these questions.

    51. Ann says:

      What WE can All do is to VOTE HIM OUT!!!!!!!

    52. Mike says:

      No new ideas. He was addressing his base and ignoring the real world. His base will follow him over a cliff. Our only hope is to make him a one term President.

    53. Bill Ogle says:

      Perhaps I am mistaken but I always thought a plan had to have a method for accomplishment. I didn't hear anything remotely resembling such a method in last night's speech. What little explanation that was forthcoming was erroneous, to say the least (the plan is paid for, it will cost nothing …. BULL). I don't know why I took the time to listen to this tripe. I knew that there would be nothing new, but like many Americans …. I hoped that Mr. Obama had a revelation. No such luck. SSDD,

    54. RonnyG says:

      If I hear another Obama Speach I think I will Barf! Thank God for the Mute Button! He is treating us like a Bunch of No Nothing Acorns! Maybe he learned this when he was a Community Organizer in Chi Town? I cannot wait to kick the Bum Out of Office next year!!

    55. H Snyder says:

      I do not believe that improving the economy and bringing back prosperity to the U.S. is BHO's intention or agenda. Getting re-elected is, and he and the DNC will do "whatever it takes" to keep him in the WH and continue to "transform" this nation into a third class country subject to the machinations and aggressive policies of such as China, Russia, Iran, et al. There would be a self-perpetuating massive and well heeled bureaucracy along with a one-party Congress, with the populace living hand-to-mouth, paying 50% or more of their hard earned incomes in taxes.

      • Janet Korrell says:

        The Tea Party's agenda is obvious to anyone without blinders on. The have one objective – to eliminate the American middle class. No working class person should ever vote Republican.

    56. Eric says:

      I listened to the same dribble. I have read a lot of comments concerning what he said last night, however, my question is, what are we going to do about it or should I say, what are we going to do about him. This country will completely be in the toilet if he is allowed to remain in office another year!
      The Republicans in the House, can start wrting articles for impeachment now because we all know that he has thrown the Constitution under the bus, a document he swore to defend.

    57. e pearse says:

      A piece called "Preview to Obama's Jobs Program to Congress" published days before the speech correctly pointed out three of Obama's Proposals plus it managed to bring out the absurdity that they represent with an irony that is more pungent.

      It compares Obamanomics with the Milton Friedman story that advised the Chinese bureaucrat that "if it's jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels."
      One can read all three Obamanomics absurdities at http://robbingamerica.blogspot.com/2011/09/previe

    58. Rick_B says:

      Definition of Unmitigated Gall:
      -Go on vacation for 10 days while all of the unemployed subjects wait for an announced plan when his highness returns. Then show up to a joint session of Congress to demand that they pass a bill that has not even been written yet…RIGHT NOW!!
      Blah blah blah blah blah

    59. Steve Barbour says:

      No thanks Heritage. It is easy to second guess the plan without holding the Republican House and Ditch Mitch McConnell accountable for the "do nothing" attitude they have presented. Obama inherited a mess. Where was Heritage when Bush sent our soldiers off to two wars at a cost of trillions?

      This is exactly what I expect from Heritage – Conservative Think Tank. I am sure Brookings has a different view and Cato another view. Tell me, who is the think tank for the folks who believe in compromise – the large piece of America that stands in the middle?

    60. Cindi Benson says:

      God help this great nation!

    61. jOHN says:

      Obama only knows one thing, campaign ! This was just another boring campaign speech. All for show, all for show. I pray Obama will take auntie, uncle and the rest of family back to kenda. Another reason education makes you dumb and dumber.

      Obama gets his kicks in front of the camera. BORING, BORING, BORING!

    62. Will M. says:

      Remember you have to pass it, before you can understand it…

    63. eric in NJ says:

      So did anyone else notice the condescending way he talked about those of us who do not want to increase taxes "ever under any circumstances" but how he delicately jousted with those of you who genuinely and sincerely do not want any changes made to the important and necessary programs of Medicare/Social Security? What a snake this POTUS is! Shaking my head…

    64. Grundoon says:

      Dear Lynn from CA: Here's a touch of reality for you. Study after study, here and in other countries, has shown that most–not all–people on unemployment compensation get serious about looking for a job about 2 weeks before their compensation period runs out. The reason a bird falls from the nest and learns to fly and fend for itself is because it's mother stops bringing it worms. Mother nature isn't dumb.
      Another thing to remember is this heroic federal money that extends the UI to 99 weeks is only a LOAN to the state UI compensation funds WHICH HAS TO BE PAID BACK BY EMPLOYERS! Betcha didn't know that did ya? That's an extra monthly "penalty" added to the charges that employers have to pay into their state's funds which just gives them less money to hire new workers. See how dumb these Democrats are. The unemployed get fatter and lazier and the employers get squeezed so they can't afford to hire them back. BRILLIANT! No wonder the unemployment keeps going up. But they sound like heros to the dumb people who keep voting for them.

    65. Laura says:

      Impeachment sounds good — but then we'd have Biden until the end of the term. Would that be any better? The man and those behind him, giving him words, are sinister.

    66. rey says:

      Tho' rehashed drivel to most but sophistry to his base left, i.e. Pelosi, he just placed the GOP in a box he can blame come '12 election. A sneaky ploy trust no sucker will fall for again as in the debt ceiling debate he had one-upped the GOP by raising his credit to $2.5 trillion to spend/squander for votes, downgrading our precious credit rating that can hopefully be rectified.by voting him out sooner than later.

    67. MargO says:

      Am I the only one who is embarrassed by Obama.? We are losing respect of other countries and he makes us look like fools. Congress doesn't look much better. With all the unconstitutional things Obama has done, why isn't he being impeached? We look pretty stupid to continue to have someone like that leading our country – to what? Self distruction? I do have to say one thing about him. He knows how to spend money (what an example of cutting the budget) and he is an eloquent speaker – until you catch onto his "la-la land" mentality and promises that he can't possible keep. I just hope we, as a country, can keep America together until November 2012. God help us!

    68. Walter says:

      O’ how wonderful, O’ how marvelous, O’ how spectacular, O’ how splendid, O’ how amazing is Obama, spend, spend spend. Spend spend spend. Pass this right away, pass this right away, spend spend spend. Jobs are number one, jobs are number one, jobs are number one, and unemployment has been this low for the last 30 months. Spend spend spend.

    69. Claudia emlaw says:

      There he goes again!

    70. Janet Korrell says:

      Instead of complaining – which does no good – why aren't Chistians praying for our government?

    71. I really love reading your comments guys.I learn a lot from you.

      Thank you so much


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