Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on February 11, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama took questions from the media in a surprise appearance at the White House media briefing on Tuesday … and proved why presidential drop-ins are rare occasions indeed.  Jake Tapper asked Obama how his “bold agenda” might get interpreted by business owners looking at cost increases in health insurance and energy and how that might impact employment.  Obama answered with a revealing look at how he sees the world — through the eyes of a government expansionist:

TAPPER:  But just to play devil’s advocate on that, a small business, let’s say — not somebody who’s going to be affected by the regulatory reform, a small business — you have proposed, you would acknowledge, a bold agenda, and a small business might wonder, “I don’t know how the energy bill is going to affect me.  I don’t know how the health care reform bill is going to affect me.  I better hold off on hiring.”

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Yes, the small businesses that I talk to — and I’ve been talking to a lot of them as I’ve been traveling around the country over the last several months — their biggest problem is right now they can’t get credit out of their banks, so they’re uncertain about that.  And they’re still uncertain about orders.  You know, do they just have enough customers to justify them doing more? It’s looking better at this point, but that’s not the rationale for people saying, “I’m not hiring.” Let me put it this way.  Most small businesses, right now — if they’ve got enough customers to make a profit and they can get the bank loans required to boost their payroll, boost their inventory and sell to the customers, they will do so, OK?

Er, no.  While businesses use loans to bridge gaps between purchasing inventory and sales, and to ensure continuity of payroll in some instances, they don’t buy extra inventory and hire extra people unless they know that the demand will meet the supply.  Given the state of the economy, no sane businessman would take out bank loans to expand inventory and personnel — a very expensive proposition — without having made certain that those costs will get recouped in the short term.  Even at the peak of the most recent expansion, most companies wouldn’t commit to any capital expenses without showing a cost recovery in the same fiscal year, and we are most certainly not in an expanding economy now.

But give Obama a break on this one.  In his entire adult life, the only business model he has known in any depth is the public sector.  Government is the only business model that borrows money to hire more people, which is why the only real growth industry now is the public sector.  Government doesn’t have to worry about making a profit, or even breaking even.  If governments come up short of case, they simply keep borrowing … and let the next set of leaders deal with the consequences.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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Comment pages: 1 2

OmahaConservative on February 11, 2010 at 8:08 AM

That was sarcasm by the way! :)

JellyToast on February 11, 2010 at 10:05 AM

He’s meeting with Al Sharpton and ministers on the issue. What good will that do? What do they know about economics?

elclynn on February 11, 2010 at 9:50 AM

If the smartest guy to ever figure out how to turn down the feedback on a bullhorn can’t get us on the right track, how is him asking his dumber fellow bullhorners going to get any decent answers?

rogerb on February 11, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Chicken not good enough for you? Elitist snob! You don’t have to brag about it! We’re lucky to get warm roadkill round here!

JellyToast on February 11, 2010 at 10:04 AM

LOL! I’d rather have the roadkill, fits into the budget better.
;)

OmahaConservative on February 11, 2010 at 10:08 AM

warm roadkill round here!

JellyToast on February 11, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Warm Roadkill? You Elitist snob……

Just jerkin’ your chain. Nice one.

PappaMac on February 11, 2010 at 10:10 AM

If the smartest guy to ever figure out how to turn down the feedback on a bullhorn can’t get us on the right track, how is him asking his dumber fellow bullhorners going to get any decent answers?

rogerb on February 11, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Maybe the bullhorn business will pick up? I can’t see any other reason for that meeting.

elclynn on February 11, 2010 at 10:11 AM

We are so forked…

lovingmyUSA on February 11, 2010 at 10:14 AM

We should take up a collection so that the Most Powerful Person in the World can take some “Intro to Business” night classes at the local Devry.

warden on February 11, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Obama is the best advertisement yet for why every kid in America should have to take a course in Economics. He can’t even grasp the basic concept of supply and demand. Levin said last night (and I paraphrase) that this guy has never even worked a cash register, let alone run a business, and he demonstrates his ignorance of such issues every time he opens his mouth. Sheesh!

College Prof on February 11, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Obama is the best advertisement yet for why every kid in America should have to take a course in Economics.

How will that help them to sue people?

Isn’t that what our economy is based on now?

NoDonkey on February 11, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Ed: “But give Obama a break on this one.”

Um, NO. Obama does not deserve a break.

He is totally clueless about creating jobs except by expanding government.

He is totally clueless about small businesses (travlling around the country and talking to show-and-tell selective small business owners does not count).

But the problem is that he doesn’t know he is clueless, and the people he selected to steer the ship are like-minded marxist/socialist bend. That is killing the business.

Sir Napsalot on February 11, 2010 at 10:38 AM

I think I figured it out. The White House/Sharpton/bullhorners meeting on “job creation” will come up with the only solution it can:
The government will pass a law forcing employers to increase total employees by 20% based on their current total.
 
Done. Unemployment numbers go back down. What could possibly go wrong?

rogerb on February 11, 2010 at 10:44 AM

He can’t even grasp the basic concept of supply and demand…. – College Prof on February 11, 2010 at 10:27 AM

He seems to struggle even more with “risk/reward/consequence”. He absolutely demonizes risk, and thinks reward is undeserved and failure needs to be coddled. He’s attacking the basic premise of capitalism, while simultaneously claiming to be a capitalist.

forest on February 11, 2010 at 10:49 AM

I swore he told Joe the Plumber, don’t worry – we are spreading the wealth through taxes… yet he hasnt figured out why tax as revenue is down to the IRS.

So he should have said to Joe “Once you get a loan, hire people, buy supplies, then find clients – we will then spread the wealth.”

Odie1941 on February 11, 2010 at 10:52 AM

He seems to struggle even more with “risk/reward/consequence”. He absolutely demonizes risk, and thinks reward is undeserved and failure needs to be coddled. He’s attacking the basic premise of capitalism, while simultaneously claiming to be a capitalist.

forest on February 11, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Very well put Forest.

Odie1941 on February 11, 2010 at 10:52 AM

The government will pass a law forcing employers to increase total employees by 20% based on their current total.
rogerb on February 11, 2010 at 10:44 AM

The Won is SO ready to go there. Just listen again to his comments during the December “jobs summit” where he intimated that business owners were greedily holding on to profits rather than turning them loose by hiring people. He will try to force private enterprises to hire more people before this is done, mark my words.

ya2daup on February 11, 2010 at 11:05 AM

But give Obama a break on this one.

No Ed, not a chance. This man is destroying the world’s last best hope willfully. How can you even consider giving a break to this avowed marxist/world citizen/anti “white establishment” person?

wepeople on February 11, 2010 at 11:26 AM

…mark my words.

ya2daup on February 11, 2010 at 11:05 AM

It worked out so well with making sure “underserved communities” could buy houses, so I don’t see the problem.

rogerb on February 11, 2010 at 11:27 AM

The Won is SO ready to go there. Just listen again to his comments during the December “jobs summit” where he intimated that business owners were greedily holding on to profits rather than turning them loose by hiring people. He will try to force private enterprises to hire more people before this is done, mark my words.

ya2daup on February 11, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Well, good luck with that one. What profits? We’re barely holding our own. Had to close the shop and set up our office in a spare room in our home. We do our prep work in our barn now. We keep zero inventory and only buy what we need per project. Our employed were people with kids. It broke my heart to let them go. They were part of our family. I really, really despise the WON who has no idea what he has done and is doing.

elclynn on February 11, 2010 at 11:41 AM

He’s meeting with Al Sharpton and ministers on the issue. What good will that do? What do they know about economics?

elclynn on February 11, 2010 at 9:50 AM

If the smartest guy to ever figure out how to turn down the feedback on a bullhorn can’t get us on the right track, how is him asking his dumber fellow bullhorners going to get any decent answers?

rogerb on February 11, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Maybe he’s getting the word out for all the minority businesses to take advantage of this, assuring them if their business goes kablooey, the government will bail them out and they won’t have to repay the loans.

Alana on February 11, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Obama wouldn’t have the smarts to manage an ice cream truck. I find it absolutely funny, that those liberals that keep hounding it out there that Obama’s a genius. He’s brilliant. He’s the smartest president we’ve ever had, and the guy doesn’t understand the simple basics of supply, and demand, payrolls etc…

So why is it, the left can’t figure out their arrogance is doing them in? Could it be, because they’re drowning in their own elitism, the brain damage set in? LOL

capejasmine on February 11, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Even govt used to know that borrowing was not to be used for expenses. Until John Lindsay’s term as mayor, NYC never used bond money for day to day expenditures. Bonds were sold to finance capital improvements. Since Lindsay’s time NYC has used bond money to pay salaries, hire workers, provide welfare benefits. That’s not worked out too well for the Apple.
My friend runs a surveying business in NYC. He’s had to lay off one of his men because there’s little real estate activity. He’s not going to hire him back at 40K because he will get a $2500 tax credit unless there’s a rise in market activity. And he’s not going to seek a loan to do so without that increase in demand.Obama and his Ivy League and U of Chi advisers have no sense of how private business actually makes decisions on borrowing and spending.

xkaydet65 on February 11, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Warm Roadkill? Ahh…I can only dream of Warm Roadkill. All I get for dinner is a bowl of Hot Gravel.

Army Brat on February 11, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Warm Roadkill? Ahh…I can only dream of Warm Roadkill. All I get for dinner is a bowl of Hot Gravel.

Army Brat on February 11, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Well, at this time of year in the Upper Peninsula roadkill ends up quick frozen. But, then again, it keeps till spring when you throw it in the back of the pickup truck.

Yoop on February 11, 2010 at 1:23 PM

It’s more than that. First, no, we don’t borrow money to hire people unless it’s to take advantage of a market opportunity very quickly – even then, it’s risky. Next, it’s the uncertainty, stupid. You only take risks you can quantify. How do you quantify any of this? The Obama presidency is the equivalent of, “This looks like a pretty big f’ing storm. We’d better wait it out.”
What this really shows is that Obama has not actually talked to any small businessmen. (And btw, how do you talk to a “business?” They’re run by people, jerk off.) He is talking about some theoretical petri dish business school version of business. Nobody in the real world works that way. (Not if they expect to stay in business, anyway.)

Pablo Snooze on February 11, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Comment pages: 1 2