After months under fire for producing no plan to address the debt, deficit and unemployment, the president has at last decided to … give another speech. The Washington Times reports:
Seeking a jolt for a wilting economy, President Obama will give a major speech in early September to announce new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class, a senior administration official told the Associated Press.
The president’s plan is likely to contain tax cuts, jobs-boosting infrastructure ideas and steps that would specifically help the long-term unemployed. The official emphasized that all of Mr. Obama’s proposals would be fresh ones, not a rehash of plans he has pitched for many weeks and still supports, including his “infrastructure bank” idea to finance construction jobs.
On a significant and related front, Mr. Obama also will present a specific plan to cut the suffocating long-term national debt and to pay for the cost of his new short-term economic ideas.
His debt proposal will be bigger than the $1.5 trillion package that a new “supercommittee” of Congress must come up with by late November.
Hmm. Sounds a little like the budget speech he gave in April — a roundabout way of addressing the problem without addressing the problem and, more importantly, without committing to a concrete plan. As the CBO director said of Obama’s budget speech, “We don’t score speeches.” Similarly, a speech won’t change the realities to which job creators respond.
And, frankly, I’m not holding my breath to hear much “new” from a president who hasn’t had a new idea since the legislation that profoundly deepened this mess (and yes, that would be Obamacare!). Supposedly, the tax cuts the president will pitch will amount to more than the payroll tax cut extension he’s talked about heretofore — but, for all we know, that could mean a payroll tax cut for employers as well as employees (both of which exacerbate the underlying driver of our debt — rapidly impending entitlement insolvency).
More not to look for: Any assumption of responsibility from the president, who, as he has toured the Midwest to make the case to the American people that he has “stabilized” the economy (in the words of the dear Democratic National Committee Chairwoman), has made a point to paint an image of this Congress as the do-nothing obstacle to his purportedly proactive leadership. Although … if he’s referring to the Senate’s refusal to produce a budget, then I agree with him! Still, the guy’s like a poor baseball player batting .222 and hoping to lead the team in hitting, not by improving himself but by tearing his teammates down. The president’s approval rating stands at an all-time low — but no matter as long as he can manage to make Congress and his GOP competitors look worse.