September 08, 2011

Obama jobs speech blogging - hypocrisy's bad moon on rise

1. Hypocrisy in infrastructure, in talking about Chinese building bridges for America. (In case you don't know the reference, large parts of the refurbished Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge were built in China.) In the parallel case of "green jobs," the Obama Administration refuses to do anything about China subsidizing such jobs itself, even as his own administration touts Chinese job creation:
Last week, for instance, the White House's U.S. trade representative, Ron Kirk, said we shouldn't be concerned with jobs that are about "making things that, frankly, we don't want to make in America -- you know, cheaper products, low-skill jobs."
Just a few short grafs show how much of a disconnect there is between Obama the myth and Obama the reality.

The hypocrisy is repeated later, with "corporate tax breaks for creating jobs in America" even as the administration promotes new free trade treaties ("strangely" not mentioned tonight), treaties with claimed job gains without mention of job losses, or average wages of either added or lost jobs.

Add to the hypocrisy with Obama's "made in America."

He later says we don't need to cut collective bargaining rights, cut pollution protections, etc. as part of a "race to the bottom," but doesn't tell us how that squares with neolib outsourcing of jobs, etc.

2. "Cutting red tape"? Small businesses say they're not worried about that. Reality? Big biz members of the U.S. Chamber don't like them, especially any that regulate pollution. (Actually, failure to better regulate finance-based big biz, including insurers, hurt small companies) True, Dear Leader may have to pander to outside-the-Beltway stereotypes a bit, but ... he did this on the smog regs too. (And, no, they weren't that legally indefensible, as California Sen. Barbara Boxer showed by her call for somebody to sue the administration.

3. The tax credit for long-term unemployed? A good one. But ... combine it, behind the scenes, with the "stick" of hinted-at Department of Labor investigations of companies that run the "no unemployed need apply" ads. The hint of likely age discrimination lawsuits would get some attention.

4. Calling the GOP out on the FICA tax "holiday" continuing or not? Brilliant politically, but Social Security/Medicare taxes should never have been cut in the first place. The Earned Income Tax Credit should have been expanded instead.

5. What are "modest adjustments" to Medicare and Medicaid? Not mentioned. That said, cue up the Catfood Commission. Such "modest adjustments" will include raising the eligibility age for Medicare, which will have more looking at using Medicaid more.

6. What is a "fair share" of taxation for the rich, other than finally getting the Bush Obama tax cuts to expire? No details.

7. "We're all rugged individualists"? No, we're not. Many of the original 13 colonies were founded as royal colonies, or else royal land grants to pay debts. We've not been rugged individualists since then.

OK, a few pundits. Paul Krugman likes it, on paper at least, for politics as well as job help. David Brooks is skeptical of most of the hiring tax credits, saying they'll more likely go for people already employed moving to a new job. (That's why the credit for hiring the long-term unemployed was a bright spot.) The Atlantic's James Fallows likes the rhetoric of the "pass this jobs bill."

Summary, on a 10-star scale:
Political side NNNNNN
Content side NNNN

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