Between his interview with George Stephanopoulos for ABC’s This Week and his Rose Garden speech today commemorating the start of the financial crisis and housing bubble bursting that lead this nation into recess(followed by 4 and 1/2 years of economic malaise) it is clear that President Obama’s policy relating to economics is to blame Republicans and push for more wealth redistribution.
During Obama’s interview with Stephanopoulos they had this exchange:
STEPHANOPOULOS: (Inaudible) 95 percent of the gains to the top 1 percent. That is so striking.
OBAMA: It is. And the folks at — in the middle and at the bottom haven’t seen wage or income growth, not just over the last three, four years, but over the last 15 years.
And so everything that I’ve done has been designed to, number one, stabilize the economy, get it growing again, start producing jobs again; number two, trying to push against these trends that had been happening for decades now.
The facts are this recovery under President Obama by all measures has been the worst/weakest since the Great Depression. So far this year 77 percent of all jobs created have been part-time jobs or temporary. Any drop in the unemployment rate under President Obama has been almost exclusively due to the massive number of people who have left the labor force, driving that to a 30 year low, and stopped looking for work. If those people were counted towards the unemployment rate, it would be well over 11 percent.
It is kind of hard for folks in the middle to have any economic gains when they are working part-time, thank you Obamacare, and the median household income has dropped over Obama’s tenure. The “wealth gap” also isn’t helped when there are more than 20 million Americans out of work.
Steph and Obama also had this exchange:
Stephanopoulos: Do you look at that, four and a half years in, and say, “Maybe a president just can’t stop this accelerating inequality?”
OBAMA: No, I think — I think the president can stop it. I — the problem is that there continues to be a major debate here in Washington. And that is: how do we respond to these underlying trends?
If you look at the data, a couple of things are creating these trends.
Number one, globalization. Right? Capital, companies, they can move businesses and jobs anywhere they want. And so they’re looking for the lowest wages. That squeezes workers here in the United States, even if corporations are profitable.
Technology: if you go to a lot of companies now, they’ve eliminated entire occupations because they’re now robotized. We don’t have travel agents. We don’t have bank tellers.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s bigger than Washington.
OBAMA: Right. So there’s a whole bunch of stuff that’s happening in the marketplace. But if we have policies that make sure that our kids are prepared for higher skilled jobs, if we have policies that make sure that we’re rebuilding our infrastructure — because a robot can’t build a road — and we need, you know, new ports and a smarter electricity grid, if we’re making investments to make sure that research and development continues to happen here, if we have tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States as opposed to overseas, all those things can make the situation better.
It doesn’t solve the problem entirely, but it pushes against these trends. And the problem that we’ve got right now is you’ve got a portion of Congress who — whose policies don’t just want to, you know, leave things alone, they actually want to accelerate these trends.
There’s no serious economist out there that would suggest that, if you took the Republican agenda of slashing education further, slashing Medicare further, slashing research and development further, slashing investments in infrastructure further, that that would reverse some of these trends of inequality.
ATM’s are what 30 years old, people have been getting their travel arraignments made via the internet for some 15 years. These are not the cause of any of our economic ills. Massive government debt, high taxes, burdensome regulations, Obamacare, and a Marxist President are.
Now when it comes to Republican policies what we are trying to do is put education into the hands and control of parents not Washington beuracrats by advocating school choice, vouchers(something Obama killed off for DC area kids), and less control/power for teachers unions. We already spend tens of billions of dollars each year for education, money is not the problem, priorities and effectiveness are. Spending more money on education is the same as throwing pasta at a wall.
When it comes to Medicare what Obama is talking about is Paul Ryan’s plan to save the damn thing from insolvency which is going to happen in less than a decade.
And when Obama says we need more infrastructure spending just remember that because of federal law(s) including the Davis-Bacon Act and Project Labor Agreements any federal money for infrastructure has to either go to a union(which overwhelmingly supports Democrat politicians like Obama) or has to be paid out at union wages driving up the cost of the project.
Now when it comes to inequality in economics for people it is the belief of Republicans, conservatives, and the Tea Party that such an issue is best addressed by the individual striving to better their own life not getting some kind of handout from the government or the government tipping the scales to make everyone equal. We do not what equal results for people(that’s what Obama wants). We want people to have an equal opportunity to succeed or fail on their own.
This inequality that so bothers President Obama can be addressed by getting the government out of people and businesses way so that they can create products, goods, and services that people want, need, and desire. If we dumped the current progressive federal income tax for a flat tax the American people would prosper. If we dumped the job killing nightmare that is Obamacare the people would be better off. If we stopped the EPA from waging a war against energy producers this inequality would lessen. But then again those are free-market, free-enterprise, capitalist notions and so Obama will have none of it because he is a Marxist.
Here is one last bit for Obama’s interview on This Week:
Obama: And when it comes to budgets, we’ve never had the situation in which a party said that, you know, unless we get our way 100 percent, then we’re going to let the United States default.
That’s never happened, George. That didn’t happen when you were working here in the White House.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But there were reforms added to the debt limit legislation.
OBAMA: The — George, I think it’s fair to say, you — that never in history have we used just making sure that the U.S. government is paying its bills as a lever to radically cut government at the kind of scale that they’re talking about. It’s never happened before.
There have been negotiations around the corners, because nobody had ever presumed that you’d actually threaten the United States to default.
Please allow me to educate President Obama about the government shutdown of 1995 the last time we were in a situation like this(not counting the last three years). In 1995 Speaker Gingrich and House Republicans shut the federal government down for weeks in order to get President Clinton to agree to a few things. One of them was welfare reform. Another was setting the table so that the federal budget could get balanced over the course of Clinton’s second term. Two things he touts to this day as major accomplishments of his administration but things that would have never happened unless Newt and the boys(and girls) force Clinton’s hand.
Now as far a default on the nations debt goes that is something that could only happen if President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew chose not to make debt payments. As was often pointed out to President Obama last time around, current tax revenue each month is around $200 billion that is plenty for debt payments, Social Security, Medicare, the military and still leaves several tens of billions of dollars left over for other obligations of the federal government. Of course that would require President Obama and the rest of Washington prioritize spending, which is something they don’t want to do.
If everyone remembers a then candidate Obama said that the $4 trillion in new debt over eight years that President George W. Bush had accumulated was “unpatriotic”. To date President Obama has accrued nearly $6 trillion in new debt in 4 and 1/2 years. That is why we have the issue of raising the nation’s debt limit on the table. Of course we have to make significant budget cuts because he has racked up a gargantuan bill on the backs of generations not yet born.
In his speech today in the Rose Garden President Obama continued with the attacks on Republicans and his demands of more wealth redistribution.
First up he defended the indefensible; Obamacare:(h/t Weasel Zippers)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: So let’s put this in perspective. The Affordable Care Act has been the law for three-and-a-half years now. It passed both houses of Congress. The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. It was an issue in last year’s election, and the candidate who called for repeal lost. […]
A lot of the, you know, horror stories that were predicted about how this was going to shoot rates way up and there were going to be death panels and all that stuff, none of that stuff’s happened. And in two weeks, the Affordable Care Act is going to help millions of more people. And there’s no serious evidence that the law, which has helped to keep down the rise in health care costs to their lowest level in 50 years, is holding back economic growth
I could write several thousand words about how wrong everything in that statement is but I’ll save my keyboard and just direct everyone to Truth About Obamacare.com
President Obama also said today:
[A]nd I understand, I will never convince some Republicans about the merits of Obamacare. I understand that. And I’m more than willing to work with them where they’ve got specific suggestions that they can show will make our health care system work better. Remember, initially this was like repeal and replace, and the replace thing has kind of gone off to the wayside. Now it’s just repeal.
But the larger point is, after all that we’ve been through these past five years, after all the work Americans like those standing behind me have done to come back from the depths of a crisis, are some of these folks really so beholden to one extreme wing of their party that they’re willing to tank the entire economy just because they can’t get their way on this issue? Are they really willing to hurt people just to score political points? I hope not.
Let’s be clear there is no fixing Obamacare it is a flawed piece of legislation from page one. How are conservatives and Republicans supposed to fix the individual mandate(one of the laws key elements) when we oppose the very concept of it today(even more so now thanks to Chief Justice Roberts defense of it). What kind of change to the law, outside of outright repeal, would restore workers work weeks back to 40 hours.
Every problem that comes up because of Obamacare, from privacy, to the HHS abortion mandate, cannot be fixed by changes a few pages of the legislation. Our economy, our health care system, and this nation are suffering mightily because of Obamacare and the only way we can stop it is to stave it of its funding until such time as it can be repealed.
But, with the Obamacare subsides set to kick in soon the fear is this will become yet another entitlement that once started will never be undone.
For the good of the country we have to defund Obamcare in the CR.
Finally President Obama had a message today for the liberal-moderate GOP establishment:
BARACK OBAMA: [L]et’s stop the threats. Let’s stop the political posturing, Let’s keep our government open. Let’s pay our bills on time. Let’s pass a budget. Let’s work together to do what the American people sent us here to do: Create jobs; grow our economy; expand opportunity.
That’s what we need to do.
As far as the budget goes, it’s time for responsible Republicans who share these goals – and there are a number of folks out there who I think are decent folks — I’ve got some disagreements with them on some issues — but I think genuinely want to see the economy grow and want what’s best for the American people.
It’s time for those Republicans to step up,
After attacking and demonizing Republicans yesterday and today now he wants the help of the likes of Speaker Boehner, Eric Cantor, and John McCain.
Good grief this little man needs a new tune and a new set of ideas, preferably the kind grounded in Adam Smith and not Karl Marx