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Sep 10, 2011

Jobs plan, an exercise in grandstanding.

Cartoon: By Lisa Benson

The much-hyped ‘Jobs Speech’ has been relatively predictable in format. Cuts to payroll tax were unexpected and will have a positive effect but may be worse than negated by his ‘deficit plan’ which he says will include revamping the tax code by eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies and the wealthy. Essentially he has not given up on his tax and spend obsession.

This was always going to be an exercise in political posturing, which was emphasized by his attempt to present the speech to coincide with the GOP Presidential debate, which helps to decide his successor. Any real leader who was serious about gaining the sort of consensus needed to move something like this through a hostile Congress would have the smarts to use a little protocol and tact in the process.

There has already been around a $trillion spent in stimulus on his watch, which was supposed to keep unemployment below 8%. It seems incredible that he now wants more of the same, given that the much larger amount has proven ineffective. What is that saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different result this time?

A number of states rejected stimulus funding the last time around on the basis that they were designed to create expensive programs that would leave those states with ongoing heavy expenditure after the federal funds cut out. The proposal to grant funds to reverse some of the budget balancing measures that have been taken by the saner states just kicks the can further down the road.

What is needed is tax cuts combined with elimination of the deficit, with a side dressing of the removal of the job killing regulation that has occurred for too long.

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