If President Obama wanted to highlight his befuddlement about what creates jobs, he hit pay dirt on the day when the latest U.S. unemployment report was released.
Try to get a handle on his activities, as reported not by conservative radio or websites but by Obama-friendly National Public Radio on the same day that we learned joblessness had risen to 8.2 percent in May:
“[The president] and other White House officials have gotten plenty of practice in trying to put the best face on dissatisfying economic numbers while trying to stay on the offensive,” NPR reported. “Obama, for instance, had a visit to a Honeywell plant in Minnesota on his Friday schedule so he could talk up his initiative to encourage employers to hire military veterans. It was part of a strategy to show that he has ideas for improving the nation’s job picture.”
Let us stipulate that employers are doing noble work and deserve commendation if they make extra efforts to give troops returning from places such as Afghanistan and Iraq a good shot at employment.
Nonetheless, the fact that Obama apparently thinks a federal initiative to encourage more hiring of veterans is going to improve employment as a whole is as telling a sign of his cluelessness as almost any he has shown so far in his three and a half years in office.
Promoting the hiring of one group of individuals — however deserving they are for the sacrifices they made for their country — is not in itself going to create jobs or a net increase in employment. It merely shifts hiring from one group of Americans to another. (Which, come to think of it, sounds a good deal like Obama’s views on income.) It suggests the president is more focused on rearranging employment than in growing it — or at least that he hasn’t the foggiest idea what grows jobs and is now reduced to grasping at a diminishing pile of straws.
At this point in his administration, though, it is too much to hope that he suddenly will recognize the colossal failure of his big-spending policies to create jobs and economic growth. The election is only five months away. Admitting that the “stimulus” failed and that the threat of heavy regulation of business via laws such as ObamaCare has scared companies and entrepreneurs away from investing and creating jobs would exact too high a political price.
No, Obama is going to try to ride this one out through November. There will be cosmetic changes at best to his economic approach, and the blaming of President George W. Bush for today’s economic woes will continue without a letup.
That some of today’s troubles are indeed the fault of free-spending Bush cannot possibly begin to excuse Obama’s unmitigated fiscal recklessness. Still, if the American people buy the excuses and keep Obama in office four more years, our country will be perhaps irretrievably different — for the worse.
Whom will he blame then?