Lately President Obama really hasn’t had to do anything to advance in the polls, and as Election Day creeps ever closer it seems that he is almost assured a second term. I say this because of all of the missteps, and hiccups the Romney/Ryan campaign has had ever since the GOP national convention ended last month. Sure, the secret recording of Mitt Romney at a $50,000 a plate fund raiser is not exactly Mitt’s fault, but those were his words none-the-less; and a rational person has to admit that what he said isn’t exactly good. So, with the Mitt campaign in constant damage control, all President Obama has to do is sit back like the Simpsons’ character Montgomery Burns and say . . .
Well, President Obama is no longer going to just sit idly by waiting for November 6th (Election Day) for him to sweep into power for four more years. He and his campaign are now putting a little more pressure on the gas pedal, hoping to build a further lead on the disintegrating Romney/Ryan campaign, I guess with the hopes that they will have such an overwhelming victory as to claim some sort of mandate by the people. So, the Obama campaign released the following 2 minute advertisement calling for a “New Economic Patriotism.”
Okay, so you watched that advertisement and thought, “That sounds nice; that’s what we need.” Sure it does, that is why it is called an advertisement. Can you think of any advertisement out there, for a product or politician, that tells you how horrible either the product or politician is? Of course not; even the negative political ads change tone and music towards the end as they tell you how great the candidate who endorsed them is.
Going back to the President’s ad, and thinking rationally, what does it say? Well, there is a lot of nothing there for starters. By that I mean he states that “First we create a million new manufacturing jobs.” Okay, how? The government does not create jobs, the market does, and in case you didn’t know there is a worldwide slump in demand, which puts downward pressure on manufacturing. So, unless he is going to decree that we all start buying stuff (he already mandated that we all buy health insurance, so I guess this is possible), then I don’t think “we,” as he puts it, can “create” many new manufacturing jobs until there is a rise in demand.
Next he tells us how “we” are going to increase our exports. Fantastic, but again, there is a worldwide economic crunch going on, so unless his decrees can make citizens of other countries buy our stuff, (His administration has already strong armed foreign banks to release confidential client information, so I guess this too is possible) then all I have to say is, “Good luck with that.”
The next step is that “we” give tax breaks to companies that invest in America, not ship jobs overseas. Meh, this might have a short term affect, however it is in direct contradiction to his earlier statement that “trickle-down economics” doesn’t work – this idea of his IS trickle-down economics.
The next grandiose thing “we” will do is to cut our oil imports in half and invest in domestic energy production, such as oil, clean coal, natural gas, and green or renewable energies like wind and solar. Umm, has anyone been paying attention to this administration’s energy policies the last four years? They are decidedly not for the expansion of domestic fossil fuel production, and their record on solar isn’t too good either <cough> Solyndra; and don’t get me started on corruption, with Sen. Harry Reid (Dem., NV) giving preferential treatment to his son’s company to work with a Chinese firm in developing a solar farm in Nevada.
The next step is to “prepare” 100,000 new math and science teachers, expand spending on community colleges, and “cutting the growth of tuition in half, and expanding student aid so more Americans can afford it.” I have to admit, this is some good sounding stuff here. First let’s look at the new math and science teachers proposal. There is a dearth of teachers for these subjects, that’s for sure. However, given all of the mandates handed down by the Federal Department of Education, essentially telling ALL teachers, regardless of subject, what topics to teach, and almost how to teach them, so that students can regurgitate these lessons on a standardized test, then you could add a million new teachers and the quality of knowledge being taught will not improve. How do I know this? Well, we as a nation spend more per child on education than other countries, almost $2,000 more than the UK, and yet our student’s test scores are near the bottom. Knowing this I’d say that the Federal Dept. of Education is a glorious money pit and failure. Then there is the idea of cutting tuition growth in half. This idea shows a complete and utter lack of understanding in how markets work. If there is an increased demand for something then the cost of that something goes up; it is that simple. So by making it easier for students to get federal aid for tuition, then there will be more students wanting to go to college, which means that the cost of tuition will go up. That is unless “we,” meaning he, nationalizes the university system, but then the quality of higher education will fall, see again the failure of the Federal Dept. of Education.
Then there is the “balanced plan” to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion over the course of a decade. How? First, if all things are considered equal, and the deficit just stays static for the next 10 years, then this reduction simply takes the deficit down to only $12 trillion. That isn’t exactly getting us out of the hole we as a nation are in. However, all things are not equal, and I can assure you with many, if not all, of the proposals in this commercial will require further deficit spending; so this little snippet sounds good, but it won’t amount to any substantive improvement in our country’s finances. He does state that by “asking” the wealthy to pay a little more, and rolling over the cost of the war in Afghanistan into doing some nation building right here at home, so that’s something – right? It has been well documented that even with that “little” more chipped into the federal coffers by the wealthy will be equivalent to spitting into the ocean with regards to having a substantive impact on the deficit. Then there is the fact that both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been “paid for” using unfunded liabilities (read debt) so rolling those costs into nation building right here at home does not reduce government expenditures. At best it maintains the current levels of deficit spending; at worst the deficit spending increases – neither situation solves the problem.
The advertisement closes with President Obama calling for a “new economic patriotism” with a belief that growing our economy requires a strong middle class. Fantastic, and it is true, a thriving economy does require a vibrant and growing middle class. However, as stated towards the beginning the entire world in the midst of an economic slowdown, where the consumer is as tapped out as many of the world’s governments. As is also stated at the beginning, the government cannot create jobs, the market does. The problem isn’t too little government, it is too much government.
Finally I want to address this “new economic patriotism.” What in the hell does that mean? I interpret this as basically saying that it is patriotic for us to work for the betterment of the government not you, or your family. It is a poorly veiled advocacy for a larger, socialist government; and as a believer in the founding principles of this republic, which are about the individual’s right to life, liberty (freedom), and the pursuit of happiness; I find that little tid-bit smells an awful lot like communist propaganda, which as one who grew up during the cold war, and a student of history, I find downright un-American.
If democracy, in essence, means the abolition of class domination, then why should not a socialist minister charm the whole bourgeois world by orations on class collaboration? (Vladimir Lenin)