The inherent flaws of Obama's jobs plan

Last night President Obama addressed a joint-session of Congress to announce his proposed answer to boosting American employment. The proposal, called the American Jobs Act, calls for Congress to approve a $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending initiatives. The largest chunks of this package would be directed at cutting employee payroll taxes and providing tax cut incentives to employers who hire American who have been out of work for six months or longer. Next comes a good-sized chunk on "investments" for highways, rails and airports. The next good piece of this package focuses on rehiring of teachers and first responders.

The American Jobs Act proposal has been illustrated in a pie graph at this Thomas Reuters page.


Why this proposal, if passed, would be a modern exercise in Uborous practice, or to put it more bluntly, a course toward obliterating for any hope of renewed American prosperity.

Uberous (or Ourborous) is an ancient symbol of the snake eating its own tail. In ages past it represented a myriad of arcane philosophies, but today it is also known as a symbol for one who is his own most dangerous enemy.


1. Tax breaks for employers are a great thing -but without industry the hopeful out of work do not have a place to even put in an application. For years the government has been running wild on coming up with new and more oppressive regulations that business owners must comply with. Business owners who have attempted to keep their operations in the U.S. have had to declare bankruptcy time and again because they simply cannot afford the regulatory expenses billed by the government. Giving tax breaks to employers while at the same time forcing their businesses out of existence is tantamount to giving a child a spoon with one hand while snatching away the plate with the other.

Unless Obama, his administration and his allies in the Senate and Congress are willing to do away with the ferocious power of regulatory agencies American-based industry will not grow. It is that simple.

2. Whatever short-termed work projects Obama's plan may generate, without affordable oil and gas consumers cannot continue buying products, even American-made products. The price of gasoline is outrageous and yet the administration is unwilling to open and utilize our national resources for production. So Americans are still forced to pay almost $4 for a gallon of gas. It may not sound so bad to high salaried government officials if the average American can fill a tank once a week and still get to work and back home (if they have a job, of course). What is killing us at the stores, however, is the driving price tag behind what we see on the shelves. Whether the merchandise is vegetables, meat, dairy, coffee, milk, butter, sugar, water, cooking oil, whatever, shipment for getting these items into stores is a huge strain on the producer. This strain is passed along to the consumer. For American-based industries, once their clients can no longer shoulder this passing along of shipping costs, the manufacturer/producer goes out of business.

3. Trade agreements that are unfriendly to American employment are still not being addressed and Obama's plan gave no hint of any plans to rectify the situation. The consequences of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have been, for years, unhealthy for U.S. manufacturing jobs. These agreements 1. encourage unbalanced import and export fees that actively contribute to the decline of American prosperity, 2. encourage corporate executives to set up business in other countries using much cheaper labor. The consequence of this is higher cost of products to American customers. It is one thing for President Obama to call on Congress to make bold moves for job creation, but where is his boldness to make a move to breaking free of these crippling agreements?

4. Tax loopholes used and misused by greedy corporate giants, e.g. General Electric. While other American businesses have been forced overseas by the mere necessity to survive, these greedy giants prosper at unseemly proportions by manipulation of the tax codes. This practice goes hand in hand with unfair Trade agreements. Frankly, the greedy will always be able to hire lawyers to manipulate the system as long as they are allowed by law to do so. They have and they will continue to set up sweat shops as allowed by uncaring foreign governments and their CEO's will not stay out of the beds of likewise unethical politicians while the U.S. law makers look the other way. Again I say that Obama needs boldness, and call for reform in this area. I can only see him doing this if he truly cares more about American jobs than the interests of the elite minority. As General Electric stands as the prime example of this kind of tax manipulator, Obama should further man up by removing Jeffrey Immelt immediately as the chair of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. It is a mockery of unemployed Americans that this man has anything to do with the U.S. government's alleged job-making policies.

5. The "Teaching rehiring" aspect of the package pie should raise a red flag for every parent in the United States. As the economy has lingered in recession school systems have been forced to make cutbacks. I know how cutbacks play out in the school system my own children attend, and I imagine it works similarly throughout the nation. First they cut out the essentials they figure parents can contribute to like cleaning supplies, detergents, antibacterial gel, antibacterial sprays and sanitary hand wipes (because, you know, today's schools have to be a lot cleaner than what we parents had back in our stone-age barbarian days). Next they stop providing extra actual need items such as pencils, paper, calculators, erasers, white boards, white board erasers, paper towels, toilet tissue, pens, glue, ect., and so they hit up the parents to contribute extras on these things for the whole class(es). Then they will "cut back" by forcing children to study with year-old textbooks, six-month old gym balls, gym uniforms handed down from the previous year and plates and utensils that actually have to be washed by soap, water and human hands. The next thing to go on the cut-back list will be liberal arts classes -they won't touch football or any of the major sports thingies- and transfer the liberal arts teachers to service as aids in more "important" classes such as study hall, health/sex class and the all important Intervention Class, aka sensitivity training or personal/social introspection session. When the school boards finally realize that none of these cut-backs are saving the money they want then and only then do they start letting teachers go.

It is always the non-tenure teachers who go first. But even at this the Teachers Union will step in at this point and protest that teachers are receiving a bum rap.And the union will fight hard against any tyrant who has dissed a salaried, unappreciated teacher.

This union has historically been the first and loudest group to decry the sorry conditions facing our schools. The first to point to other countries and say hey, scholastic excellence is missing here. The first to charge that our children are being deprived. By the same token, as soon as any federal money comes into a district the Union will demand that the first priority is to increase teacher salaries. Not use the monies for pencils, paper, toilet tissue, glue or even -gods forbid- re-open the drama department. No, the money must be used toward increasing teacher salaries.

I don't scold lightly here, because my oldest son recently graduated college and plans to become an English teacher. I want him to have a successful career, I want him to earn good money to support his family. What I do not want is my son -or anyone's son or daughter- to enter a field where they expect to be taken care of. If you want to talk about unnecessary entitlements look at our current teaching industry. Too many teachers have spent their entire adult lives in the land of Academia. They have no idea what it means to work every day, week, month and year without a three month holiday, without extended holiday breaks, without federal grants money, without hope one of that brass ring called tenure. The majority of the rest of us have had to cut back on our living expenses. It is time teachers step back and if they really care about the quality of education, let the cuts fall in more responsible ways. By being as thrifty as the rest of us must be they can help eliminate the burden on educational funding. If that burden lifts then rehiring can commence without any federal mandate. But the burden will not lift as long as the Teachers Union and teachers themselves believe they are owed a standard of living that most of us can only dream of earning.

6. In his speech the President stressed the construction jobs part of his plan. Now the building of roads, highways, rail systems and airports are all good and well if and when needed. Creating a false urgency for these kind of projects was what the Stimulus Bill was all about. Those non-needed projects offered only temporary employment. Often the projects went unfinished. Worse, when left to the muse of governmental officials several of these projects commanded a high taxpayer cost while providing only a handful or less of actual jobs. What lasting thing did the American public get in return for the Stimulus Bill? A furthered burden on our national debt. And after the urgent jobs could no longer be paid for and were left to gather dust on unfinished roads and rails? More unemployment.

What this President doesn’t act like he understands is this: Without real industry no one is going to have money to buy the gas that runs the cars that travel the highways that lead to the schools that prepares for the jobs that don’t exist.

The sad part is I believe Obama does understand this. Why else would he have the CEO of one of the world’s sleaziest corporations chairing his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness? Obama has called for more taxes on the rich. Meanwhile, G.E. recently moved both its medical research and production and its aircraft production to China. Immelt and cronies were excited about these moves. Ooh, boy howdy, you go girlfriends, cough, cough.

Now I’m far from being a rich woman, but even from the working class bleachers I know a lump of poop on the field when I see it. Obama’s words may sound like a cheer for Unemployed Americans, but his loyalties lay with the opposing team. And even if I am wrong and President Obama really does have concern for Unemployed Americans, his plan is doomed for failure. It is the same old same old Highway to Oblivion that evolved from the Stimulus Bill. We've heard it all before. The only hope we have to avoid that highway again is for Congress not to swallow the snake's tail again. There are only so many times even the most stalwart and resilient of snakes can regurgitate and survive.

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Comments 20 comments

GNelson profile image

GNelson 5 years ago from Florida

It is a shame that we have to compete for jobs with countries that work children like slaves and treat workers like cattle. Welcome to the world economy. America should set the standard not lower our standards to macth the third world.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 5 years ago from Tennesee Author

GNelson, I agree.


Nick Lucas 5 years ago

I like the way you described the problem with regulations and why tax breaks do not work if there are no jobs. Great article!


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

U.S. workers have outpriced themselves from the labor market. Globalization may be an ugly word but that is a reality and no amount of flag waving can change the fact that people are in business to make profit. In a dog eat dog environment the Machiavellian "end justifies the means" prevails if one is to survive.So we see U.S companies setting up shop in China,outsourcing jobs to countries providing cheaper labor.lobbying and exploiting tax loopholes.The human right to work and be engage in productive employment in the pursuit of happiness and a better life takes a back seat when the profit margins are concerned.Like the Ourborous snake it is a vicious cycle.The question is it the people who are in charge or the system that is flawed and dangerous. BTW I learn a new word....Uberous :) Thanks.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 5 years ago from Tennesee Author

Nick Lucas, thank you.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 5 years ago from Tennesee Author

SilentReed, you point out a clear and all too human truth. The thing about Machiavellian practice, however, is that sooner or later "The Prince" is dethroned by the consequences of his own amoral actions. Thanks for stopping by; I enjoyed reading your reply.


Barbara Hansen 5 years ago

I am so thrilled to read your Hubs and your explanations on what others may say and do. (And I am talking government here...) It is so good to hear and see the truth that fancy words and evasions cover up with the muck and the mire. Keep writing, bethperry, and I will keep reading and learning.....thank you!!!


bethperry profile image

bethperry 5 years ago from Tennesee Author

And thank you Barbara :)


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 5 years ago from upstate, NY

bethperry -

Like your very accurate analogy about the snake eating its own tail to the goverment being its own worst enemy- The more the government trys to do the worse thing get!

Good point about regulations driving business away! When the government intrudes excessively in the private sector, investors become uncertain and wait to see what the government will do next. Meanwhile, the individuals with the money to invest are sitting on a mountain of cash, while unemployment reaches record high in a sluggish economy. Terrific commentary!- WBA


PoliticsNOW profile image

PoliticsNOW 5 years ago from New York

It does not matter what Obama tries to do. The right will NOT let him suceed. The right has NO PLAN for jobs. Their only plan is to make Obama fail. They want high unemployment it leads to low poll numbers for Obama. They said it themseves. So while the jobless Americans suffer make sure you blame the right people. The Republican jobs plan is tax breaks for the rich. Well we spent 3 trillion and lost 8 million jobs. Tax cuts won't create jobs and asking the rich to pay 4% more should not be a big deal. Its time to end the Bush tax cuts and use that money to invest in the USA!


bethperry profile image

bethperry 5 years ago from Tennesee Author

WBA, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. And I agree up to a point; I do think that some with the money would invest if they were just allowed that option. But the regulations, yes, that is what is tying the hands of those with best intentions.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 5 years ago from Tennesee Author

PoliticsNOW, thanks for your comment. While I do think there are some ultra-elitists among the Right who focus on helping the rich stay rich and nothing else, I feel blaming the Right alone is stilted thinking. Sacrificing American potential via regulations, earmarking monies for unions and jumping in bed with foreign oil distributors are all tactics of the Left. There is a middle path, one that utilizes logic, fair taxation and investments in business right here in America. The extremes of both parties are guilty of putting ideology and Good Ole Boy politics above the American people. You are right when you say "invest in the USA", but let's do it across the board and without pandering to any political ideology.


Rheagl profile image

Rheagl 5 years ago

I agree with you bethperry. PoliticsNOW: Can you with a straight face actually cling to the rhetoric of the Left that "The right will NOT let him suceed.". Give me a break. Obama started his reign by telling the "right" that they were going to sit at the back of the bus. He spent the first two doing everything he wanted. He has not succeeded because his policies are flawed.

Keep up the good work Beth.


ReedKal profile image

ReedKal 5 years ago from Pembroke Pines, FL

I'm afraid I cannot go with your interpretations of some things here.

One thing you point out is that tax breaks do not create jobs. TRUE! Okay, so why are they listed in the plan and why do the Republicans always scream for them? If a company finds itself with an excess of money (sometimes called 'profit') they must pass it on to their shareholders. Hiring someone ONLY happens with a need. Needs are created by demand for a product/service and the need must be filled by a supply. Low supply, high demand, JOBS! So why include ANY tax breaks? President Obama's tax breaks are aimed at the mid and small companies who might be more precarious when hiring.

Jobs! Show a need, create a job. By spending on infrastructure (BADLY needed) jobs are created, albeit in construction and support companies. Those jobs put spending money out there, it gets spent and creates need which creates --- JOBS!

So, creating jobs 'should' create jobs. That should create more jobs.

What about the BIG guys? Statistics show the mega companies (Exxon/Mobil, Phizer, etc) are sitting on RECORD profits. I can't see ANY reason to continue 'giving' them Billions of dollars. There is NO VALID REASON. That saving alone should pay for most of the program.

Sorry, but I think the 'Jobs Program' is a year late, but not short.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 5 years ago from Tennesee Author

"Needs are created by demand for a product/service and the need must be filled by a supply."

You are correct, ReedKal, and I think if you'd read my post for what it actually said you would see I was in agreement. We have need for products and services right here in the U.S., and the government needs to stop strangling the smaller businesses with ridiculous regulations and in sabotaging plants and hiring in right-to-work states. Government doesn't need to implement a new "jobs plan"; it needs to stop playing high horse with industry.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 5 years ago from Tennesee Author

Rheagl, thanks for dropping by and sharing :)


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

bethperry

The Stimulus bill expires on Sept.30, 2011, President Obama’s administration is attempting to get 15 more green projects approved. The Solyndra Solar company executives will be questioned next week by a Congressional committee. http://investigativereportingworkshop.org/investig

A $26 million Stimulus grant to a California School District was to hire teachers. The money went into the teacher's union pension fund and no teachers were hire as intended. Waste and Corruption, who is looking out for the taxpayer?

This week the Super Committee met and held an OPEN door meeting. Some DEMOCRAT CONGRESSMAN want the Super Committee to go after $ 4 trillion in savings instead of the $ 1.5 that they were instructed to find. The recent elections of 3 republicans may have open their eyes to what the people want Congress to accomplish. Leader Boehner has put Congress on notice that the House will not approve taxing the American people.

Senator Coburn’s ‘’back in the black’’ the SOLUTION

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tVJ2gqqKWs

On Thurs., Sept 22, 2011 in Florida, the Republican Presidential debate sponsored by Fox News and Google. Fox is accepting video questions for the candidates


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 5 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Not to worry - Obama is done...unless he can keep his office by a "Suspended Elections Revolution". Listen to this video, especially from 4:45 on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbGpNnTrjuU&feature...


JON EWALL 5 years ago

HUBBERS

''The inherent flaws of Obama's jobs plan''

9/28/11, Senator Reid announced that he will not bring up the President's Job Bill to the Senate floor. Senator Reid sponsored the bill in the Senate and it is becoming clearer that the Republicans are not holding up passage of the Jobs Bill as the president says on the campaign trail. President Obama needs to make a call to Senator Reid.

Senator Durbin ( THE #2 TOP GUY ) admitted today that the President’s Job Bill will not receive enough of the majority Democrat controlled Senate’s votes to pass the bill. Note that the Republicans shouldn’t be held responsible for killing President Obama’s job bill.

''the President ‘s job bill can’t get the necessary votes in the Senate to pass.''

NOT ONE DEMOCRAT CONGRESSMAN HAS SPONSERED THE JOBS BILL IN THE HOUSE AS OF OCT.1, 2011. Blaming the Republicans, has the President lost his bag of intelligence ?


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

HUBBERS

I MADE A BOBO.I WAS WRONG IN THE HOUSE. On Sept29, 2011, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV introduced President Obama's American Jobs Act in the Senate as S. 1549. Rep. John Larsen, D-CT introduced the identical bill in the House as H.R. 12

So how exactly does a bill become a law? While not all bills are the same

http://www.house.gov/lucas/how-bill-becomes-law.sh...

The bill has not yet been sent to any Senate committees. At 412 pages, the bill is complicated but manageable. Given the politics, it will not move quickly. Congress just isn’t interested because it affects your life, not theirs.

http://patomalley.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/preside...

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