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A Question of Priorities
Whatever he claims, creating jobs isn’t what motivates Obama.

Among the hard hats, November 2011

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Jonah Goldberg

‘In the Treasury we do not speak of tons of silver. Our unit is the troy ounce.”

That was the response from some bureaucrat when Leslie Groves, the man who oversaw the Manhattan Project, sought thousands of tons of silver to be turned into electrical wires.

Groves got his silver. Why? Because completing the Manhattan Project — and winning the Second World War — was America’s top priority.

For three years, the Obama administration and its cheerleaders have tried to claim that they stand for the same can-do spirit. Administration officials have a rare form of Keynesian Tourette’s syndrome whereby they blurt out phrases like “Infrastructure!” . . . “Spending multiplier!” . . . “Shovel ready!” . . . “Nation-building at home!” . . . “Investment!” almost as often as they draw breath. Just last week, Obama’s own hand-picked jobs council — perhaps looking at the fully employed and booming oil state of North Dakota — advised that the U.S. must embrace an “all-in approach” to the energy sector, including the pursuit of “policies that facilitate the safe, thoughtful and timely development of pipeline, transmission and distribution projects.”

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Obama himself has insisted time and again he cares only about “what works” and not about ideological or partisan point scoring. Nary an utterance from the president doesn’t include some claim that his “top,” “chief,” “first,” and “number one” priority is to create jobs and get America working again.

Just last week he announced that he wants to streamline government to cut red tape and make both government and the economy more efficient.

It’s all a farrago of lies.

Now, maybe they believe all of this stuff, but that doesn’t disprove they’re lying; it just proves they’re lying to themselves, too.

Obama’s decision to block the building of the Keystone pipeline on the grounds that the Congress — in a bipartisan vote — didn’t give the bureaucrats enough time to study the issue is akin to Leslie Groves accepting that he couldn’t have his silver because he failed to ask for it in troy ounces.

The State Department simply didn’t have the time, Obama the alleged red-tape cutter lamented, to check every box on its mountains of triplicated forms. The eight-volume environmental-impact statement cogitates on the possible spreading of “137 federally restricted and regulated noxious weeds,” as well as an unspecified number of “state and local noxious weeds.” By all means, let’s hold up a massive infrastructure project that will cost taxpayers nothing and create bountiful jobs and tax revenues so we can check — again! — that local noxious weeds don’t gain the upper hand (upper leaf?).



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