The Corner

Hope the NFL Game Is Good

It wasn’t much of a speech, was it? Nobody expected it to be a policy home run. After all, the specifics — nearly all of which were leaked in advance — were warmed-over retreads from previous “jobs” speeches. Of the initiatives:

·      Temporary payroll tax reduction, plus an extension to new businesses

·      A new-hire tax break

·      Extended unemployment insurance with a new training for the long-term unemployed

·      Extending the expensing of small business expensing

·      Supposed “quick acting” infrastructure spending, especially in schools

·      Checks to states to hold on to favored employees

Only the notion that it would be “paid for” was held back for the speech itself — but of course that is just another promise. So we got another speech with fundamentally mediocre substance. Indeed, even by late August Macroeconomic Advisers was warning that a similar package would generate under 40,000 new jobs per month between now and the end of 2012.  This package is “bigger” and would like get scored differently, but the bottom line would be the same.

In short, we knew in advance that the President wanted to spend nearly another ½ trillion dollars and not move the dial on unemployment.  We didn’t know that it would be spend and promise to tax, but the shock value is small.

The surprise to me was that the politics were so flat.  Sure, he succeeded in floating proposals that Republicans will largely oppose, thereby cementing his strategy of portraying them as recalcitrant even as he supposedly tries to reach across the aisle.  And, again, he took to the podium and lectured all Members about evils of partisan divide, thereby running away from his Democratic colleagues on the Hill. 

But these are small-ball tactics on policy and politics.  They do not do anything to counter the emerging narrative: President Obama is unready to lead.  And his only plan for growth and jobs is spend, spend, spend. 

Go Saints!

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More