America’s Economy and President Hang by a Thread
Last Thursday night, a very feisty President Obama came out swinging. With the economy continuing to nose dive, thousands of people joining the unemployment list each day, and a Republican Party that is becoming more optimistic about 2012, the president had to do something to help the country and his chances for reelection. Depending upon where you find yourself situated on the political spectrum, likely influences how you feel about the president’s address (full video and written text of which are attached below). I couldn’t help but enjoy the president’s subtle (and blatant) jabs at his opposition, but there were also moments when I found myself annoyed that he is recycling the same ideas that got him elected in 2008.
The one phrase that I am truly getting tired of hearing is tax cuts. In his address, Obama announced numerous new and continuing tax cuts. I personally have never been a fan of tax cuts. I understand the benefit that they can provide, but is a tax cut going to be enough incentive for businesses to hire more workers? I personally don’t think so. The incentive for businesses to hire workers is that they have a need for more workers, and increased profits. A tax cut does not increase demand for whatever service or good the business supplies. It does not in turn increase the available money to pay wages. I understand that tax cuts do free up some available money for salaries and other expenses and makes it more appealing to hire certain individuals. But not when followed by the words “next year”. I just don’t think this is the major kick that will get the horse (or donkey) moving again.
Obama also discussed specific areas were more money will invested to create jobs. One sector was the improvement of the country’s transportation system. I am glad Obama addressed this. Transportation is a vital link that can help businesses function. Improvement of the roads and bridges linking companies could ease a burden. It will also employ numerous individuals. However, I see a problem with this too. This concerns a very specific chunk of the population.
Obama also talked about teachers and making improvements to schools. He also discussed initiatives to get veterans working. And he discussed incentives to hire those who have been unemployed for more than six months (which at this point, is a very large number of those who are unemployed). But once again, it seemed more like talk, than anything else.
He was careful to note that many of his ideas were created by and/or supported by Republicans. It’s hard for his opposition to hate an idea that they came up with. The president made clear why he came to Congress… to tell them to PASS THIS BILL (which he uttered numerous times). He had to come out with passion, fire and intensity, or risk appearing to not care about the situation. He was right in saying that the American people don’t have fourteen months to wait. Unfortunately, if Congress and the President can’t act like adults and agree on something, it may be much longer than fourteen months before a solution is found.
What are your thoughts? Will Obama’s plan work? How would you turn the economy around? How long before Obama loses all hope at reelection? Comment below!
Here are just a few of my favourite lines from last Thursday night:
“But the millions of Americans who are watching right now: they don’t care about politics. They have real life concerns.”
“Right now, Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary – an outrage he has asked us to fix.”
“This isn’t political grandstanding. This isn’t class warfare. This is simple math. These are real choices that we have to make. And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose. It’s not even close. And it’s time for us to do what’s right for our future.”
“No more bridges to nowhere.”
“If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers.” (Pffft, good luck!)
“But what we can’t do — what I won’t do — is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.”
“We are tougher than the times that we live in, and we are bigger than our politics have been.”