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No, Obama does not have a jobs plan

By: David Harsanyi
10/24/2012 09:05 PM

Fear not, Barack Obama has an economic plan for America, and it’s all in a glossy brochure, called “The New Economic Patriotism: A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security” — an antidote, we’re told, to the vagueness of Mitt Romney’s agenda.

This is what the president, according to a campaign official, believes will ensure that “every voter knows what a second term of an Obama presidency would mean for middle-class Americans.” So, in other words, a shiny substance-free pamphlet is a metaphor for the Obama presidency — because these 11 pages of fluff make Romney’s tax proposal look like an annotated edition of the Talmud.

Even if we accepted that this is a “jobs plan” at all — and one would have to stretch the imagination — there are perhaps two items even tangentially connected to the issue at hand. Members of the middle class will be pleased to learn that their children’s future will feature marginally smaller class sizes and work as a midlevel functionary in a green-energy factory. According to the president, the best way to grow the middle class outward (whatever that means) is to strive for more menial labor work in an unproductive manufacturing sector. Forward.

Obama supported cap-and-trade legislation, the sole purpose of which is to make fossil fuel more expensive, so let’s dismiss his contention that the administration would concern itself with expanding oil and gas work in a second term. Let’s focus instead on the green energy sector, which cannot sustain itself today — just look at the slew of clean-energy bankruptcies we’ve involuntarily invested in — or in the future. As The New York Times recently reported, “stimulus money is almost all gone, leaving many of these projects without a government benefactor and making them orphans in a competitive marketplace dominated by the deep-pocketed fossil fuel industries.” (Deep-pocketed industries will remain deep-pocketed if they continue to offer Americans things we value — you know, like energy.)

Another foundational element of Obama’s wholly unserious proposal is hiring more teachers — even though this isn’t a function of the federal government to begin with and even though, according to Lindsey Burke of The Heritage Foundation, since 1970 the number of students in public schools has increased by 8 percent while the number of teachers has increased 60 percent and even though hiring more teachers would, at best, have a marginal impact on economic growth.

But we love teachers. Check the brochure.

Another component featured in the Obama plan is tax cuts for small business with a side order of fairness. This would impel the wealthiest among us to chip in just a little itty bit more to bring down the deficit. Here we are faced with two problems:

If you believe that Obama would use the extra $80 billion in revenue extracted from the rich to reduce the deficit, I have an 11-page glossy jobs pamphlet for you. And Obama’s tax on the rich would hit more than 1 million small businesses, according to the Internal Revenue Service, which would make his tepid supply-side policy item — the kind of policy he regularly mocks, incidentally — useless.

Still, according to a Bloomberg survey of selected economists, under Obama’s plan, “13,000 jobs would be created in 2013, bringing the total to 288,000 over two years.” That’s hundreds of billion in spending — deficit spending — aimed at creating a few unsustainable jobs without the benefit of any real private-sector growth.

Do the math, as they say.

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Obama’s Real Second Term Plan

You won’t recognize this country after his second term — the obvious reason he’s not telling you what he has in mind for it.

By Ned Ryun on 10.26.12 @ 6:08AM

Mitt Romney said it best in the last debate when he informed the President that, “attacking me isn’t an agenda,” which prompted the Obama campaign to immediately release what they call a plan for the second term. This 20-page repackaging of speeches notwithstanding, President Obama remains perhaps the only president in history to run for reelection who not only can’t talk about his record but also can’t discuss his real agenda for a second term.

Now it’s not that he can’t because he doesn’t have any ideas about what he wants to do. He does have big plans, but his vision of the future is profoundly different from that of most Americans. The America that Obama sees when he sits on the Truman Balcony at night and dreams about the next four years is radically altered reality for everyone. It should scare every American — unless you happen to be getting Obama’s free cell phone service.

Obama would like everyone to believe that his second-term policies will address what he sees as the great inequalities and unfairness inherent in the American system. He wants to level the playing field. What he can’t tell you — and what most Americans are realizing — is that leveling out America will reduce freedom, opportunity, income, innovation, and upward mobility in favor of a government-driven economy. With a government-driven society will come statism, and collectivism follows right on the heels of statism, which will destroy America.

Here’s the stark proof, keeping in mind that this is a mere snapshot of the “remaking” Obama has in store that will affect millions of American families and businesses. The President’s proposed budget projects will have federal spending soaring to $5.820 trillion per year, making Obama the biggest government spender in the history of the world. With all the talk from the President about spending cuts to satisfy independent voters, the sum of all of Obama’s spending over the next ten years could total more than $40 trillion that we simply don’t have.

We can’t afford Washington’s spending now. Do we really think only the wealthy will foot the bill for such dramatic increases in government expenditures? The President’s proposals will drive $100 billion in tax hikes next year and more than $2 trillion in tax increases over the next 10 years hitting every American.

With more than 40 million Americans on food stamps, welfare is the fastest-growing portion of the budget under Obama. Food stamp usage is up a staggering 46% and the cost of the program has increased by 72%. Over the next four years, the President is preparing to increase spending on these programs to enable the government to increase benefits and provide for an increasing share of the population.

The slow creep of dependency will see a smaller middle class and a larger dependent class of not just the poor but individuals and families who once could afford to live without the government’s help, but due to inflation, lower wages, fewer jobs, and higher taxes must turn to the government for some form of assistance.

When it comes to crippling regulations to burden private enterprise, the Obama Administration is leading the charge to squash industry in favor of increasing government’s power and reach.

New greenhouse gas regulations will cost $300 to $400 billion per year and increase gas prices. The President’s insane “cow tax” will hit more than 37,000 farms and ranches and 90% of American livestock production. Obama’s attempt to stop hydraulic fracking for natural gas has more than a dozen federal agencies developing new, expensive regulations to prevent energy companies from drilling. His war on the coal industry will continue, costing as much as $110 billion over the next two decades and killing more than 300,000 jobs in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. So much for energy independence, and so much for job creation.

Despite the President’s assurance that costs won’t go up and jobs won’t be lost over Obamacare, the 16,000 IRS workers who will administer the tax provisions of the program will be very busy hitting millions where it hurts. According to the Heritage Foundation, the Congressional Budget Office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who’ll face tax penalties would be making between $55,850 and $115,250. They will all see their taxes go up starting next year.

Obama will add a $123 billion surtax on investment income, and new taxes on dividends despite the fact that more than half of all Americans invest in the market in one fashion or another. The $86 billion increase in the Medicare Payroll Tax is also coming down the pike, along with a $60 billion tax increase for health insurance companies.

In another uniquely-Obama effort to allegedly reduce healthcare costs, the President is also going to increase taxes by $32 billion on people who already have comprehensive healthcare coverage — because they have coverage. Of course, people who have coverage now that’s not up to the government’s standards will find their plans eliminated and forced to purchase more expensive coverage. He’s even going to tax medical device manufacturers to the tune of $20 billion because apparently that will help make Americans healthier.

In Obama’s America, religious schools, hospitals and charities will be labeled as non-religious employers specifically because they serve the common good of society. Churches and other faith-based institutions will be forced to provide services and even hire employees based on government mandates rather than their own, deeply-held values and beliefs. If they don’t, Obama’s government will gladly step in with an expensive government backfill for the services.

Here’s the good news — we can prevent Obama’s America from becoming a reality. We can stop statism and collectivism from taking us from “one out of many” to one of the many nations whose governments’ thirst for power and control led to the decline of great societies and nations. The choice is ours November 6, and the results of the election, whichever way they go, will resonate for generations to come.

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Winners and losers energy policies …

We can and must rejuvenate our economy by developing America’s resource bounties

by Paul Driessen

Governor Mitt Romney strongly supports North American energy independence as the foundation of renewed US employment and prosperity. President Obama is waging war on fossil fuels, job creation, and efforts to end our economic recession and reduce dependence on Middle Eastern and Russian oil.

Romney’s emphasis on careful analysis and due diligence brought him and Bain Capital notable winners like AMC Entertainment, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts and Staples. Obama’s focus on ideology, political calculation, cronyism and campaign contributors produced scandalous losers like A123, Abound Solar, Crescent Dunes, Ener1, Fisker, Mountain Plaza, Solyndra, Tesla, and a host of wind and biofuel projects that would collapse if their taxpayer subsidies were cut off.

Not surprisingly, US gasoline prices are double what they were the day Obama took office. Some 25 million Americans are without full-time jobs – leaving 23% of the workforce unemployed, involuntarily working part-time or at jobs where they are overqualified, making far less money than they did previously, or no longer looking for a job. Our 64% “labor participation rate” is at a 30-year low.

There are still 4.5 million fewer jobs than in 2007, even though our population has grown; the hourly wage of college-educated Americans age 23 to 29 fell 4.7% between 2007 and 2011; median household income plummeted $3,040 since the recession (supposedly, officially) ended in June 2009; and a record 45 million Americans are on food stamps.

Meanwhile, the ever-unstable Middle East is even more unstable. Terrorists murdered our ambassador to Libya. A pitiful anti-Islamist video excused riots in Egypt, where a Muslim Brotherhood leader is now president. More than 33,000 have died in a nasty Syrian civil war. Internecine conflicts continue in Iraq and elsewhere. The seemingly perpetual Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains poised to intensify. the Taliban and Al Qaeda continue to build power and launch vicious attacks, such as gunning down the US embassy’s Yemeni security chief in Sana’a. And we are importing oil from brutal human rights violators.

Outside the Middle East, the Putin government is using energy to pressure and blackmail European nations dependent on Russian oil and gas, while orchestrating anti-fracking campaigns to keep EU countries from tapping their abundant shale gas supplies. Politics, events and human rights violations raise further questions about Russia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Nigeria and Sudan. And many of these countries are among our most important oil suppliers – because we refuse to develop our own deposits.

Since oil is sold in a world market, producing more in the United States means we could import less from abroad, free up more oil for other nations, and push prices down. Exporting US natural gas and drilling, fracking and production expertise would make other nations less dependent on the Middle East and Russia, bring natural gas prices down further, turbo-charge economies, and encourage African countries to use gas to generate electricity, rather than “flaring” it as an unwanted byproduct of oil production.

Romney understands this. He is calling for more oil and natural gas production here in the United States, changes to excessive and counterproductive federal regulations that raise energy costs and kill jobs, and increased use of friendly Canadian oil to serve America’s consumers. He knows this will protect us against disruptions in Middle East oil supplies, reduce the flow of American dollars to totalitarian human rights violators, create American jobs, increase tax revenues, and jumpstart our sluggish economy.

President Obama, by contrast, continues to ignore reality and embrace policies based on hope, green dreams, and a determination to “fundamentally transform” America’s Constitution, economy, society and business system. He continues to waste billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize unreliable, unsustainable, inefficient, insufficient energy forms that are at best decades from competing in the free market – even as 80% of Department of Energy grants and loans went to companies owned or controlled by Obama contributors; DOE restructured its $465 million loan to Tesla, to make sure the electric-car company doesn’t run out of cash right before the election; and President Obama says malnourished, energy-deprived Africans should avoid fossil fuels and rely instead on wind, solar and biofuel power.

Many recipients of involuntary taxpayer largesse are donors to Obama and Democrat re-election campaigns; have electoral clout in crucial swing states, where corn growers and others benefit from ethanol, wind and solar schemes; or provide crucial propaganda and campaign services via government employee and labor unions and tax-exempt radical environmentalist organizations.

While Obama turns his back on the reliable fossil fuels that power America’s economic engine, he denounces and demonizes companies that produce this hydrocarbon energy, pay billions of dollars in taxes and support millions of American jobs. He singles out America’s oil and natural gas sector for discriminatory tax increases and excessive regulations, and makes more and more federal lands, waters and resources off limits to responsible exploration and development.

Environmental activists and the Obama Administration express outrage about subsidies for traditional, efficient means of generating electricity, which amount to $0.25-$0.44 (25-44 cents) per megawatt-hour for coal and natural gas and $1.59 per MWH for nuclear. But they are eerily silent about enormous subsidies for wind ($23.37 per MWH) and solar electricity ($24.34 per MWH).

They express equal outrage about importing petroleum from Canada’s oil sands via the Keystone Pipeline – but are silent about imports of thick, gooey crude from Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. They brag about increased US oil and gas production on private lands, but insist that there be little or no drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Rocky Mountains or even National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, which Congress set aside decades ago specifically to safeguard our national security by increasing exploration in areas with the best potential for oil and gas.

Lisa Jackson’s Environmental Protection Agency is imposing draconian restrictions on power plants and other CO2 sources, as another way of “skinning the cat” and hyper-regulating coal out of the US energy picture, after Congress rejected cap-tax-and-trade legislation. Meantime, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) has introduced the Managed Carbon Price Act, which analysts say will impose regressive taxes that will rise to $5.20 per gallon of gasoline by 2024 and equally hefty surcharges on other hydrocarbon use.

The impact on transportation, shipping, commuting, manufacturing, jobs and families is frightening to contemplate. So is the fact that these actions are coming even as Britain’s Meteorological Office released data showing that the world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago – and that average global temperatures rose an impossible-to-measure and statistically insignificant 0.03 degrees C per decade.

Meanwhile, Germany, Italy and Japan plan to phase out nuclear power, thereby increasing their use of natural gas and coal for electricity – while China and India plan to build 900 new coal-fired power plants to electrify their growing economies. All will pump millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – dwarfing any reductions the USA might achieve by closing more power plants and further shackling our economy.

The Administration’s actions have been arrogant, irresponsible and autocratic. Win or lose in November, the White House, EPA, DOE and Interior Department will impose boxcars of punitive new regulations that have been put on hold until November 7.

We can dig ourselves out of this hole. We can and must rejuvenate and reinvigorate our economy, by developing America’s resource bounties.

We don’t need to “fundamentally transform” America’s economy, society and free enterprise system. We need to fundamentally transform the anti-hydrocarbon culture that pervades the Congress, White House, Executive Branch and radical environmental groups that have brought us to where we are today.

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Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author or Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death. 10/15/12

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