Pres. Obama “Laborer-in-Chief”
Earlier today, President Obama gave a speech about the upcoming expiration of the Highway Transportation bill. As always, the President claimed that Congress needs to put politics aside, while he simultaneously engaged in partisanship:
“At a time when a lot of people in Washington are talking about creating jobs, it’s time to stop the political gamesmanship that can actually cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. This should not be a democratic issue or a republican issues. This transportation bill has been renewed seven times in the last two years alone.”
The President also harped on Congress not passing the FAA extension before August recess. Of course, his tone places the blame squarely on conservatives, when in actuality, conservatives in the House passed an FAA extension, but the Senate refused to vote on it for several weeks. The FAA funding has been extended 21 times in the past four years.
Now remember, for the past four years, liberals have had complete control over both chambers of Congress, and for the past two years they have had filibuster-proof majorities as well as a Democrat in the White House. Only giving these bills temporary extensions for four years is completely the fault of liberals in Congress. If liberals were so concerned about the workers at these departments, why didn’t they properly fund them when they had complete control of Congress?
“So I’m calling on congress, as soon as they come back to pass a clean extension of the Surface Transportation bill, along with a clean extension of the FAA bill…”
Clean extensions? We can’t afford to keep spending taxpayer dollars on empty flights to rural airports, the programs need to be scaled back. We can’t afford to continue to subsidize highway projects that clog traffic and only benefit union workers. There are 14 million Americans out of work, the intense focus that this administration has for construction workers is alarming. They ignore all other aspects of job creation in order to favor union pals.
When talking about America’s infrastructure not leading the world, President Obama said:
“…that’s unacceptable for a nation that’s always dreamed big and built big from transcontinental railroads to the interstate highway system and unacceptable when countries like china are building high speed networks and gleaming new airports…”
You know what else China is building while we scale back? A military. But as for the construction, think about it this way: America was ahead of the rest of the world when we built our infrastructure decades ago. You know the old saying “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, our roads may need repairs, but just because China is building needed infrastructure now, with new technology, doesn’t mean we need to replace our existing roads just so they’re prettier.
“…when congress is back next week, in addition to passing these clean extensions to prevent any halt on existing work, we’re going to have to have a serious conversation in this country about making real, lasting investments in our infrastructure, from better ports to a smarter electric grid, from high speed internet to high speed rail…”
We can’t afford these things. In a better economy yes, these things would be great, but temporary construction jobs are not going to get our economy moving. This entire speech has basically been another stimulus stump. These are the same ideas that were the reason behind the trillion dollar stimulus, and where is the country now? Those jobs disappeared, or never materialized in the first place. Why should the American taxpayers believe it will be different this time?
“…and at a time when interest rates are low and workers are unemployed, the best time to make those investments is right now.”
Really? When our country has more than $14 trillion in debt and is keeping interest rates artificially low (which will lead to problems in the future, by the way), is the best time to spend more money?
The bottom line is that President Obama is only concerned with more spending and benefitting unions. Why do you think AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was standing just behind his left shoulder at the press conference? The fact is President Obama has no plan or willingness to help the 13 million non-construction workers who are unemployed and looking for jobs. When Congress gets back, we will – maybe – hear an actual “plan” from the President to create jobs, but more than likely, it will be a suggestion or outline to spend more on construction jobs. It’s up to conservatives in Congress – again – to actually lead with a real plan to create jobs for everyone.