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Obama Jobs Speech DOA

President Obama’s much ballyhooed jobs speech had no discernible effects on world markets or investor sentiment. Any potential impact was crushed by the bad news out of Greece and more generally in Europe, and rather than rejoicing at the President’s plans to turn the US economy around, European, US and Latin markets mostly fell two to four percent.

The irrelevance of the President’s remarks to the global turmoil is particularly troubling because the President’s approach is essentially psychological.  The main goals of the jobs legislation that President Obama proposed last night were to reassure employers and investors that the government is getting serious, to entice consumers to resume spending, and to show the antsy Democratic base that he can still make an aggressive case for stimulus spending.

The apparent irrelevance of his speech to world markets doesn’t help on any of these fronts.  As the FT notes:

Another factor depressing sentiment is the lukewarm reaction afforded US President Barack Obama’s $450bn jobs creation plan, delivered late on Thursday. A lack of detail and early evidence that the Republican caucus will be obstructive appear to be of concern to many traders…. All this came on the day that the latest weekly initial jobless claims numbers showed the US labour market is still struggling for traction – an issue encapsulating investors’ recent wariness over the outlook for global growth.

For now, the markets are responding to the President’s proposals as just more mush from the wimp.  The speech aimed too low — and it missed.

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  • Jim.

    $447 billion is *too low*? You scare me, Mr. Mead. Are you some kind of Krugmanite?

    I’m also concerned — whose side are you on in the War on the Young?

  • Toni

    I believe the WSJ better explains why businesses and the economy won’t react as Obama wishes.

    “Even last December, after Republicans had retaken the House, Mr. Obama won his one-year payroll tax cut, more jobless benefits and most of what he wanted.

    “The unfortunate reality is that even if Republicans gave Mr. Obama everything he wanted, the impact on growth would be modest at best. Washington can most help the economy with serious spending restraint, permanent tax-rate cuts, regulatory relief and repeal of ObamaCare. What won’t help growth is more temporary, targeted political conjuring.”

  • higgins1990

    I think businesses will continue to have a bunker mentality through this year and next. The true recovery will begin on November 7th, 2012.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Obama’s jobs plan is designed to never be implemented, his real plan is to find a way to blame his own economic mismangement on the Republicans and the TEA Party. I don’t think it’s going to work though, Charles Krauthammer is already calling him out on it, and others will follow. Most Americans are now on to his BS.

  • R Caldwel

    “Pass this Bill, right away.” 12-15 times. What bill? Is it written? I don’t know if the Republicans are obstructionists, or if the President doesn’t have a clear vision. The speech sounded to me as much as a pitch for Stimulus 2 and a Campaign Kickoff.

  • mike M

    Jacksonian has it right. Obama’s “job plan” is not really an economic plan at all. It is designed to be rejected by the House, so Obama can use this rejection to pin the blame on republicans for the continuing economic decline. To judge from press reports, in particular the pattern of leaks,
    Obama announced his speech before he had any detailed plan at all, and then went on vacation for two weeks. Just days before his speech, leaks put the size of the stimulus proposals at only 300B, suggesting he and his staff were indeed still making up the proposals after his vacation.

    If he were a student, he would be one going on vacation before the big exam, not cracking a book for two weeks, and then coming in on the big day and expecting to ace it by rhetoric alone. After all, the slogans he learned as a young leftist in college and law school are all you need to know about the world.

  • Ken Besig

    The Presidency can only be effective if the President himself is trusted by the public and enjoys confidence in his abilities.
    President Barack Obama has no track record to speak of in anything, politics, economics, fiscal responsibility, or even personal accountability, (he still blames Bush, the weather, earthquakes, floods, and fires for his abysmal performance.)
    Not even his most rabid supporters take Barack Obama seriously anymore.

  • IUT

    It’s over. barack obama officially has no credibility anymore. He’s not being taken seriously by anybody the world over.

    That’s good in that with his influence at an end we can limit the damage he does. It’s bad in that we will remain rudderless and feckless as a nation until 2013.

  • rick3262

    I agree. Most of his stimulus spending on jobs will be for short-term federal jobs. Exactly why would business be interested in that, Obama still plans to tax the [mild vulgarity deleted] out of everyone.

  • JDComments

    For three years we have been trying this kind of stimulus and all it provides is temporary relief which quickly fades, and every time that happens it makes the next attempt a little less effective for the results are anticipated.

    As economics and psychology it fails, and that is obvious with every metric that is released.

  • Jim Gallanis

    I think “mush from the wimp” hits the nail on the head because that’s exactly what we got!

  • Jeff warren

    This is the biggest waste of column. I’m a DEM, and yes Obama’s jobs plan is DOA. Yeah, so is everything else proposed by any member of either party in the federal government right now.

  • BCanuck

    According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (Dept of Commerce) real, inflation adjusted, consumer spending has recovered to and exceeded the pre-recession levels. So even if the President’s latest scheme/five year plan could actually help consumer spending, what would be the point? Government spending is also back above it’s pre-recession levels.

    What has not recovered is private investment. Interest rates are obviously not the issue here – they’re as low as they can go. So what could the community planner/ law professor-in-chief do to inspire private investment? One wonders.

  • eon

    Obama’s “jobs speech” was more of an “Obama’s Greatest Non-Hits” sampler. It was basically everything he has proposed (or rather, demanded) before, remixed and with a large amount of whining added.

    Its reception was not helped by the fact that by now everybody knows that any promise The One makes to anyone but his most rabid supporters on the far left has an expiration date- generally before it is supposed to go into effect. Which means nobody takes any promises to cut taxes or rein in spending seriously, because they know he is very probably lying. The only things we can be sure he is telling the truth about are higher spending, higher taxes, and more borrowing, and we’ve already seen the results of that.

    As for his “infrastructure” bank, I predicted ahead of time it would be more “high-speed rail” pipe dreaming, and it was. It is nothing more than another union payoff scheme, with the money naturally being kicked back to the DNC for next year’s campaign. This is nothing new, either.

    If as Einstein said, insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result each time, Obama and his minions couldn’t pass a basic competency test. Unless of course their objective is to vastly expand the government, make unions the 800-kilogram gorillas of American politics, and reduce everybody else to peonage. If that’s their objective, they’re actually well on their way to achieving it.

    clear ether


  • dick

    I like it.

    “For now, the markets are responding to the President’s proposals as just more mush from the wimp.”

  • moderateGuy

    “…the Republican caucus will be obstructive..” Well, excuuuuuse me; when somebody tries to burn down your house and you stop him, you are NOT being “obstructive”… well I suppose from the arsonist’s point view you do, but….

  • Renfield

    I hadn’t watched a speech by Obama since he spouted that p.c. blather after the shooting at Fort Hood. The impression I got this time was that even Obama himself didn’t believe a word he was saying. Generalities, platitudes, straw men, cliches–all with a feigned determination and urgency, with hand motions and facial expressions to indicate “this time I’m really serious.” But nothing new. Not even the slightest Clintonesque acknowledgement that a change of course might be in order.

    If the Dems lose that New York Congressional seat on Tuesday, watch the panic begin.

  • No One Important

    Obama doesn’t have a “bill.” Despite saying 17 times in the speech, there’s no bill.

    The nation realizes he doesn’t have anything new. . . .never did. He tried to pull a stunt and stomp on the republican debate, and it backfired in his face.

    He got his big venue, but not his stunt. Then he had to come up with something. . . .

    Lets remember, for almost 3 years, Obama hasn’t cared about your jobs and your well being. . . .

    Suddenly, when his job now hinges on you having a job. . . . now he cares.

    Why should we care about his job when he’s spent 3 years not caring about yours?

  • No One Important

    The republicans are handling Obama’s baffoonery exactly right.

    Ignore it.

    The republicans have passed 25 jobs bills and they’re sitting in the Senate. . .stalled by Reid and the democrats.

    Stay on message, pass the bills the nation wants, revamping the tax code. . .send it to the senate. . .keep the conveyor belt of bills moving. . . .. keep working for the people. . . .

    Let Obama be seen as vacationing and campaigning. . . .treat him as a potted plant. . . if he refuses to sign bills, then let the nation see who is blocking our economic recovery. . . .

    I notice Obama isn’t spending any more time whining about trade agreements since they’re sitting on his desk and it is him standing in the way of those trade agreements. . .

    Keep passing bills to put our nation back to work republicans. . . portray Obama exactly as he is. . .a [disrespectful reference to President of the US deleted] more interested in his own job and vacations than actually leading a nation. . . .

  • Andrew P

    They might get an extention of the payroll tax cut through the House, but not much else. The rest is just payoffs to Dem unions, and ain’t gonna happen.

  • judithod

    By ordering Congress to “Pass this bill,” a bill that hasn’t been written or scored, Obama exceeded even his own arrogance.

  • cyberdog

    I see that they were able to identify the rat that bit that woman in the NYC subway station…it was [personal reference deleted].

  • Hollywood Hick

    We won’t fix the problems until we stop the PIGS:
    Progressives Intent on Gaming the System.

  • http://realclearpolitics Mac

    President Obama gave a speech to a Joint Session of Congress Thursday night; and it was an angry humdinger, a stem-winder, a steaming quarter-baked platter of balderdash, with an obvious and patently political purpose; it was a rededication to the disproved Rooseveltian philosophy and wishful-thought Keynesian economics that smart folks pushing mythical levers and buttons at the federal government and spending lots of money can fix anything; it was an energetic, fiery, populist, spicy corker of a teleproptered oratory, providing his base with multiple leg-tinglings; it was a bombastic, pompous and annoying reiteration of promises to the core of his already-employed voting base to continue subsidizing their wages and benefits; it was a fetishistic invocation of the glory of infrastructure projects; it was another manifesto for using the guiding hand of government immediately and to “. . . pass it right now . . . .”; it bitterly assailed one straw man after another; and, perhaps worst, it was blithe in its assurances that it was “. . . already paid for . . . .”, even though the buck was literally passed to a pending supercommittee of senators and congressmen, half of whom will oppose much of the plan.

  • sub

    obama is a sad footnote. and a cautionary tale re trumpeting cult-of-personality over wisdom, experience, reasonableness. of course, liberals flock to false idols like moths to light, so there’s no evidence they’ll learn anything from the debacle that is this presidency.

  • Ellen K

    The speech was a failure because it breaks no new ground. It’s an echo of the same speeches he has given before that press on the idea that only government spending will increase jobs. He doesn’t want to openly admit that the burdens places on businesses by the EPA, the NRLB, taxes, healthcare taxes and local taxes have created a toxic environment for job creation. And even then, all the jobs Obama discussed were UNION jobs. That was designed to placate his union base even though their job losses are dwarfed by the much larger losses of jobs outside of the public sector and union shops. While it might be reasonable for a younger person to take a job working on a highway or other such work, what message does this send to the middle aged former managers and contractors who spent their youth doing that but rose above it only to be shelved when money got tight? They can’t any longer do the hard physical labor, but nobody wants to even interview them, much less hire them. Too young to retire, too old to hire. There was no message to these folks. Sadder still was the offer of an additional year of unemployment checks. Many of those out of work do not qualify because they had already tried to save their jobs by working as reps or contractors. They are walking an economic tightrope without a net. Government can’t provide any help. It’s not worth it.

  • BlackSaint

    In between Hoops, Golf, ESPN and Vacations, President Zero is now focusing his laser beam on putting the millions of Illegal Aliens that dominate the Construction industry in this Nation back to work alone with public unions members.

    Great plan for the Democrat party and Illegal Aliens but a very bad plan for unemployed Americans citizens and American!

    Union leaders will charge Union Scale hire Illegal,s at 10 bucks per hour with benefits like Medical, Housing, Schooling, Food Stamps etc. all paid by the tax payer,s.

    Pocket the vast profits and have lots of unions funds to buy more Democrat politicians with to continue the progress of rewarding the union thugs and Democrat politicians, while pushing the rest of the population that is not Illegal,s or Union members deeper into poverty!

  • BlackSaint

    Fourteen million unemployed. No net job creation in August. A projected 9 percent unemployment rate through at least 2012. Trillion-dollar-plus deficits. A projected doubling of the national debt in one decade. The first downgrade of U.S. Treasuries in history. Dismal growth. A high chance of another recession (assuming we ever really left the first one). An inescapable sense of national decline.

    For almost four years, a prolonged and brutal economic slump has coincided with sustained government efforts to bring demand forward and get consumers spending as they did before the crash. The powers that be say they’ve tried everything: temporary tax cuts, public works, Cash for Clunkers, Cash for Caulkers, cash transfers, preferential loans to favored companies, plus two rounds of what’s known as “quantitative easing,” aka money creation. They’ve sent money to states to prevent layoffs of under worked and overpaid public sector workers. They’ve entangled the government in AIG, GM, and Chrysler and further entangled it in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Nothing’s worked.

    Still President Zero,s answer more of the Same…I think by now most people know doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insane, except Insane people!

  • megapotamus

    The Euro situation didn’t help but the idea that Greece “swamped” the presumed goose to the markets is utterly conjectural and it is conjecture that implicitly relies on Keynesian or Demand-side Economics and the global markets adhering to them. Who is on board with the idea that our situation would be WORSE absent the stimuli and their cousins? Fewer today than yesterday yet still more than tomorrow. Obama is a disaster because his POLICIES are disastrous and no, they are not disastrous because they went half way. Show me the elected Democrat who will say publicly that a $2t stimulus package was the answer two years ago and it is the answer now. Dennis Kucinich does not say such a thing, yet the political positives of O’s jobs plan with its 50-odd email pitch to the JournOlist assumes this is the conventional wisdom. And a purely practical examination of this farce is less kind than the tactical.

  • Justin

    I didn’t watch the speech. About half way through the 2008 campaign I got tired of being so earnestly lied to. Told straight to my face that two completely mutually exclusive policies were somehow compatible ( I heard he said government wasn’t going to cause a recovery then went on to propose just that).

    That’s how he does it, why his speeches have such flare and used to convince independents. Only when he’s governing is he not able to hide the truth. It’s so curious why I haven’t seen a detailed critique of this method of speech delivery.

    The other thing about an Obama speech is how it’s always so perfectly tuned to the specific political moment and how the pomp of the speech can lead anywhere except to lead the listener what the President is going to propose. Very often you can expect the exact opposite of the speech to be what the President is aiming to achieve.

    Here we have a speech about a jobs program the president hopes will fail so he can pin blame on the opposition. Suppose that we take Keynes at face value. 447 billion is a drop in the bucket compared to the private demand that has fallen since 2008. Add to that the slowness by which bureaucrats must implement cash giveaways in order to avoid a dozen bridges to nowhere and you’ve got almost no impact on unemployment by November 2012.

    My point is, watching an Obama speech, ANY Obama speeches is like taking part in a Soviet election. It is a spectacle designed to fool you but which you cannot help yourself but believe if you take part. Stop your intelligence be insulted.

  • Craig Purcell

    Will business pay rope-a-dope for the next fourteen months? Seems so to me.

  • stoicheion

    Teh won wanted the health care bill passed before it was read. Now he wants a stimulus bill passed before it’s written.
    Some consider this progress.

  • Steve851

    Whatever its worth, two and a half years too late. This Obama is a joke and if the GOP could come up with a half way decent candidate, Obama would be toast. Unfortunately, the GOP refuses to present anyone decent at all. This will be my 3d year of not voting for pres, unless something unexpected happens. We are on 10 plus years of absolutely horrible presidents (putting it mildly).

  • valwayne

    Son of stimulous, like its parent stimulous isn’t a jobs plan, its an Obama debt and reelection plan. And it can’t be passed NOW as Obama asked over and over because he hasn’t finished writing it yet. It seems he was too busying playing golf in the Vineyard in August to actually finish writing up a bill. All “Son of Stimulous” is likely to accomplish is more debt, another downgrade in our already lowered credit rating, and more damage to our economy. Obama is the biggest disaster to ever sit in the White House. “Son of Stimulous won’t help change that!

  • Steve

    The global liberal elite have come to the end of their tether. QE1 and 2, all the stimulus programs, the rescues in Europe, etc. are all acts of desperation which, while buying time, solve nothing — and they know it. So what could Obama have said really? Nothing. A Perry or Bachmann would have addressed the issue two years ago and by now we would have gone through the full fury of the crisis and be on the way to sustainable prosperity. But Obama and his ilk are not trying to bring us out of the crisis. They are trying to maintain control. They are hoping that some unforeseen friendly event might come their way before the collapse. Barring that, they can always take comfort in the fact that leftists have a good history of emerging from chaos on top.

    As usual, the Bible has the final word: ‘What does it profit a man to gain the world but loose his own soul?’.

  • Joe

    Is the “War on the Young” going to be the new
    bumper sticker of the left? Isn’t the “war on the…” meme getting a little lame?

  • standfast24

    Obama’s speech was a rehash of old ideas that have not worked. His only skill is the ability to read a teleprompter, as is now apparent to all but the most diehard liberals.
    Now, my favorite subject is the revision of the corporate tax code to eliminate loopholes.
    Ironic with Jeff Immelt of GE sitting in the VIP box, GE has shown the most skilled use of lobbyists and manipulation of the tax code to lower their effective rate.
    The MSM all lets the claim pass without any serious analysis of the possibility of this occurring. Only the Tea Party supported members of Congress and Senate are likely to ever attempt simplification of the tax code – Obama and the lawyer class are the last people you would expect to accomplish this task.

  • cas

    the postings here are so sad..they have no relationship to what our President actually said. Just a repeat of all the misconceptions and down right lies that people post on any given day unrelated to actual events.
    The more I see big business opposed to the President, the more I know he is doing something right, controlling their abuse of capitalism and threatening their continue manipulation of everyday people to their advantage.
    Keep it going Mr President

  • redmanrt

    A plan, a plan. My kingdom for a plan!

  • play nice

    the new reality is that the “jobs” market has little need for dummies. With half the population below average the future will be a struggle for all but those with the “apptitude, attitude and motivation” to succeed in a very competitive global market.
    Subsidizing hires or giving priority to certain groups ain’t gonna get’er done. Those days are over. As the man said “there’s a whole lot of shakin’ going on”.

  • SeattleMark952

    Obama’s first trillion $$ stimulus was used to fill the pockets of the unions and political cronies of Obama and the Democrat party. In regard to a 2nd stimulus (which is Obama’s big reelection gamble):

    “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

    Unless you want to add even more to the debt that you and your kids and grandkids will automatically owe (which is tens of thousands of $$ on each American head), tell your congressman to kill any further spending. We must cut taxes and allow Americans to grow the economy the correct and healthy way, with their own individual discretionary savings and spending

  • Alex

    every time I watch this man speak, I get the impression he is working on his list of Toastmasters assignments. Presumably, this was the persuasive speech though it’s hard to tell since it sounded like so many of the others.

  • jwpowers

    I Told You So
    Obama had no credentials at all to be president , I told
    all my family and friends that he was a phony, loser,
    unqualified and they would not listen now see what you
    has voted for????? The unions are trying to keep him
    in power at all costs do not let them fight tooth and nail
    to oust this poser potus…..

  • barry1817

    Obozo, our clown in chief, wants a bill passed that isn’t written, not scored and nobody knows what is in it. It gets old when a comedian tries the same jokes, see Nancy Pelosi on Obamacare bill, and nobody was laughing at that either.

    But I use the term Obozo, because when a man calls another unpatriotic for running up the debt, ala President Bush, and then does the same at a greater pace, his own words tell us that he is unpatriotic and does not deserve our respect.

    And this is his plan, after going on vacation that couldn’t wait. Now isn’t that a laugher?

  • FeralCat

    “the President’s approach is essentially psychological.”

    You misspelled pathological.

  • Questionman

    Republicans are going to realize there is no game left in Obama. No more adding liberal agenda (the greening of the stimulus package). He has made a commitment to the Jobs Bills and THAT IS GOOD! Congress needs to sign this immediately, and let the polls fall where they may.. Obama owns something. Congress MUST GET OUT OF THE WAY!!

    The President and Congress often present the framework for their proposals before the finished product is submitted. Many bills are years in the making even though they are discussed in public long before they are in the final draft.

    Just like Republicans use teleprompters and vote present, this is not news. Move along, people, there is nothing to see here.

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