On vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, U.S. President Barack Obama used a taped radio address to cast the blame for America’s chronically-high unemployment rate on the ever-unpopular U.S. Congress.
Specifically, Obama blasted Republicans in Congress for refusing to extend payroll tax relief and pass a new infrastructure bill – as if these modest measures (one of which is already in place) were somehow capable of reversing the global economic slowdown his excessive government interventionism has induced.
“These are common-sense ideas — ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans,” Obama said. “The only thing holding them back is politics. The only thing preventing us from passing these bills is the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party. That’s the problem right now. That’s what’s holding this country back. That’s what we have to change.”
How in the world this president can say stuff like that without getting struck by lightning is beyond us … but Obama is clearly moving forward with his “blame” strategy regardless.
How’s that strategy going to play?
Not well …
Prior to January, Obama’s party controlled both chambers of Congress and gave him pretty much everything he wanted legislatively – including an economic “stimulus” bill that failed miserably to turn the nation’s economy around (despite Obama’s rhetoric to the contrary).
“We can say beyond a shadow of a doubt today we are headed in the right direction,” Obama said last May. “All those tough steps we took, they’re working, despite all the naysayers who were predicting failure.”
What a difference a year makes, right?
Prior to Obama’s comments, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said that America would enjoy a “Summer of Recovery” in 2010 that would include the creation of “between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”
Those jobs never materialized …
In passing the “stimulus,” Obama’s administration pledged that it would keep America’s unemployment rate below 8 percent. Unfortunately, that rate has remained above 8 percent for the last thirty months (and above 9 percent for 25 of the last 30 months).
Also, far from being obstructionists, Republicans (who control only one-half of Congress) caved to Obama during the government shutdown debate and during the recent debt ceiling debacle – much to the chagrin of fiscal conservatives. They’re also poised to give in to Obama’s request that a new Congressional “super-committee” impose tax hikes rather than cut government.