The “conference” was simply a campaign gimmick. The president seemed to look constantly at notes while he was drawing out his usual long a-n-n-n-ds, the clear implication being that many if not most/all reporters’ questions were planted. It was a press-secretary-Carney moment.
About the most profound thing I heard him say was simply that the nation has short-term and long-term problems, a stating of the obvious, to be sure, but one wonders if he believes most people don’t know that and that the enlightened must help the peasant-class understand. Actually, everyone and every institution has short-term and long-term problems.
The thing that rankles even now was his statement that the private sector of the economy was doing just fine. The unemployment rate has just officially (Washington-figured) increased to 8.2%, though the actual rate is much higher. This rate indicates that the private sector is operating nowhere near capacity, else there would be something close to full-employment.
This circumstance means that millions of Americans are not working and paying their taxes to the government, which is operating on funds borrowed from mostly China, so the private sector is not just fine and contributes zilch by its niggardliness vis-à-vis the taxes not paid by millions of unemployed workers the much needed funds to stabilize the economic situation. That’s economics 101, easily understood by high school seniors. Obama’s solution: higher taxes.
The president went to some lengths to explain that the happenings in Europe represent a huge problem for the U.S. economy since Europeans are not buying as much U.S.-made stuff as usual. European banks are in jeopardy, the unemployment-rate is high (something like 25% or more in Spain, for instance) and the president seemed to be saying that European economies need a stimulus plan, something every knowledgeable American knows was a complete failure in this country.
The strangest thing perhaps was his referencing his great accomplishments of 2009-10 (stimulus stuff & healthcare) without blinking an eye. Remember the “cash for clunkers” and the takeover and bankrupting of GM and Chrysler, thus paying back the unions. The nation is still in recession though the administration insists that it was over long ago. Former president Clinton recently suggested that the recession is not over.
The president mentioned that the country is now part of the global economy and, apparently, must sort of “roll with the punches,” good and bad. The nation has been part of the global economy since the time of its inception…nothing new there. Remember the rum/crops/slave trade of the 1700s, with the 13 former colonies in big business with Europe, Africa and throughout the Caribbean? Nothing has changed since then, so it’s an insult to the intelligence to be constantly reminded that other countries are to be blamed for what happens in this country.
The president specifically pointed out what to him, at least, is the big problem, to wit, that state and local governments are not hiring enough people and thus lowering the unemployment rate. This is the patently socialistic approach to the economy, i.e., that the state should be the primary employer. He specifically mentioned policemen and firemen and perhaps teachers and triggered remembrance of his 2008 campaign position that there should be a national police force commensurate to the military, in other words some 32,000 policemen on average for each state.
What he didn’t mention is the fact that the local/state governments took their share of the federal “stimulus” windfall borrowed from China and dumped it in their general funds because they were broke. Now, they’re cutting back on employment, not hiring, thus triggering lessened tax-revenue, meaning that the stimulus meant absolutely nothing as far as the economy (jobs) is concerned…money down the proverbial rat-hole, with no end to the colossal drain in sight…at least as long as Obama is in office. Obameconomics is a killer.
At bottom is the fact that stagnation will remain as long as entrepreneurs are convinced Obama was telling the truth in 2008, i.e., that he intended to “transform” this country, which has always been an unbelievably successful capitalist society, so the only transformation available is to the opposite economic model – socialism/communism, thus certain death for the American way of life.
Obama has materially delivered the disastrous “change” he promised in 2008. Now, a reverse-change is in order but it will not materialize – or at least quickly – unless Obama is turned out of office and the business of at least one house of Congress is overwhelmingly conducted by republicans.
And so it goes.