Jewish World Review Jan 27, 2012/ 3 Shevat, 5772
Obama is like an Italian ship captain
By Jay Ambrose
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama reminded you of the captain of the Italian cruise ship that took a deadly dive. This seafarer keeps making up weird tales to justify his actions. Those rocks he crashed into? That was to avoid sinking. And he didn't abandon ship. He fell into that lifeboat.
Obama provides similar sleight of hand when he tells about helping to rescue the economy by such maneuvers as putting a 2009 tariff on Chinese tires.
"Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires," he said. The arithmetic must have been done in the dark. The tariff actually hurt small businesses that sold the low-price, low-quality tires that jumped from $39 to $69, according to a Wall Street Journal article. Whatever the reasons for American tire companies to increase employment a couple of percentage points, it had little if anything to do with less Chinese competition. These American firms make mostly premium tires.
Nevertheless, one tire dealer is quoted as saying that the firms used the tariff as an excuse to hike their own prices. The Chinese, meanwhile, retaliated with higher tariffs on various U.S. exports. At the end of the day, Obama had mainly cost consumers money. There could have been a net job loss, too.
The president also swelled his chest over oil imports being down, but they are down at least in part because of a bad economy that leads to less driving. Obama, meanwhile, thought it useful to say nay to a perfectly harmless, job-producing oil pipeline that could be part of an energy boom.
You might also look at how administration goons sought criminal punishments against North Dakota oil companies for the accidental deaths of seven birds. A judge threw out the case, asking in effect, "Are you kidding me?" Sadly, the administration seems very serious about ruining our energy future whatever absurdity it takes.
Obama also said he had made everything hunky-dory in Afghanistan and Iraq. He hasn't. Just watch.
He said he has given us fewer border crossings by illegal immigrants, and there's some truth to that: Mexicans aren't so eager to come to an economy he has been so inept at helping to recover.
He thinks he made General Motors the top auto producer in the world, but that's true only if he arranged the tsunami that crippled Japanese competition. He said the economy has been creating new jobs, and it has. But we have something like 5 million or 6 million fewer than before the recession.
Our leader told us the world stands as one in stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons. What? China and Russia are no longer part of the world? He said we can use money from ending wars to build infrastructure. All our withdrawal will accomplish fiscally is slower debt accumulation.
He barely mentioned his health-care plan, except to say it was private, not public. Half of it is Medicaid and the other half is ridden with government mandates. Though advising us about silly regulations in his speech, many of Obama's have been expensive, hard-hitting, wrongheaded abuses that shred liberty and thwart prosperity.
The main fault of his address, in addition to being a target-rich document for fact checkers whose own facts seemed to me pretty much right this time out, is that it virtually ignored the overriding domestic issue -- our nation's debt danger.
To get there, we had to wait for a televised rebuttal from Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana, who had the honesty to address Medicare and Social Security, two crucial programs that will nevertheless ruin us and fail to survive themselves if not reformed.
There is this to be said about Obama's speech, however. It was well-delivered. That Italian ship captain might want to make use of his teleprompter techniques.
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Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.
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