Jewish World Review Oct. 15, 2010 / 7 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771
Tax, Spend and Shovel
By Jonah Goldberg
Back in early 2009, President-elect
In interviews, job summits and press conferences, it was shovel-ready this, shovel-ready that. Search the
Only now it turns out that the president was shoveling something all right when he was talking about shovel-ready jobs -- a whole pile of steaming something.
In the current issue of the
It's not that Obama was lying when he said all that stuff. It's just that he didn't know what he was talking about. All it took was nearly a trillion dollars in stimulus money and 20-plus months of on-the-job training for him to discover that he was talking nonsense.
It seems to me that if I were president, and I not only staked vast swaths of my credibility but gambled on the prosperity of the country generally on this concept of "shovel-ready jobs," I might be a bit miffed with the staffers who swore that shovel-ready jobs were, like, you know, a real thing.
And yet, if you read
"Given how much stuff was coming at us," Obama explains, "we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right. There is probably a perverse pride in my administration -- and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top -- that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who's occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can't be neglecting of marketing and PR and public opinion."
This is an old progressive lament: Our product is perfect, we just didn't sell it convincingly to the rubes.
But wait a second. If they spent "much more time trying to get the policy right," how come nobody said, "Uh, Mr. President, these 'shovel-ready jobs' you keep talking about? They're sort of like good flan -- they don't exist."
Let's not dwell on such things. Besides, Obama has already said that his problems come from "neglecting marketing and PR and public opinion." Indeed, that, and only that, explains why people think he looks like "the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat."
The only problem with that: facts. Obama's health-care plan raises taxes on Americans (though Obama says this is not so, they're merely mandatory fees and premiums) and will cost trillions. He wants to raise taxes on "the rich" -- defined so that a cop married to a nurse might well count as rich -- and on small businesses.
And then, of course, there's the stimulus that paid for all of those "shovel-ready jobs" that Obama now admits never existed. Los Angeles County deployed
Maybe it's unfair for people to think Obama is just another tax-and-spend Democrat. After all, some tax-and-spend Democrats are actually competent at it.
include "/home/jwreview/public_html/t-ssi/jwr_squaread_300x250.php"; ?>
© 2006 TMS