I'd like to highlight a couple key points he made while here and hopefully start a discussion about them.
Hello, Nashua! It’s great to be back in New Hampshire today. Now, as some of you might remember, I’ve spent a little time in this state. I’ve had beers at the Peddler’s Daughter here in Nashua and manned the scoop at ice cream socials from Sunapee to Dover to Hudson. I’ve walked Main Street in Concord, and visited with folks in all ten counties. I even once flew into the airport in Milan, which has got to be one of the only airports with a functioning wood stove.
This opening statement is very politically savvy. Obama is attempting to get back to what helped him in the 2008 elections. He's trying to get back to being a "regular guy" and not a Washington Insider. The same thing that help sweep Scott Brown into office.
He's trying to get back to the guy who you could hang out with and have a beer with. This was also one of the key points both Democrats and Republicans agree was one of Bush's selling points.
Many good, hard-working people who met their responsibilities are now struggling because folks on Wall Street and in Washington didn’t meet theirs.
This is another telling statement the President made. He's pointing blame at those "folks in Washington" but taking no responsibility. He's trying to distance himself coming off again as the common guy on your side while pointing to some factious bad guy who he's not identifying. Of course we know he's attempting to imply it was Bush and Republicans at fault. More of the blame game, taking no responsibility.
Because of the steps we took, the markets have stabilized. No one’s worrying about another Great Depression like they were a year ago. The worst of the storm has passed. But the devastation remains. Today, one in ten Americans still can’t find work.
That is why jobs will be our number one focus in 2010.
The question in return is why wasn't it the number one focus in 2009 and prior to the Scoot Brown shake up in MA?
As the storm was hitting this country why wasn't saving jobs and preventing them from being taken away in the first place the number one focus?
And we’re going to start where most new jobs do – with small businesses. These are the companies that begin in basements and garages when an entrepreneur takes a chance on his dream, or a worker decides it’s time she became her own boss.
This statement is something everyone wants to hear but a statement is empty, it's the delivery that matters.
Since most small businesses fail, who's money is going to be put at risk here? It's the details like that what really matter most.
And Obama says...
That’s why I’ve proposed a new tax credit for more than one million small businesses that hire new workers or raise wages – and a tax incentive for all businesses to invest in new plants and equipment. And while we’re at it, we should eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment, so these folks can get the capital they need to grow and create jobs.
Ah sounds great doesn't it.
My ears started buzzing at the words tax credit. See unlike a tax cut where people who paid money end up paying less, a tax credit is another word for government giving you someone else's money.
One other point to consider is why would a business take on the additional expense of more workers even if they do get tax credits if the demand for their product stays flat or as we're seeing today, decreases.
That’s particularly critical right now, as bank lending standards have tightened, and many small businesses are struggling to get loans.
That’s why today, I’m announcing a proposal to take $30 billion of the money that was repaid by Wall Street banks, and use it to create a new Small Business Lending Fund that will provide capital for community banks on Main Street.
Bookmark that statement folks. This is the exact type of government interference that created the banking crisis in the first place. Banks were forced to give loans to people they knew couldn't pay them back. And when they couldn't, the government would pay the bank back the money taking away any risk of their losing in the deal. Eventually it caught up to them and I think we all know how that story ended.
As some of you might remember, last February, we passed the Recovery Act,
He's very careful here not to refer to it as the stimulus package because most Americans feel it was a colosal waste of our tax dollars.
Now, I understand why some people are wondering whether the Recovery Act has really worked. Because while these steps mean 2 million Americans are working right now who’d otherwise be unemployed, and our economy is growing again instead of shrinking – and growing at the fastest rate in 6 years – we lost 7 million jobs during this recession. So we’ve still got a pretty big hole to fill. And if you or a member of your family is one of those 7 million, I know it’s not particularly satisfying or reassuring to hear that it could have been a whole lot worse.
Considering Obama's team used numbers far lower then were we are today as justification to pass his stimulus bill the above statement doesn't hold much water.
Think about it... his claim before was if we pass it we'll peak at 6%, without it we'll peak at 8%. After it passed we end up hitting 10%, what's that tell you? Either his team was incompetent at predicting how bad things really were or they were incompetent and made things worse. Neither is a vote of confidence in the President and his team.
And because there’s no magic wand that will make economic problems that were years in the making disappear overnight, it’s easy for politicians to exploit the anger and anguish folks are feeling right now.
More blame game.
So we’re making progress here, but it can’t come fast enough. And we know that if we truly want to have long-term economic growth in this country, then we need to start addressing the struggles middle-class families have been grappling with for years, long before this recession ever hit.
Long term economic growth comes from having 1) people who can invest and grow new business and 2) a market able to sustain that new business. Both of those go hand and hand with people having more of their own money in their hands. Giving money to people without risk is what created the bubble's we're attempting to recover from now.
I didn’t run for president to kick these challenges down the road.
Yet you did for your first year in office.
I didn’t run for president to play it safe and keep my poll numbers as high as possible for the next election. I ran to solve problems for the next generation. I ran to get the hard things done.
If Obama did get things done and did solve the problems within this country then his poll numbers would be up.
Instead all he's done is increased the national debt faster then his predecessor while attempting to blame him for everything wrong and having unemployment increase with his stimulus higher then he claimed it would reach without it.
And I won’t rest until businesses are hiring again, and wages are rising again, and the middle class is thriving again, and we’ve finally got an economy that works for all Americans again.
Wages rising is the part of this statement that jumps out here.
Democrats continually push for higher wages and increases in minimum wages but they seem to not see the connections between wages and the costs of things around them.
Let's look at it simply...
Company A makes a product that sells for $10 in stores. Of that $10, the store is making a profit of $2 for each one sold in order to pay their employees. Another $5 of that cost is what it costs in materials to make the product. Another $2 of the cost goes to the wages of the employees actually making the product. This leaves $1 profit for the owners or share holders for every product they sell.
Now lets jump ahead in time to when all wages have doubled. Now instead of $2, the store needs to add on $4 for their share of the cost. The employees making the products get an additional $4 and even the materials go up because the cost of those employees needed to mine or craft the materials has gone up, so now the materials are $8. The same product that was selling for $10 is now selling for $16 without any profit factored in for the owners and shareholders. You can bet that they wont take pay cuts and would likewise expect more based on the fact products sell for more so they may want $2 or even $3 for each product sold. Now it's up to $19 and the wage increase has accomplished nothing.
But here’s the thing, Nashua: I can’t do this alone. Democrats can’t do this alone – nor should we. We’ve got two parties in this country.
Again with the blame.
And that’s a good thing. It means we have heated debates and vigorous disagreements. And messy as that is, it means bad ideas can be discarded, good ones can be made better, and we don’t go too far to any one extreme. That’s the genius of our democracy.
So when can we expect Democrats to discard their bad ideas?
We all agree that education is the key to a twenty-first century economy. We agree that the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education. So why don’t we work together to transform our schools, so that every child in America can compete with their counterparts, from Beijing to Bangalore.
Here's an idea, instead of having our money follow the system why not allow it to follow the children. Focus shouldn't be on the schools, it should be on the children. There are 4 distinct different learning styles, we continue to dump billions into an education system that expects to be a one size fits all system and teach one style of learning. Until we start thinking anew from the top down you will never see real change and improvement in our educational system.
And in an era when a high school diploma is no longer a guarantee of a good job, let’s make college affordable for every qualified student. No graduate should have to pay more than ten percent of his or her income on student loans each year. We can see to it that they don’t – and we should.
This statement reminds me of one Ben Franklin said many years ago.
It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part.
Republicans and Democrats may not see eye to eye on the threat of global warming, but shouldn’t we agree that American grown energy is good for our security, and that new clean energy jobs are good for our economy?
I agree but I have two counter points...
Why are Democrats blocking the cape wind project that would create clean renewable wind power energy?
Why are Democrats blocking expanding drilling?
That said, what would be even better for America would be making it easier for Americans to gain energy independence on their own. When 30% or more of my paycheck is being taken from me, as much as I'd like to put up a windmill on my own property to help cut down my energy usage, I just can't afford it. People should be allowed to keep more of their own money so they can afford wind mills, solar panels and other energy efficient improvements.
Let’s put people to work on solar panels and wind towers and cutting-edge batteries.
When my money is being taken by government to put people to work on these things it leaves less money in my pocket to afford them and without customers a business wont fly.
And so is fixing a health insurance system that too often works better for the insurance industry than it does for the American people.
No one should be satisfied with a system that allows insurance companies to deny care to folks with pre-existing conditions, or to kick people off their plans when they get too sick. No one should accept a system where small businesses are forced to pay outrageous premiums to get their workers covered, and seniors have big gaps in their Medicare prescription coverage. No one should accept another decade in which health insurance premiums double and millions lose their coverage altogether.
Maybe this is my IT computer geek thinking but whenever I go to solve a problem I first look to identify the cause of the problem. Not once have I see Democrats look to what us causing the problems we have in this country with health care costs. And anytime it is pointed out to them (government is the cause of many of the problems) they either deny or ignore it.
Finally, shouldn’t we all agree that we have got to do something about our deficits? These deficits won’t just burden our kids and grandkids decades from now – they could damage our markets, drive up our interest rates, and jeopardize our recovery right now
This isn’t how responsible families do their budgets. When times are tough, you tighten your belts. You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices. And it’s time your government did the same.
That’s why I’ve proposed cutting more than 120 government programs – consolidating ones that are duplicative, reducing ones that are wasteful, and eliminating those that just don’t work. That’s why I’ve proposed to cap government spending over the next three years.
All this and yet somehow the federal budget continues to grow and the deficit continues to grow.
Cutting 120 government programs when adding countless new ones is not going to solve the problem. Increasing spending 20% or more then turning around and trimming back 4% is causing more harm then it's helping.
This is one of those statements I'll believe when I see it. When Democrats actually cut real cuts then I'll believe it.
That’s how we’ll make sure we’re spending your money wisely.
Here's an idea... how about stop spending out money period.
I don't care if you spend the money 100% efficiently and wisely, if it's something I object to in the first place it's still wrong no matter how efficiently you spend it.
Yet just last week, the Senate blocked a law I supported to create a bi-partisan Fiscal Commission that would come up with a set of recommendations for cutting our deficits in the long term – because solving this difficult challenge is something we can only do together. But this law failed when seven Republicans who had co-sponsored this idea suddenly walked away from their own proposal after I endorsed it.
When bills are amended to no longer resemble what was first put up, those who original sponsored it do walk away if they have any moral fiber.
The message you all sent when you elected me, and that folks made clear this past month, is that you’re out of patience for this kind of business as usual.
And yet for the past year business as usual is all we've seen.
You want us to worry less about our elections and more about solving your problems.
And yet Obama continue to campaign touring the country to get his message out.
Let’s come together and do what’s hard, and do what’s necessary to help the middle class succeed again;
This part of his closing statement was the oddest part of what he said. He didn't say let's do what's necessary to help America succeed again, he instead choose the path of class warfare singling out middle class.
Over all a lot of talk but no real substance.