I kept getting emails from Obama’s minions saying things like: “Don’t miss this speech.”
So I didn’t.
What I saw was Obama at Knox College in Illinois firing a 5,000-word scatter gun for more than an hour at the economy without once hitting the target. He spoke in vague generalities about a ” long-term American strategy, based on steady, persistent effort, to reverse the forces that have conspired against the middle class for decades.”
When he did offer specifics, which were few, each of them would do more harm than good — kill jobs instead of create them.
He talked about raising the minimum wage — a sure job killer for the young and unskilled.
He talked about doubling the number of solar and wind energy projects — proven job killers.
He blathered on about ObamaCare, which is pushing people into part-time jobs so employers can avoid its penalties.
But most of all he talked about inequality, noting the average CEO has gotten a raise of nearly 40 percent since 2009, when he took office, and said the average American earns less than he or she did in 1999. He did not say that the average American household earns $2,718, or 5 percent, less than it did when the recession ended in June 2009, four months after he took office.
Though the title of his speech was “A Better Bargain for the Middle Class,” under his administration the middle class has been shrinking and poverty growing.
Since January 2009, the number of people on food stamps has grown from 32.2 million to 47.5 million.
The unemployment rate when Obama took office was 7.8 percent, after topping out at 10 percent it is still 7.6 percent.
Americans living in poverty have grown from 14.3 percent in 2009 to 16 percent now.
Yet Obama pontificated, “This growing inequality isn’t just morally wrong; it’s bad economics. When middle-class families have less to spend, businesses have fewer customers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther apart, it undermines the very essence of this country,” while doing absolutely nothing so far to change anything, except to make things worse.
As a Wall Street Journal editorial pointed out today, Obama doesn’t understand that before government can redistribute wealth, the private economy has to create it. And he said nothing whatsoever about how to grow the economy, which grew only 0.4 percent in the last quarter of 2012 and a still anemic 1.8 percent in the first quarter of this year and is expected for grow even slower in the second quarter.
Obama said he wants “an economy that grows from the middle out, not the top down.”
His speech was full of such rehashed bromides with a smattering of anti-job ideas.
“I care about one thing and one thing only,” Obama said, “and that’s how to use every minute of the 1,276 days remaining in my term to make this country work for working Americans again.”
We’ll be counting down the days.