Obama job bill just a re-election ploy

One could almost hear the fanfare preceding President Barack Obama’s introduction of his epic “jobs bill” last week before a rare joint session of Congress. Although it’s sure to be a dismal economic failure, it is a true piece of political genius on many fronts.

Primarily, it counters Republican claims that Obama has no proposal to speak of to shore up the nation’s economic calamities. By introducing a $447 billion beast of a proposal plastered with promises to spur job creation and get the economy moving, Obama has placed the ball in his opponent’s court; with control of only half of the legislative branch of the federal government, they don’t have much of a lineup to cast an offensive.

In the event that a Republican-held House of Representatives refuses to pass the bill, Obama gains the ability to continue to paint his Republican opponents as obstructionists and saboteurs. He will boldly proclaim in 2012 that the economy would have recovered by now if not for the hostage-taking Republicans in the House who refused to pass his amazing proposal.

On the other hand, if Republicans do pass the bill, when it assuredly fails to encourage economic growth, Obama will not be alone in the blame. His bill would then have passed with bipartisan support, and any lack of a positive outcome will simply show that they should have spent more.

This strategy neatly builds on the administration’s knowledge that Republicans cannot get their own plan through a Democratic Senate or president. All previous attempts to actually create an environment that allows for private sector job creation, such as a balanced budget amendment and the elimination of a maze of tax code carve-outs and exemptions in exchange for low, flat-tax rates, have been repeatedly shot down by Obama and his party as “political grandstanding” and a “symbolic gesture.” This is because Obama and his majority party in the Senate don’t like it, and they are the ones in control.

An added dimension of political savvy lies in this administration’s perpetuation of the idea of the 10-year budget window. The president can claim that his bill will not add to the deficit by spending money now and taxing citizens five -10 years from now. It is the same rhetoric he used in order to pitch his wildly unpopular healthcare bill and the same way in which he attempted to dupe his audience into believing that a significant amount of spending will be cut from the federal budget.

But deficits and budgets do not exist in 10-year windows. In the years preceding the future tax increases, Congress will continue to borrow cash hand-over-fist in order to finance legislative proposals that were supposedly paid for, and a year or two down the road Congress will scrap what was previously proposed and adopt its own budget for the year. What the American people will be left with is more debt and no additional jobs.

The deepest irony surrounding the “jobs bill” is the way in which it has been pitched to the public. The president has called for an end to the “political circus” within Congress in order to pass his bill. This is nicely put for a man who just introduced a piece of legislation mainly intended to secure his own re-election.

Obama’s proposal is a piece of political wizardry that insults the intelligence of the nation he is supposed to be representing.

Steven Christopher is a graduate finance student in the C.T. Bauer College of Business and may be reached at [email protected].


  • Great point. Because anything we do will most assuredly fail we'd be better off doing nothing! Is that the strategy of the do nothing party that currently holds the House? Because it sure looks like it.

    It's odd that the Republicans that scream for tax cuts and balanced spending ultimately reject such things when Obama gets behind them. You do realize that ALL balanced budget bills achieve balance through projected spending cuts and do nothing right now, correct? The only way to balance the budget RIGHT NOW requires reduced spending AND increased taxes. If your party refuses to increase taxes then they do not support a balanced budget.

    But go ahead and reject the Obama Jobs Bill. Go ahead and reject compromise with the senate democrats. See how well things work out when EVERYONE is voted out of office. It won't make much difference because you will just see a flip-flop of each position, a democratic controlled house and a republican controlled senate and president.

    The republicans are gambling on this being a cyclical downturn. If they are right, the economy will recover during the next term and it will be business as usual. But if they are wrong then they will be blamed for doing nothing to stop the second great depression and be handing the government over to the democrats for the next 50 years.

  • They gloat when they're up and whine when they're down. In between all of the accusations surely there must be a legitimate alternative proposal the Repubs can produce? And if they can't pass it because there aren't enough of them in office, well, maybe someone's trying to tell you something…

  • Republicans have been in power in the house since the start of 2011. How many jobs bills have they introduced? 0. How many times have they mentioned the middle class. 0. They are the do nothing party.

    • Since when does the government create jobs? How is it that the both house and senate have been under Demoncat control from 2006 to 2010 and things got worse. How is it that they had total control with both houses and presidency and he could barely get his healthcare through and the first joke of the jobs bill? Which we now see the effects of solyndra that the first "jobs bill" was passed through.How about that the other sides proposals are not called jobs bills, but rather repealing or lowering taxes to those who actually create the jobs.

  • Ok, which right-wing talking points group did our Miniature Glenn Beck plagiarize this "column" from this week?

  • Gov. doesn't create jobs—small business's do as well as big business's. Obama's job bill is exactly what the writer of this story proclaims: a political plot to secure votes in the upcoming presidential election.

    The government is a representation of the American public—

  • Let's see Hover = millions out of work and economic hardship. FDR put people back to work with a jobs bill. Who got re-elected?. Do the historical math. Obama is trying to pull an FDR. Good luck with that. It doesn't matter that it worked — back then, or might work today. What matters is that all the Republicans see is Obama = Democrat = must not suceeed. Period. The reps would just as soon throw the unemployed under the bus before getting behind a bill that puts money (taxes, people, are apid with money from paychecks,) in people's pockets. What a joke.

    • That's why the Retardicans love them so much. It's a chance to stick it to brown people. First it was slavery, then it was the virtual slavery of sharecropping and Jim Crow, and since we eliminated that they've never stopped looking for new ways to abuse minorities.

  • This is why we can't have nice things. Partisan politics will always make the "other guys" look bad at whatever cost.
    There can be no advancement without dirty deeds done to secure office in exchange for playing for the team that is ahead.

  • This is a fine bit of opinion writing. I have found Mr. Christopher's articles to be both well-researched and well-reasoned. I may not agree with all his conclusions, but I appreciate his sincerity and intellectual integrity.

    Certain dissenting voices have done disservice to their credibility by attempting to re-frame the current article as a racial piece. There is not a shred of substance to claims, and those who make them would only try to move the argument to an arena where they would have the obvious moral high ground. Those voices who instead choose an ad hominem rebuttal, disgracefully bow out with an admission of a lack of counterargument as well as class.

    NAO, if you are going to call other's plagiarists, I would hope you have good reason to do so. Believe it or not, there are in fact thinking people with opinions opposed to yours. Why should you not grant them an equal right to have their opinion heard, free of such calumny?

    Dave Ettema, what "facts" would you have had Mr. Christopher present? He was speculating about the president's motives and the prospects for the success of his jobs bill. Which would you like first, that he should bare to you the events of the future, or perhaps that he should reveal contents of President Obama's soul?

  • Ask your -great grandparents what folks did to find work during The Great Depression. Things were desperate. Then ask how they felt when FDR came up with the jobs bill. The problem today is the pinheads in DC can't get past the squabbling to see the problem and the solution. And their constuents will suffer mightily as a result. But why care about that as long as Obama is put out of office. Isn't that really all that matters?

  • Cool comment section. Extremely intelligent. Apparently the people who read the Daily Cougar… Do not read the Daily Cougar. Automatically rattling off cliche left/right paradigm comments like drones has to be the most intelligent way of starting conversations. Just because an article points out that a bill is a political ploy does not mean the author is in the same boat as the disgusting Beck and Limblahblahs of the world.

    Go back to your caves you institutionalized automatons. If we wanted to read parroted opinions and comments I'd read the New York Times or FoxNews online.

    While you all are on your way back to your caves, can someone in this section go ahead and cheer on Obama for another war to blow up MORE brown people overseas? O NO! We can't talk about that. Hypocrites.

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