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Another pointless "Summit"

Today President Obama is hosting a White House "jobs summit." Attendees will include "about 130 business leaders, union chiefs, academics, mayors and representatives of nonprofit groups."

Andrea Tantaros at the New York Daily News gets it right:

Politicians constantly need to create the impression that they're actually getting paid to do something. President Obama is no different. Today, the White House will host a Jobs Summit ...

Obama's goal is to show he's serious about taking action on the backsliding economy and to convince the electorate that public activity means real policy action.

I'll have to crash Obama's party, because summits are giant publicity stunts where loads of taxpayer money is spent on fancy backdrops, flower arrangements and so much glad-handing and back-slapping that the participants leave with calluses and whiplash.

The timing is twofold, and painfully transparent: Hosting a high-profile gathering will allow the White House to portray an engaged Obama at a time when polls show the public believes his domestic agenda is in a hole. More importantly, the summit gives Obama a desperately needed distraction - especially during the holidays when the unemployed are acutely aware of their situation.

The President doesn't need to waste taxpayer money on another "summit." But in his heart Barack Obama is a full-fledged member of the elite academy, and the academy never attempts to propose a solution to a problem without talking it to death first. Besides, this White House never seems to miss any opportunity to entertain guests.

Instead of talking, President Obama and his economic advisers should do more observing and more listening. Reuters' James Pethokoukis recently highlighted this sobering quote from Dr. John Silvia, chief economist for Wachovia and Wells Fargo:

In recent years, permanent layoffs have surpassed temporary layoffs and this is reflected in the rapid rise in the mean duration of unemployment. In addition, the disparity of unemployment by education levels signals that the demand of employers for more highly educated workers does not fit well with the available supply of workers. Current policy initiatives have perverse economic effects. Health care mandates will likely raise the cost of labor and thereby discourage hiring.

Second, the increase in the minimum wage has clearly negatively impacted hiring teenage workers evident in the recent increase in teenage unemployment rates. Cap-and-trade will likely increase the cost of energy and transportation for employers and thereby reduce any funds left to hire workers. At present, the uncertainty about potential micro policies is more than offsetting any positive impact on jobs from the fiscal stimulus.(emphasis added)

It's a simple fact that the economy cannot be stimulated when businesses are hunkering down in anticipation of higher taxes and greater regulatory costs, due to pending government legislation. And when businesses are continually laying-off instead of hiring, consumers are worried about keeping their jobs and they become reluctant to spend money. This is true regardless of how much money the government tries to spend on "stimulus" programs to create make-work jobs and temporarily ease unemployment.

If the President was serious about stimulating the economy, his initiatives would include tax rate freezes or cuts, serious attempts to reduce Federal spending at all levels, especially programs to eliminate waste and inefficiency, a halt on controversial legislation (Cap and Trade, ObamaCare, etc.) that would have significant fiscal impact on businesses, and an immediate effort to get banks to begin increasing commercial credit lines back to pre-2008 levels. The fact that we have not seen explicit action in any of those areas makes many of us wonder exactly what the President's priorities really are.

Action, Mr. President, not talk, is what will get our economy moving again.


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Comments (18)

"Today President Obama i... (Below threshold)
914:

"Today President Obama is hosting a White House "jobs summit." Attendees will include "about 130 business leaders, union chiefs, academics, mayors and representatives of nonprofit groups"

How about bringing in the one's that should be attending? The unemployed? Their not working thanks too Him and fielding some questions from them could be very profittable for the One jobless approval numbers!

On second thought, maybe not.

Kabuki theater.Hum... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Kabuki theater.

Humbug.

If Obama had a clue about h... (Below threshold)
Hank:

If Obama had a clue about how to address the unemployment issue, we'd have heard it by now.

This is all for show and also to provide Obama with some plausable deniability when the economy continues to tank. He'll be able to blame it on the summit attendees (and George Bush, of course).

Some solutions to the unemp... (Below threshold)
Stan25:

Some solutions to the unemployment problems:

• Get rid of the unions
• Repeal the minimum wage law.
• Repeal the 16th Amendment
• Defeat Cap and Tax
• Defeat the Obamacare boondoggle
• Throw the Democrats out of Congress on their ears.
• Extend the Bush Tax cuts and make them permanent.
• Abolish the Federal Reserve.
• Repeal the Stimulus Law.

The one I would like to see... (Below threshold)
klrtz1:

The one I would like to see jobless is The One.

Some solutions to the un... (Below threshold)
914:

Some solutions to the unemployment problems:

You left out a few - abolish the IRS scam tax code, enact a flat tax and throw Barry out on His loafing keister!

When you have no idea what ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

When you have no idea what to do, Hold a meeting. It helps creat the illusion of credibility and foward momentum. It is really useful, if you only invite people that support your agenda and generally are as clueless as you are.

They'll sit around and chit... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

They'll sit around and chit-chat, then Obama will have his long and thoughtful period deciding "what to do" and finally come to a decision months down the road; just in time to steer the rest of the stimulus money toward districts whose incumbent Democrat Congressmen are in trouble in the polls.

You heard it here first.

The job market should have ... (Below threshold)
mike:

The job market should have been the focus all along. We've wasted time and money trying to rescue Wall Street fat-cats and Corporate goons. People with JOBS buy houses and cars. People without JOBS lose houses and cars (see: http://www.repofinder.com). At least the Government is finally waking up to this. Romney 2012!

One of my friends has a pho... (Below threshold)
Stormin:

One of my friends has a photo that sums up this summit perfectly. It is one of the Demotivator style pics that says "MEETINGS. None of us are as dumb as all of us."

abolish the IRS sc... (Below threshold)
Stan25:
abolish the IRS scam tax code

That is what the 16th Amendment to the Constitution is.

Oyster "just in time t... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Oyster "just in time to steer the rest of the stimulus money toward districts whose incumbent Democrat Congressmen are in trouble in the polls...... You heard it here first.

Well, maybe second. Been there, done that.

"83% of the amount of [stimulus] money awarded to Ohio went to Democrat represented districts; 17% went to Republican represented districts."

Not so funny how that works.

"The fact that we have not ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"The fact that we have not seen explicit action in any of those areas makes many of us wonder exactly what the President's priorities really are."

Barry is all about "fairness". He's going to take from those who 'have' and give it to those who 'need'.

Then when everyone is poor, with no prospects of improving, Barry and Company will be able to dictate life to everyone. After all, some animals are more equal than others.

Another pointless "Summi... (Below threshold)
914:

Another pointless "Summit"


Pointless of substance...Than yes. Pointless of leadership...For sure. But than it's really only about Barry and His insatiable appetite to make everythng about Him even through the failures trials and tribulations He has brought us all.

He will never tire, never give up the dream, that He and only He is the WON...

Marc, yeah, I don't have ti... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Marc, yeah, I don't have time to look now (but will later) but it'll be interesting to see which of those areas had Dem politicians campaigning for state or local elections right around the same time the money came in.

What I'm talking about is the 2010 elections. They're saving the bigger bucks for that one.

I'm sure Obama got up this ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm sure Obama got up this morning with one thing on his mind: PHOTO OP!!!!

Hey! Where's SAUD, VIC, St... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hey! Where's SAUD, VIC, Stevie Green, jp2 and Adrian? Why aren't they weighting in on this?

After all, didn't their Obamassiah predict back in February (remember the Stimulus?) unemployment would not go over 8%? How's this November's sales figure INCREASE looking? Oh, it wasn't an increase, just another DECREASE. Oh, and out of the mouth of babes today, Barry comes up with this gem: "The term 'shovel-ready' -- let's be honest, it doesn't always live up to its billing." Well Barry, weren't you the economic genius yelling EMERGENCY! last January? Remember "Pass it NOW!"? Yeah, Barry. SOMETHING'S NOT LIVING UP TO IT'S BILLING! OR IS IT SOMEONE?

But all's well. Let's pass your "Health Care Reform" and your "Cap and Trade". What could go wrong? After all, your a genius when it comes to economic matters, aren't you?

"Hey! Where's SAUD, VIC, St... (Below threshold)
914:

"Hey! Where's SAUD, VIC, Stevie Green, jp2 and Adrian? Why aren't they weighting in on this"

They all had a date with the Tofu Guy!




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