I just flew back from Los Angeles and boy, are my ears tired. The Obamaniacs there are even more brainwashed than their New York comrades. They have no problem with the president’s limitless spending or his warmongering lies and actually think he’s doing a great job.
At least New York liberals have lost a little faith. Salon’s Glenn Greenwald has noticed the left’s “repulsive progressive hypocrisy” and called out Obama for running as an antiwar candidate and then becoming a war president. Michael Moore did the same.
But on the other end of the country, we have California pundits such as Bill Maher who not only proudly support Obama’s policies, they think anyone who doesn’t is an asshole. Maher’s term for global-warming skeptics is “climate assholes.”
Maher has a segment on his show called GOP Bubble which features stupid Republicans stuck in a big ball, oblivious to the world around them. I watched his show while I was in a hotel not far from HBO’s studios and was confused when he stuck a picture of Mitch Daniels in the bubble and criticized the Indiana governor for scoffing at Obama’s job-creation programs. Maher didn’t mention that Daniels allowed the free market to wrench Indiana out of the Rust Belt and into a huge surplus by privatizing everything from toll roads to welfare-enrollment programs. Maher was angry that Daniels dared question the government’s ability to create jobs and claimed the president has killed about half a million public-sector jobs a year while simultaneously adding over a million private-sector ones. His guest Suze Orman agreed and just about everyone at the table thought it would be a great idea for Obama to run a campaign on his record. Maher then told us we were all better off than four years ago. “Fuck yeah, I’m better off,” he said on the show. “I mean four years ago I was shitting in my pants.”
For most of 2008, unemployment stayed under 6%. Today it’s 8.3%. Shouldn’t more unemployment cause more pants-shitting? Not everyone is employed in broadcasting. Obama claims to have created three million jobs and his fans are happy to parrot that figure, but there’s an equally strong argument that says he’s caused a net loss of 549,000 private-sector jobs.
The people I spoke to in LA acted as if they had never considered the possibility that the president wasn’t kicking ass. They accepted as Gospel truth that the government can create jobs and that Obama created three million of ’em with one magical wave of his pen. They also pointed out that unemployment is down, adding that most economists agree the stimulus worked. Unemployment has stopped skyrocketing, but that’s only in the past year. When I showed them an unemployment graph of the past ten years they blamed the previous nine years on Bush. They also don’t see the similarities between the stimulus and Bernie Madoff. If a dozen economists analyzed his victims’ portfolios before he was caught, they’d be impressed. They’d say 10% a year is a fantastic return and the future looks bright—but at what cost? Waterworld seemed like a good idea to somebody at first, too, but it cost $235 million. As the head of the American Action Forum said, “If you throw nearly a trillion dollars at the economy, it has to have an impact.” Sure, doing things such as letting people stay on unemployment for longer enables them to buy more stuff, but that’s not strengthening an economy, it’s fabricating one.
The only time a government can create jobs is when they throw themselves on the funeral pyre and let capitalism’s invisible hand do its thing. In June of 2011, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s policies helped create 12,900 jobs—over half of all jobs created nationally that month. Walker hates big government as much as everyone in Madison hates him.
The president has a knack for oversimplifying very complex issues and in a city where nobody is ashamed to read Us Weekly, this suits them just fine. When Obama says he’s cut trillions in tax they smile and assume anyone who has a problem with that must be racist. The truth is that he only cut trillions from his projected spending spree. It’s still unprecedented spending. John Stossel described it as the president on a diet bragging that he only put on ten pounds. When questioned Obama would explain, “Without the diet, I would have put on fifty pounds.” Using White House logic, he lost 40 pounds.
Margaret Thatcher was accused of losing Britain millions of pounds and it’s true that unemployment soared after she got into office. However, economics is a complicated beast and before you go putting her in a stupid GOP Bubble, find out what kind of jobs were lost. If they were government bureaucrats, I’m glad they lost their jobs. Judging by how the British economy was thriving when she left in 1990, I’m guessing the jobs she lost were slowing everything down.
Obama is the opposite of Thatcher. He’s coming into office and “creating” employment. This doesn’t bode well and it’s not likely we will see an economy that looks like 1990 Britain when Obama finally steps down. This is because government cannot create jobs. I thought everyone knew this, but I didn’t find one person in California who had even considered the possibility. No wonder this is where Scientology is headquartered.
When Obama hurled money to “rebuild the roads” and “rebuild this nation” as the vice president put it, the fake jobs he created were gone soon after. You can pay someone to dig some troughs and then fill them back up again, but that’s not something a worker can take pride in, and it certainly isn’t a job that will last. Everyone knows this. Even the government’s own studies confirm this.
I’d go even further than the studies and say government kills jobs. When South Carolina tries to get out from oppressive unions and keep the factories alive by lowering wages, the government sues them. When Arizona tries to stop illegal aliens from milking taxpayers, Obama sics the Justice Department on them. Why are they getting involved? The vast majority of employed Americans are non-union, and only a tiny fraction of them get paid minimum wage. They get paid more because they’re worth more. As Thatcher said in 1988 at the Church of Scotland when she was invoking St. Paul, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
When the left coast hears “create jobs,” that’s all they hear. I’m from the right coast and when I hear those words I say, “I ain’t buyin’ it.” Then the government says, “Yes you are” and takes half my wages to pay for it. Busy work that politicians invented using other people’s money to sustain it doesn’t count. The only jobs that matter are those the market created. If the government made them in a bubble, they’re bound to burst.
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