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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Obama to Congress: Let's Stop All of These "Symbolic Battles" & Focus On Jobs

In his weekly address (Transcript here), President Obama took a shot at Republicans for taking up “symbolic battles”, such as trying to repeal ObamaCare, even though Republicans admit that it will not get past an Obama veto:

President Barack Obama urged newly empowered Republicans on Saturday not to wage "symbolic battles" against him but to instead work together to help spur job growth and economic recovery.
Obama issued his appeal in his weekly radio address after Republicans took power in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, setting up potentially fierce fights with the president and his Democrats on spending, debt and healthcare.
"Our fundamental mission must be to accelerate hiring and growth," Obama said.
He touted as an example of bipartisan cooperation a massive compromise tax cut package approved by Congress last month that he said had contributed to "more optimistic economic forecasts for the year ahead."

Where was this faux concern over “symbolic battles” and jobs, when the Democratic House tackled and passed environmental legislation to curb carbon emission that would have killed jobs, even though there was no chance of it passing the Senate? Of course, he doesn’t really care about this kind of symbolism or political theater. He’s more concerned that he might have to take a stand on his key piece of legislation and stand behind his program, which is very unpopular with the American people.

The repeal will pass the House, and the Repblicans will only need to get four Democrats to cross over to pass it in the Senate. Considering that many of the red-state Democrats are up for re-election in 2012 and how unpopular the legislation is in those states, they won’t want to go on record in favor of the bill, again, and may end up voting for the repeal. The red-state Democrats will do that because they don’t want ObamaCare to be used as an albatross throughout the next election.

Getting everyone on the record being for or against repeal is the reason behind this “exercise in futility”. Voters need to know where their representatives stand on this issue, once and for all.

Just as the Senate Democrats don’t want to go on record voting for the bill. Obama doesn’t really want to, either. If he wants to get re-elected, he has to distance himself from the past two years, including ObamaCare, and move to the center. Forcing him to veto the repeal that is passed by a majority in both the House and the Senate will make Obama own it for good, and his Republican challenger will pelt him with the unpopular bill over and over and over in the general campaign.

Now, let’s get to Obama’s claim that this has nothing to do with growing jobs. To Republicans, the repeal is just as important to creating more jobs as anything else that they will do. Incoming Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and other prominent Republicans have said that ObamaCare has and will continue to cost American jobs.

The Galen Institue, a conservative public policy research organization, has explains concisely just how ObamaCare is keeping employers from hiring new people and why they’re laying off workers:

Just as ridiculous, the administration is attributing the first glimmerings of an economic recovery and any jobs creation to the health law. This is outrageous! We all know that employers already are trying to figure out ways to either shed health insurance or employees -- or both -- to escape the mandates, higher costs, and potential penalties of ObamaCare. And they haven't even taken effect yet!

As a result of the new regulations, the costs of health care has skyrocketed. They haven’t fallen, as the Democrats claimed that it would, and as a result, businesses are having to spend their money on higher premiums, costs, and penalties that they would have ordinarily spent on salaries for new employees. All of this is a huge reason for the ongoing stalemate in job creation.

Repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with something that isn’t just a new huge entitlement program will go a long way to restoring confidence in the economy, and more confidence in the economy will lead to businesses feeling encouraged enough to start hiring again.

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