Last Updated:November 27 @ 10:50 am

Harsanyi: Obama Doesn't Have a Jobs Plan

By David Harsanyi

Fear not; Barack Obama has an economic plan for America, and it's all in a glossy brochure, called "The New Economic Patriotism: A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security" -- an antidote, we're told, to the vagueness of Mitt Romney's agenda.

This is what the president, according to a campaign official, believes will ensure that "every voter knows what a second term of an Obama presidency would mean for middle-class Americans." So, in other words, a shiny substance-free pamphlet is a metaphor for the Obama presidency -- because these 11 pages of fluff make Romney's tax proposal look like an annotated edition of the Talmud.

Even if we accepted that this is a "jobs plan" at all -- and one would have to stretch the imagination -- there are perhaps two items even tangentially connected to the issue at hand.

Members of the middle class will be pleased to learn that their children's future will feature marginally smaller class sizes and work as a midlevel functionary in a green-energy factory. According to the president, the best way to grow the middle class outward (whatever that means) is to strive for more menial labor work in an unproductive manufacturing sector. Forward.

Obama supported cap-and-trade legislation, the sole purpose of which is to make fossil fuel more expensive, so let's dismiss his contention that the administration would concern itself with expanding oil and gas work in a second term. Let's focus instead on the green energy sector, which cannot sustain itself today -- just look at the slew of clean-energy bankruptcies we've involuntarily invested in -- or in the future. As The New York Times recently reported, "stimulus money is almost all gone, leaving many of these projects without a government benefactor and making them orphans in a competitive marketplace dominated by the deep-pocketed fossil fuel industries." (Deep-pocketed industries will remain deep-pocketed if they continue to offer Americans things we value -- you know, like energy.)

Another foundational element of Obama's wholly unserious proposal is hiring more teachers -- even though this isn't a function of the federal government to begin with and even though, according to Lindsey Burke of The Heritage Foundation, since 1970 the number of students in public schools has increased by 8 percent while the number of teachers has increased 60 percent and even though hiring more teachers would, at best, have a marginal impact on economic growth.

But we love teachers. Check the brochure.

Another component featured in the Obama plan is tax cuts for small business with a side order of fairness. This would impel the wealthiest among us to chip in just a little itty bit more to bring down the deficit. Here we are faced with two problems:

If you believe that Obama would use the extra $80 billion in revenue extracted from the rich to reduce the deficit, I have an 11-page glossy jobs pamphlet for you. And Obama's tax on the rich would hit more than 1 million small businesses, according to the Internal Revenue Service, which would make his tepid supply-side policy item -- the kind of policy he regularly mocks, incidentally -- useless.

Still, according to a Bloomberg survey of selected economists, under Obama's plan, "13,000 jobs would be created in 2013, bringing the total to 288,000 over two years." That's hundreds of billion in spending -- deficit spending -- aimed at creating a few unsustainable jobs without the benefit of any real private-sector growth.

Do the math, as they say.


David Harsanyi is a columnist and senior reporter at Human Events. He is the author of a new e-book, "The End Is Near-ish: Hope or Change 2008-2012," which can be found at Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.


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  1. harvtruewordComment by harvtrueword
    October 25, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    obamas plan is to sucker enough people into voteing for him to win reelection then it just gets worse from there.

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  2. Pingback: » Harsanyi: Obama Doesn’t Have a Jobs Plan » Commentary — GOPUSA | The Xenohistorian Weblog

  3. smthnsmllsnthewhthowsmstbobaaaamaComment by smthnsmllsnthewhthowsmstbobaaaama
    October 25, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    A dozen rotten apples will never spoil the entire bunch because We, the People, can pick through the apples and toss them out.

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  4. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    October 25, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

    colin powell just endorsed obama for president AGAIN.
    i appreciate his service to america but that doesnt mean he should get a pass for this willful endorsement of a dam communist who is hellbent on the desruction of our i say to you colin powell you are part of the problem just go away.i dont understand him or wesley clark,obamas plans for this country are devistating on all levels,seqestration,anti fracking and coal usage stopped by the epa and doe.

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    • PATRIOTComment by PATRIOT
      October 25, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

      Colin Powell is a stealth liberal that has been given way to much credit for doing very little. He turned his back on the Republican party in support of progressive socialists. Powell is a good example of what happens with liberal minorities supported by government mandated affirmative action. Wesley Clark’s views and leadership have been as despicable as Powell’s. Neither of these people have been friends to traditional America.

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  5. lizazComment by lizaz
    October 25, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

    He has no jobs plan or any other plan which would be good for us….his ONLY plan is to turn us into a communist country, and he’s well on the way to doing that now. We are hoping for a Romney/Ryan victory to repair the damage done to America this past four years. DC and the WH are a cesspool of corruption and lies… can’t believe anything they say and they cannot be trusted, EVER!

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    • bigestmacComment by bigestmac
      October 25, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

      I’ve said before that the only time Obama worries me is when his lips are moving. Then I make sure my wallet is still in my pocket with my checkbook, and my gun safe is locked.

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    • capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
      October 27, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

      under obamacare he will have access to your checkbook and wallet anytime he wants it,and we cant stop him.

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  6. aranyComment by arany
    October 25, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

    Good Gawd, he IS actually going for the moron vote.

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  7. anothersonofgodComment by anothersonofgod
    October 26, 2012 @ 6:54 am

    You are saying, tncdel that if Obama is re-elected we can expect a booming economy, like Spain!? Cool!
    Recently reported this ex-colonial power has, currently, Among workers aged 16-24, a jobless rate at about 52%.

    Wow! Socialism! Isn’t it wonderful! All you people who put down The Occupiers, take not; PLEASE… put them down HARDER.

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