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Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower
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Your Job, Mr. President, Is Jobs


Having just been recently rolled by tea party Republicans in the debt-ceiling circus, Barack Obama now says that his priority is job creation. Wow, what took him so long?

Jobs should have been Priority No. 1 when he first took office. But instead, the Obamacans put Wall Street banksters first, dumping trillions of dollars from our public funds into saving the butts of greedheads who crashed our economy. They bailed out Wall Streeters without even requiring that the bankers invest in job-creating, grassroots enterprises. The jobs will come later, they said. Wrong.

A fragile recovery did sprout in 2009, but, oxymoronically, it was called a "jobless recovery," and workers keep getting pink slips. Obama himself explained that jobs are "a lagging economic indicator." Later, he told us.

Then, last December, with an exploding crisis of joblessness knocking our economy to its knees, who did the White House help? The super-rich! Their ridiculous Bush tax breaks were extended for another two years, without any requirements to use this windfall to create a single job.

"Soon," Obama said back then — we'll get to that pesky job issue ... soon. Now, the day after signing the debt reduction monstrosity that slashed trillions from programs to help working families, the president says that, at last, he's ready to take action on jobs.

Really? What kind of action? "I will urge (Congress) to immediately take some steps — bipartisan, commonsense steps — that will make a difference," he boldly declared. But as we've seen, "bipartisan" steps only go backward. And, as for "immediately," the Urger in Chief added that lawmakers should do it not right now, but when they get back from their month-long August vacation.

It's always manana with Obama when it comes to workaday families.

But, get ready — President Obama says he is now ready to "pivot" to that nagging issue of American joblessness!

Pivot? How about focusing on it relentlessly, even (dare I say it?) presidentially? After all, our economy is in the ditch not because of government deficits, but because of our deficit in good, middle-class jobs. It's way past time, Mr. President, for you to put on your FDR hat and get cracking on a real jobs program.

So, what does Obama's pivot amount to? "There are things," he recently said, "that Congress could do right now that will help create good jobs." And — cue the trumpets — those things are: First, pass more free-trade agreements. Second, overhaul the patent laws!

What, you expected boldness?

This is pathetic. We already have a mess of free-trade scams, and they've led to job losses for America. Patent reform? Any jobs that might come from that are years down the road. Are people just supposed to sit still and wait? These proposals are nothing but more trickle-down economic tinkering, not a jobs program. They make Obama seem not only small, but ridiculous.

He wasted a ton of political capital on his senseless debt-ceiling deal with ideological know-nothings in the Republican House, when the American people were crying out consistently and emphatically that THE issue is jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs.

Labor Day is coming up. What better time to propose a national recovery program that would hire millions of people to go to work on infrastructure and green-energy projects that America urgently needs? Put something real on the table, let the right-wing Koch-heads howl against it, then go to the countryside a la Harry Truman and hammer them with their own know-nothing do-nothingism.

The people are waiting. Do they have a president or not?

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



4 Comments | Post Comment
The President's job is to:
*execute the instructions of Congress
*preserve, protect and defend the Constitution
*be Commander in Chief of the armed forces and national guard units
*pardon and grant reprieves for federal offenses
*enter into and make treaties with the consent of the Senate
*appoint ambassadors, consuls, Supreme Court judges and cabinet members
*provide information on the state of the Union
*prepare the federal budget with the approval of Congress
*exert emergency powers in cases of natural disasters
*approve or disapprove bills
However, "jobs" is not his job.
Comment: #1
Posted by: David Henricks
Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:38 PM
Re: David Henricks. You may find the voters disagree with you.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Masako
Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:39 PM
Re: Masako Perhaps, but The Constitution is clear that jobs is not his job. Voters who disagree will be wrong.
Comment: #3
Posted by: David Henricks
Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:14 AM
Mr. Hightower,
Your comment on "putting on your FDR hat" reminded me of Jesse Jones's writing about the U.S. synthetic rubber industry in early 1942, in which FDR basically put all the top rubber executives in a room until they had produced a plan to pool resources and patents and create the synthetic rubber industry.
After a lifetime in the energy/construction business, I can recognize there are several alternative energy proposals that can produce non-petroleum energy within a short (three-year) timeframe. Top-ranked energy executives can agree which proposals to choose; putting the proposals in place will create many jobs in the short term, (partial) energy independence in the medium term and a blueprint to (near-total) petroleum independence in the longer term.
I am not that smart; doesn't anyone else see this is doable?
Leo Schneider
Comment: #4
Posted by: Leo Schneider
Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:11 PM
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