Opinions
It's all about jobs... Hello?

If I have ever been witness to a failed President, Mr. Obama takes first place in every category. Now, let’s get this straight — I’m talking about the ultimate prize for failure — not the coveted award for success. With his approval ratings plummeting almost daily (not much better for our Republican-controlled Congress) and his Administration’s complete lack of ability to manage job creation, the debt crisis, our country’s check book and facing international and our own cynicism here at home whenever he loathes the other side of the isle for everything that is wrong with America — we are witnessing the beginning and the end of “Yes we can!”

I believe the new slogan is “Why we can’t.”

Confidence is the supreme antidote to much that ails America but how can any American truly delight in confidence for our future when we experience the daily whispers across the isle of blame and gamesmanship from our purported leaders. This isn’t about proving something — it’s clearly about saving something… our damn country from ruin, another recession or a long-term stagnant and jobless economy.

Regardless of your party affiliation or feelings about more debt — take a play out of the most successful Economist of all time and follow the Keynesian playbook — government spending will cure the economy when the private sector is stagnant and confidence is so stuck that spending essentially is halted. Don’t drink the Tea… it’s spiked with falsehoods and misguided Party thinking.

Debt is a long-term problem and today we have the lowest interest rates in modern times — Congress should be using this to their advantage…borrow at historically now near zero interest borrowing costs and spend our way out of this mess. The economy will grow, tax receipts will increase and our debt will be paid down — add to this the fact that the government is now set on a path to cut wasteful and unnecessary spending — particular focus should be on those ever-growing entitlements. Additionally, yes, it is time to close those stupid loopholes that benefit only a very few. Even Warren Buffett and Bill Gates would agree.

The central role of government — no matter whether we like it or not and because the alternative is an ever-greater unemployment dole, an extended period of stagnant growth and a spiral into economic chaos that we can hardly afford to even think about — is to use its scope and economic might to support the economy in dire times. Did we not learn anything from the Great Depression and Japan’s lost decade?

So why can’t we seem to gain traction and get out of this economic tidal event? Here’s a hint: the blame game or in plain speak… it ain’t my problem!

Did you watch the Presidential address on jobs? My bet is the Republican response will be to see any plan offered up by President Obama to create jobs as politically beneficial to simply blame the impaired economy on Obama and take no position at all. Why act to help a dysfunctional and scrambling President with a Get Out of Jail Card when one can simply make the situation worse by continuing the political dysfunction. The Republican disapproval ratings are so low now that the only possible winner would be the President.

We are paralyzed by our own dysfunction — not yours and mine — but by those who we elected as our leaders. But remember, we elected those leaderless individuals.

Will we see more than the usual tax credits for businesses to help them hire, expand and grow our nation’s struggling business community? Not likely. This one is free of debt burden and is nothing more than political babble. Who needs or can use tax credits when we hear horror stories of years of losses stacked up against little to no growth, minimal if any profits and businesses that continue to struggle under the weight of an economy stuck in the mud. But I’ll bet we hear our enlightened President offer more tax credits as the primary stimulus to get small business to hire and expand their operations. And, oh yes, let’s not forget infrastructure jobs that benefit only one area of employment — and it’s not the jobs the vast majority of unemployed Americans are qualified for.

Come on down, Mr. President…this Schrammie is for you! Yes, I’m sure even Ken Schramm would delight in handing out his infamous Schrammie Award to President Obama for his enlightened approach to solving our jobless economic woes.

But who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised and Mr. President has something unique and bold up his sleeve… but then, oh my, we will have to watch our Congress boo and hiss, and draw lines in the sand with quips of “not on my watch!”

So, can we? You bet we can. Simply use the power we individually and collectively have — close up your wallets to political donations and vote out those who can’t seem to get the fact that we can — that being the changes that you and me and every legal American citizen can make by simply using the greatest power democracy offers: vote and openly express your concerns by writing our legislators in both Washington’s.

We need a new injection of confidence and that may take firing the President and many members of Congress. In the world of business if you don’t perform the board of directors fires you. We are the board of directors of our country and I believe it’s time for new leadership.

I’ve had enough…how about you?

Rick Flaherty is the President & CEO of Leader International Corporation