Sept. 9, 2011

President Obama is proposing superficial bandaids from political motivations that would accomplish little to solve the structural economic challenges afflicting the U.S.

America’s economy is barely holding together by pins and needles. It could tear completely apart with one more catastrophe. With its $447 billion plan, the Obama Administration has proven again it does not know how to stimulate growth in jobs. If the administration gets its way, a double-dip recession is inevitable — not economic recovery.

Yes, I’m all for roads and education. But I’m troubled. Why? My sense is that the administration is making recommendations for political reasons, and not economic patriotism. More on that later.

U.S. business has too little domestic demand for products. The list of concerns is long. America is no longer a manufacturing center. Television sets and computers are made in Asia. Cars and trucks aren’t selling.

Many big companies like General Motors are investing abroad and making more money there. Yes, ask GM about cars sales in China.

All of this means a stalemate in domestic job creation.

Extend unemployment insurance?

OK, 14 million Americans are jobless. Not to sound unsympathetic, but many workers are partly to blame by not adapting to the new digital age with new skills. There are countless unfilled jobs.

At what point does a helping hand become a handout?

Recessions weren’t kind to me. Long ago, my personal situation helped coin the phrase, corporate downsizing – 14 times. Yes, 14 layoffs. Yet, I always found ways for a sustainable income. It wasn’t always in my preferred industry. Sometimes, I turned to other sectors and got a sales job and worked my way back into management.

As a former mentor, famed broadcaster Del Sharbutt, once bluntly told me: “Every experience is a learning experience.” Reading between the lines, he was also telling me mental toughness was in order. What I eventually learned was that I needed an entrepreneurial spirit. Despite all the jobs, not to be gauche, but a CBS executive referred to my resume as a “rich background.” His comment spurred an even more intense entrepreneurial conviction.

That’s what America, American workers and the Obama Administration need.

The straw that stirs job creation – small business – can’t get credit and enough customers. Studies show most is not hiring nor will they for at least 18 months. Why? Again, there’s too-little domestic consumption.

Family budgets are strained. U.S. consumers are spending more but it’s more precious dollars on food and gas. Both are heavily imported. There isn’t any new drilling for oil and natural gas. So much of domestic consumer money is going abroad but it isn’t returning as a result of exports. The trade imbalance is still way out of whack.

Disingenuous spending

President Obama is calling for more stimulus spending. He apparently thinks spending another $140 billion on roads and schools will work. But my sense is that his proposal is aimed at benefiting the unions for political donations (see this EDITORIAL: How labor unions spend dues money).

Mr. Obama is showing he does not have Bobby Kennedy-like qualities (note this revelation: Dirty work between Obama, Teamsters). Do you recall the administration of John F. Kennedy when his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, had his principled legal fight with the Teamsters in the 1960s?

Meantime, the president proposes to finance his proposed new stimulus with cutbacks in Medicare and Medicaid. It’s fallacious reasoning to think it’s best to spend more for union construction jobs while healthcare workers will lose theirs.

We already know about the devastation caused by his healthcare law. The majority of small businesses are apprehensive. Their workers and all patients face higher costs in their copayments and coverage.

Launching an infrastructure bank to lend money to local and state governments and financed privately?

Please. Government budgets at all levels are stretched too thin, as it is. Government credit ratings are backsliding. Doesn’t anyone remember the U.S. downgrade?

To expect these governments to repay the money isn’t productive, just as businesses fail when they borrow money just to stay in business. At some point, they have to repay the money, or else.

President Obama wants more business regulation – more government bureaucracy. Again, talk to the majority of businesses. You’ll get an earful.

He wants to tax the wealthy at higher rates. So how will they invest and hire workers? What’s their incentive to spend? The hospitality industry – from hotels to restaurants – is barely making it now. Sticking to the wealthy might make some people feel better, but it’s not a solution.

Payroll tax cuts won’t stimulate job growth and are a threat to future Social Security recipients for their retirement. The short-term benefit would be catastrophic for the long term.

There are more red flags, but you get the idea.

We waited weeks for President Obama to outline a new public-policy approach for economic recovery and job creation – in vain.

What we need is common-sense leadership and change from the White House, not politics. Remember the campaign promise? But nearly three years later, are we getting it? No, it’s more of the same politics. There’s no infrastructure being proposed for short-term or lasting recovery.

From the Coach’s Corner, instead of just complaining, this portal’s Public Policy section is filled with solutions.

“The problem with the federal government is that common sense is not necessarily common.”

– Terry Detrick



Terry Corbell is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services (many are available online). For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule Terry Corbell as a speaker, why don’t you contact him today?