REAL OBAMA SPEECH HERE – before editing
Please note – teleprompters to be set up left, right, center-top, center-bottom. No notes needed on lectern.
Football wide-screens to be set up to be invisible at back of hall. All Democrats to have head-phone sets to allow listening to game while POTUS is speaking.
Mister Speaker, Vice President
Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: I come
before you tonight to re-iterate my long-held view that for the sake of the
nation we need a new kind of politics, stripped of heated rhetoric, petty
bickering, and divisive partisanship. In the past, for me, that has meant
Republicans laying down and rolling over, to facilitate the advance of my
big-government juggernaut. I’ve also said many times that we need “shared
sacrifice,” and must do what’s right for the country, not only what’s merely
expedient for our re-election. But now I say that no such sacrifice is
required: the five-point jobs plan I’ll present can mutually enhance America’s
economy as well as our chance for re-election in 2012.
To accomplish these mutual gains,
we’ll need the courage to fundamentally transform America into a more
pro-capitalist nation. In this regard, I must now humbly apologize to you – and
to all Americans – for stubbornly leading us down the exact opposite path for
three years, beginning with my Senate vote in favor of the TARP bailouts in
2008. I wish I’d been smart enough to acknowledge what history and common sense
both teach us: that central planning, Keynesian deficit-spending, and
Monetarist money-printing are not ways to promote prosperity but ways to
strangle it. I had asked my advisors for policies that could lead to America
“winning the future,” but instead they borrowed and lent to me the failed
policies of the past. My only excuse is that I knew no better, and never heard
see that no jobs at all were created in America last month, two years into the
economic recovery, that the jobless rate has stayed stubbornly high, at 9.1%,
even though my economic advisors insisted that the $1 trillion Keynesian
“stimulus” plan and $4 trillion in new federal debt would prevent the jobless
rate from exceeding 8%. In fact, unemployment has exceeded 8% in every month of
my term, except the first, and in 26 of the past 28 months it’s been above 9%, a
record surpassed only in the 1930s-1940s. To be candid, I can no longer claim
that my vast public spending somehow prevented a “second Great Depression.” On
the contrary, my policies have only risked transforming George W. Bush’s Great
Recession of 2007-2009 into another Great Depression – just as did FDR in the
1930s, in the wake of Herbert Hoover’s statist policies.
Regretfully, I’ve been
attributing my own failures to the mess left behind by eight years of Mr. Bush.
I’m only partially correct in this: my real error has been to continue or even
intensify his failed policies. Like my predecessor, I’ve explicitly supported
TARP, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Ben Bernanke, a weak-dollar policy, stimulus
schemes, lengthened jobless subsidies, nationalizations, interminable wars, and
regulatory assaults on Wall Street. I am to Mr. Bush what FDR was to Mr.
Hoover: a worse dose of the same poison.
I now realize that it makes no
sense to expect more employment by vilifying, regulating or taxing employers.
That’s plain common sense, but I confess I was blind to it, due partly to my
prestigious Harvard training in class-warfare politics. I must no longer
blithely presume that profit is “theft” or greed is “evil.” Whether it’s greed
for life, for love, for health, or for wealth, perhaps it’s all quite natural,
human, moral, and laudable.
New thinking plus a new take on a
more recent episode of severe joblessness will now guide my new, pro-capitalist
approach to the economy and jobs. In the early 1980s America’s jobless rate
also stayed high for a long time – above 9% for a year-and-a-half, or April
1982 to September 1983 – and averaged 10%. This occurred under President
Reagan, but he didn’t blame President Carter, despite the latter’s partial
culpability. Our jobless rate peaked at 10.8% by the end of 1982 before
declining steadily to 5.3% in 1988, at the end of Mr. Reagan’s second term. In
between, in November 1984, with the jobless rate down to 7.3%, Mr. Reagan won a
landslide re-election with an ad campaign aptly titled “Morning in America.”
After top tax rates were slashed to just 28% in 1986 the federal budget deficit
plunged 27%, from $211 billion (1986) to $155 billion (1988), and on Mr.
Reagan’s watch 16 million new jobs were created (1981-1989), an increase of
On reflection, it’s become
increasingly clear to me, if not to my policy advisors, that the revival of
America’s economic prowess under President Reagan was due mainly to his
avowedly pro-business, supply-side policies, and their continuation under President
Clinton and the GOP-led Congress in the 1990s generated further and even better
gains: nearly 23 million new jobs were created under Mr. Clinton, an increase
of 21% from beginning to end. Having averaged 8% in the early 1980s, the
jobless rate fell steadily and averaged just 4% by the late 1990s. That long
run of prosperity helped to further dwindle our budget deficits, a process
begun under Reagan, and led to four straight annual surpluses in
We can achieve this kind of success
again, but only with pro-capitalist, supply-side policies – which, I grant, are
the precise opposite of those I’ve endorsed and adopted in my short, rather
naive career as a politician. I now want to emulate the successes of Presidents
Reagan and Clinton, and even build on them with even better versions of their
policies, instead of doubling down on the failed policies of my predecessor.
When Mr. Reagan took office in January 1981 there were 91 million jobs in the
U.S., and by the time he left in January 1989 there were 107 million jobs. When
Mr. Clinton took office in January 1993 there were 110 million jobs, and when
he left in January 2001 there were 132 million jobs, but today, more than a
decade later, there are fewer jobs than that, just 131 million, even
as our population in this time grew by 28 million.
I now present a five-point
legislative plan to restore and foster private-sector job growth in America:
1. Repeal minimum wage
and licensing laws.
These laws make it illegal for
businesses to hire anyone whose output is worth less than $7.25/hour. This
current rate was mandated in July 2009, only a month after the recession ended,
and it’s 41% above the level from September 1997 to July 2007, when
the U.S. jobless rate averaged just 5% and the teenage jobless rate averaged
15%. In contrast, since the higher minimum was imposed in 2007 the U.S. jobless
rate has averaged 8%, while the teenage rate has averaged 23%. For teenage
blacks the jobless rate is now a reprehensible 47%, due solely to our policies;
thanks to Reaganomics, this rate plunged from 52% in 1983 to just 28% in 1990.
I hereby cancel my pick last week of Princeton economist Alan Krueger to head
my Council of Economic Advisors, for I just learned that as a specialist in
labor markets he made his reputation denying the fact that the minimum wage
laws deter hiring and boost the jobless rate. I also now call on Congress and
the states to repeal licensing laws, which make it illegal to work at literally
hundreds of entry-level or lucrative employments, whether in plumbing,
hairdressing, flower-arranging, landscaping, realty services, cab rides, or
nursing, without first wasting hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in
unnecessary training courses to get bureaucratic credentials.
2. Enact a national
“right to work” law.
Nearly half (23) of our states
have “right to work” laws, which preclude labor unions from the compulsory
extraction of dues from the paychecks of unwilling workers and immunize firms
from intimidation by unions – whether by striking, trespassing, or impeding
replacements – and from decrees imposed by state labor agencies. In the past
decade those states with right-to-work laws have seen jobs increase by 3
million, while the other states have seen a net job loss of 1 million. Since
1993 job growth in our right-to-work states has been twice as fast as in
forced-union states. Unions must be voluntary associations. I ask Congress to
pass a federal right-to-work law applicable to all the states.
3. Abolish the NLRB,
Labor Department, and jobless benefits.
I also call on Congress to
abolish the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and its root source, the
Wagner Act (1935), together with the U.S. Department of Labor and subsidies for
the jobless. Both the Wagner Act and the NLRB impede voluntary collective
bargaining by forcing firms to deal with and obey unproductive, unprofitable
compensation and workplace demands from unions. More recently, the NLRB has
blocked new factory openings, as when it forbade Seattle-based Boeing from opening a new, union-free aircraft plant in
South Carolina. Business owners and managers should have equal liberty and
rights along with employees and unions. I also call for a termination of the
U.S. Department of Labor, whose rules, edicts, and lawsuits only deter
incentives to hire. Finally, we must stop our repeated extension of the
duration of federal jobless benefits, which only induce people not to work;
traditionally, eligibility was for a half-year, and in prior economic
recoveries since WWII, the average duration of joblessness was 14.8 weeks; but
since June 2009, with jobless subsidies extended up to two years, the duration
of joblessness has increased to 42 weeks. This raises mandatory premiums on
employers and generates a structurally-permanent class of unemployed people
with eroding work ethics, skills or contacts, and dependent on the state, which
only drains tax-paying firms and workers.
4. Cut corporate and
labor tax rates.
I ask Congress to slash the top
personal income tax rate and the corporate income tax rate by half, from 35% to
17.5%. Also cut the payroll tax, from 12.4% to 6.2%, while preparing to
privatize Social Security; we’re no less criminal than Bernie Madoff in running
a Ponzi scheme.
5. Cancel ObamaCare.
I now withdraw my wrong-headed
desire for the imposition of ObamaCare on U.S. businesses and urge Congress to
repeal it immediately. I now recognize how it kills jobs by raising the cost of
labor above market levels, and by driving an ever-widening wedge between what
firms pay and labor receives. I also acknowledge that it’s an unjust violation
of human rights to medical privacy and to free exchange between patients and
medical providers. Those people who are unable to afford health care or
insurance should consult private charities.
There are, of course, many other
impediments to healthy job creation in America – such as the EPA, which
obstructs mining, land development, and manufacturing – such as Sarbanes-Oxley
(2002) and Dodd-Frank (2010), which suffocate executives and paralyze banking –
such as the Department of Education, and the hundreds of thousands of
government schools nationwide that stunt and erode human capital, creating
hordes of less-numerate, less-literate and less-employable “graduates.” But at
minimum let’s start with my five-point jobs plan. Let’s do it to benefit the
nation, above all –but also to benefit ourselves, in 2012.”
Original title “The Jobs Speech Obama Dares Not
Deliver by Richard M. Salsman
published in Forbes