As the President Spent Labor Day in Detroit doing his best to garner support of labor unions and blue collar workers in front of a of a crowd of 13,000. Comrades on the Hill are conjecturing on what we should expect Thursday when President Obama delivers his jobs speech to a joint session of Congress.We do know that the president will push Congress to extend soon-to-expire payroll tax cuts to spur hiring and put more money in Americans' pockets. Republicans will respond to this with pushback on tax reform and too much government spending. Obama also told his audience in Detroit Monday the package would include projects for rebuilding roads, bridges and other infrastructure across the country to put construction workers back on the job. As we know Republicans who control the House of Representatives have resisted such ideas as wasteful spending. Other ideas under review by the Administration include tax breaks for businesses to encourage hiring, a mortgage relief program to help struggling homeowners and training program to help the long-term unemployed at no cost to companies.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement released while the president was in Martha’s Vineyard, “there is an economic team at work at the White House working on formulating some of these policies that the President will lay out on Thursday. So it is an urgent focus of this White House to put in place policies that will strengthen the economy.” Yeah it’s pretty urgent Jay, critical is probably more accurate, it was urgent a year ago.
We need more than just optimism about our countries ability to bounce back from our current economic trials. Members of Congress are hoping for real solutions and answers they didn’t have for constituents in August who are well past concern about unemployment and the economy.
Could using Detroit as a backdrop for economic recovery have been a mistake? Without the bailout there would likely have been no speech for the president to give Monday and there may not have been much of a crowd either. The auto bailout proposal from the Big 3 auto companies totaled $34 billion in government loans. With the government holding 33% of GM with a stock price listed today at $21.22 in a market that was down 173 by midday Tuesday the Treasury Department needs the price to rise to about $53 a share for the government to break even on its GM bailout. That’s a long road to travel in a market that’s been on the decline for weeks now.
How Jay Carney can say that “certainly a place like Detroit is a pretty good example.” is confounding. Carney also went on to say of Detroit, “this is a place that built probably as strong of a middle-class economy, or middle-class sector, as ever existed in the history of the world.” History is right, America actually making things is history and building cars in a down economy where few have money to spend on cars when so many Americans are trying to save their homes is considered a success for this administration? If economic success is saving jobs in one industry, in one city, that is producing a product few people are buying and that is running itself government bailout tax payer money when Americans are pleading with government officials to spend less is a “pretty good example” things must be pretty bad at the White House. The president must deliver a speech Thursday that touts more success than just saving jobs in Detroit and rebuilding infrastructure or the White House should start preparing to respond to formidable criticism that could Friday.