Over the past few weeks President Obama has been traveling the country championing his doomed America Jobs Act as his plan to address the jobs crisis. But during the same time Obama has been publicly flogging this dead show bill, his administration was actually implementing policies and pushing legislation through Congress that will destroy tens of thousand of jobs in this country.
While some provisions from the America Jobs Act would probably help the unemployment crisis, there is effectively no chance of the act being approved by Congress. So when trying to judge how Obama is handling the current jobs crisis, it is important to look at his actions that will actually go into effect. By that criteria his recent behavior has been highly destructive.
The worst is the Administration’s strong push to pass three so called “free” trade deals. Although the America Jobs Act won’t pass Congress, the South Korea “Free” Trade deal Obama recently sent Congress is likely to be approved this week. As Obama has been publicly talking about his jobs bill, in Washington his Administration has actually been heavily lobbying Congress to pass this job killing trade deal. The deal alone is projected to cost the country roughly 159,000 jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
In the past two weeks the Obama administration has also radically escalated its war on medical marijuana. New aggressive actions by the IRS and the DOJ could potentially result in the shutdown of thousands of medical marijuana related businesses all over the country, putting tens of thousand of Americans out of work. In addition to the direct jobs lost, a large scale crackdown would cost cash strapped local governments a large stream of revenue which would likely force them to lay off public servants.
Even if the IRS and DOJ don’t fully carry through on their threats to cripple medical marijuana in those states where voters chose to approve it, the threats alone will have a chilling impact on jobs. While for the most part the conservative talking point, that “regulatory uncertainty” hurts jobs, is nonsense, it really does apply to the medical marijuana dispensaries.
Concerns about a possible future 2 percent increase in the marginal tax rate isn’t going to stop regular business from hiring. But for medical marijuana dispensaries dutifully following state law, not knowing if the DOJ will randomly decide to seize your business or whether the IRS will suddenly demand a huge amount of back taxes is an incredible level of uncertainty that does affect business decisions.
I would love to have a President that realized how serious the jobs crisis is, put forward big ideas on how to solve it even if they couldn’t pass, and worked on trying to use every tool at his disposal to increase employment. What I have instead from President Obama just feels deeply cynical.
Obama has used a doomed jobs package that won’t ever go into effect to make the political argument he cares about jobs, but at the same time the actual actions he is taking will destroy jobs in this country. It is tough to believe the man actually cares about the jobs crisis when what he is really spending his energy on is working to enact job killing “free” trade deals.