Today conservative bloggers reacted to President Obama’s Twitter Town Hall. Here are some observations from Asche Schow on HeritageAction.com.
Yesterday, President Obama held a “Twitter Town Hall” where users were able to tweet questions at the President, several of which were selected for the President to answer, verbally, live on the air. Though the questions were diverse, ranging from jobs and the economy to the housing market and education, the President’s responses all came from his usual talking points. This, of course, allows the President a chance to “misrepresent” his “facts....”
“It was absolutely the right thing to do to put forward a Recovery Act that cut taxes for middle-class folks so they had more money in their pocket to get through the recession. It was the right thing to do to provide assistance to states to make sure that they didn’t have to lay off teachers and cops and firefighters as quickly as they needed to. And it was the right thing to do to try to rebuild our infrastructure and put people back to work building roads and bridges and so forth.”
As we’ve pointed out here, here, here, and here, the stimulus was not the right thing to do. Taking taxpayer dollars (or more accurately handing our children and grandchildren a bill) and shuffling the money around to various special interests and temporary “make work” projects did nothing to stimulate the economy; in fact, we’ve lost jobs during the President’s watch.
President Obama also mentioned giving money to states so that they “didn’t have to lay off teachers and cops and firefighters as quickly as they needed to.” More money shuffling that simply allowed states to avoid necessary budget restructuring. Fortunately, many newly elected governors have taken on that challenge.
“It also was the right thing to do, although a tough decision, to save the auto industry, which is now profitable and gaining market share — the U.S. auto industry — for the first time in a very long time.”
The auto bailout gave the government control over how the industry filed for bankruptcy. The government decided who would get back their investments in the company and who would not. The selected group of government winners? Unions, naturally, even though they were low priority creditors. The auto bailout also cost taxpayers $14 billion dollars that they will never get back. And ironically, Ford, which did not receive a bailout, rebounded quicker. You tell me whether it was the right thing to do.
“I think that — probably two things that I would do differently. One would have been to explain to the American people that it was going to take a while for us to get out of this. I think even I did not realize the magnitude, because most economists didn’t realize the magnitude, of the recession until fairly far into it, maybe two or three months into my presidency where we started realizing that we had lost 4 million jobs before I was even sworn in.”
First off, with access to the Department of Labor, how did he not know that 4 million jobs were lost before he came into office until he had been in office for several months?
The lack of explanation is his same excuse for why people don’t like Obamacare. There was a “failure of communication.” This is Obama-speak for “Americans are just too stupid to realize that I’m actually right.”
When speaking about manufacturing and tech jobs, the President said:
“Number one, are we investing in research and development in order to emphasize technology? And a lot of that has to come from government. That’s how the Internet got formed. That’s how GPS got formed. Companies on their own can’t always finance the basic research because they can’t be assured that they’re going to get a return on it.”
As always with this President, government is the answer, and nothing can be done unless the government supports it. The government was a catalyst for what we now know as the Internet and GPS, but the commercialization, mass production and access was all done by private companies. The government was only developing these technologies for its own strategic use.
“Something like clean energy, for example. For us not to be the leaders in investing in clean energy manufacturing so that wind turbines and solar panels are not only designed here in the United States but made here in the United States makes absolutely no sense. We’ve got to invest in those areas for us to be successful.”
Again, it is more of the same: government spending and picking winners and losers.