Keep Your Summit, How About You Just Hand Over the Jobs?
President Obama's jobs summit was aimed at producing ideas to battle a surging unemployment problem exacting ever greater economic and political toll, but the event only highlighted the tough dilemma he confronts.
Obama says he does not have the money for the plan many of his liberal supporters say packs the biggest employment punch -- direct federal investment in job creation. Instead, he came close to embracing a to-do list for the private sector that sounded rather familiar: weatherization, small-business incentives, regulatory and other help for exporters, and tax credits for employers who hire new workers.
Obama said the proposals could create jobs immediately, while providing long-term benefit at a relatively small expense to the federal government. "Overall, we generated a lot of important ideas," he said. "Some of them, I think, can translate immediately into administration plans and, potentially, legislation."
Speaking to 130 business leaders, union chiefs, economists and others summoned to the White House for the forum, Obama reassured his audience that some of the ideas he cited are under close consideration as his administration grapples with ways to improve the bleakest labor market in a generation.
Obama also said that we needed to pass the Stimulus immediately or we'd plummet into 10% unemployment, which we've reached with the help of that same Stimulus so, uh, yeah. Can they send some other guy in to sell this crap? Perhaps the ghost of Billy Mays is available?