The sight of President Obama and General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt laughing at the lack of “shovel ready” jobs wasn’t the only outrage produced by the recent meeting of the President’s Jobs and Competitiveness Council. The council’s recommendations are also producing outrage. In a Boston Globe op-ed, “Whirling Economics,” former Republican Senator John Sununu (New Hampshire) points out the absurdities of the council’s report:
“The ideas ranged from woefully uninspiring to unhelpfully vague…. mealy, hackneyed recommendations…. [which] only reinforces the idea that this, for the White House, is an exercise in public relations.”
He cites the recommendations which will “make it easier to visit the US through improved visa processes….put construction workers back to work…. streamline permitting…. cut red tape.”
Laudable goals all, but so obvious as to be trivial. The report might have been practical had it presented specific ideas for accomplishing the goals; however, it did not.
According to Sununu, the report should have addressed steps to achieve “tax reform that widens the tax base and eliminates deductions and credits, more restraint in promoting new regulations, and reform of the legal system.”
Sununu paints this picture: “(W)e’re left with the spectacle of the president whirling like a dervish all summer long, trying in vain to reach that transcendent state where voters applaud the marvel of the dance even if they recognize it has achieved nothing,”