Obama and the GOP on ‘competitiveness’

President Obama reportedly will call for more government spending in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. Coupled with his naming Wall Street figure Bill Daley as his chief of staff and General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to head a council on job creation, the president’s long-awaited pivot seems to be setting up a debate with Republicans over what constitutes “competitiveness.”

Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post neatly explains what’s wrong with the president’s position, and how Republicans need to fight back:

The Bill Daley-Obama-Immelt vision isn’t one that promotes competition, lowers employers’ costs, reduces regulatory burdens and the like. In fact, Obama is opposed to things that really would aid competitiveness — reducing the cost of capital and labor, repealing oppressive mandates (including ObamaCare), and doing away with costly goodies for organized labor (e.g. Davis-Bacon “prevailing wage” rules).

In his response to the State of the Union address, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has an opportunity to explain the difference between the Republican vision (pro-growth and pro-free markets) and the Obama vision (pro-cronyism). It is a huge mistake for Obama, who has lost independent voters and failed to offer effective pro-jobs policies, to follow a decidedly anti-populist course. Independents, and, indeed, most Americans, share a healthy skepticism about “bigness” — big insurance, big government, big labor and big business. Republicans would do well to align themselves with “smallness” — small business, the ordinary worker, and the next generation of Americans who will face diminished opportunities if we don’t undergo a serious course correction.

67 comments Add your comment

F. Sinkwich

January 24th, 2011
11:19 am

I fear the best we can hope for until 2012 is complete legislative gridlock, but given the alternative of unfettered socialism promoted by Obama and his merry band of leftists, gridlock sounds pretty good.

jt

January 24th, 2011
11:44 am

Whatever………………Mr. Small Government Fiscal “conservative” Paul Ryan.
You are running out of lobotomized sheep.

From his website————————one of hundreds——————————

Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP) & Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program

In 2009, declining farm milk prices forced Congress to modify existing federal programs that support dairy for our nation’s farmers. Last year, the federal government spent more than $1 billion to support the industry through the Milk Income Loss Contract Program, the Dairy Product Price Support Program, and the Dairy Export Incentive Program. Additionally, Congress authorized $350 million in supplemental payments to dairy farmers and government purchases of dairy products.

The preliminary February 2010 all-milk price reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture was $15.90 per hunderweight, which marks an increase of 37% from February 2009. However, the financial stress facing the dairy industry in 2011 is cause for concern and I look forward to working closely with my colleagues in the House to address this issue. ”

Cry me a river.

jt

January 24th, 2011
11:46 am

Ron Paul 2012.

Peter

January 24th, 2011
11:49 am

HA HA HA……..In Georgia, the rip off land deal was opposed by a few, and they got canned by the former Governor……

Republican’s no sense of right and wrong !

Teachers that whistle blow are getting the same treatment here in Georgia…..Tell the world a teacher is helping kids cheat, and they are getting in trouble.

Amazing environment the Republican’s have this Sad State in.

hg

January 24th, 2011
12:07 pm

as opposed to costly goodies to big business?

Road Scholar

January 24th, 2011
12:23 pm

“President Obama reportedly …”

Dealing in heresay?

“…debate with Republicans over what constitutes “competitiveness.”

The Republicans are the only ones with a dictionary?

“…Obama is opposed to things that really would aid competitiveness — reducing the cost of capital and labor,..”

God almighty, interest rates can’t be lower, esp to banks! Are you proposing a negative rate of return? Cost of labor? Other than the minimum wage, with all the unemployment, aren’t businesses in the driver seat as to compensation?

“…repealing oppressive mandates (including ObamaCare), and doing away with costly goodies for organized labor (e.g. Davis-Bacon “prevailing wage” rules).”

Yeah, we haven’t had slavery for many years! We don’t need no stinking rules for employees; it all based on employee responsibility, not the business’s responsibility! We don’t need any oversight; businesses and their (greedy) management always does the correct and legal thing!

barking frog

January 24th, 2011
12:23 pm

The anti-bigness thing is why americans shop at wal-mart?

barking frog

January 24th, 2011
12:27 pm

The old Republican politician Ben Stein said on
CBS Sunday Morning the GOP should give the
nomination to President Obama. Seems to be
the only chance to win.

carlosgvv

January 24th, 2011
12:34 pm

Big Business has already decided the best way to make money is ship as many jobs as possible overseas. Since they are the main sponsor of the Republicans, don’t look for any change in this.

jconservative

January 24th, 2011
12:46 pm

Net job created in the US averaged about 30% per decade until we hit the 1980’s. It then dropped to 20% and continued the 20% through the decade of the 1990’s. In the decade of the 2000’s that net jobs created figure dropped to 0.00% – that is zero, not a typo.

Do I really need to explain why? You guys can figure this out for yourself I trust. Hint: it has nothing to do with who is in the White House or who is in charge in Congress.

JF McNamara

January 24th, 2011
1:10 pm

You know what I’m tired of? I’m tired of hearing about big business needing a more competitive environment. They’ve already outsourced as many jobs as possible, many of them are sitting on large piles of cash but not hiring, and their stock prices have recovered to excellent levels. Poor Big Business, they have it so tough. If they were only free to do what they wanted, we’d have unemployment of negative 1000%.

What exactly can we give big business to make them happy? Here is what I think we can give them to make them completely happy:

A. No unions and no workers rights – You are an indentured servant whom they can treat as they please. You have no rights at all against your company.
B. No healthcare changes – That way, insurance companies can charge the company whatever they want and the company can, in turn, pass the entire cost to you. If you try to buy outside that channel, they have the right to gouge you or not serve you at all.
C. No taxes – Why should business pay taxes at all? Just tax the employees heavier. That’s whose getting taxed anyway, right, the people? …and no, we’re not going to pass the savings on to employees, we’ll pay it as dividends to our shareholders.
D. No restrictions overseas – Why pay anyone? We can just hold people at gunpoint in China and get our products even cheaper.

That sounds exactly like the country I’d like to live in…

Peter

January 24th, 2011
1:14 pm

Hey Kyle did American get more competitive while Bush was in Office ?

Most would think not, he cut taxes, ran up the deficit, bilked the Treasury department with 2 WARS and cost plus contracts…..

Tell me were “Cost Plus Contracts” …….. competitive in ANY WAY ?

Wyle Kingfield

January 24th, 2011
1:17 pm

We just need to start a new war and eat some freedom fries.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 24th, 2011
1:32 pm

Only the leftists believe it “efficient” to raid the private markets of capital, thus to invest with cronies of the government in power. “Theft” has many Orwellian names.

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

January 24th, 2011
1:41 pm

AS USUAL, Obama is WRONG…LMAO!!

“Hey Kyle did American get more competitive while Bush was in Office”

What has unemployment been since the Dems took the majority? Inching up from 5%…now with Barry “The Boy Blunder” Obama unemployment can seem to break below 9%. AHH HAHAHAAAAA!!

I win…YOU LOSE!!

Peter

January 24th, 2011
1:42 pm

HA HA HA…….to this comment !!!!!!

“Only the leftists believe it “efficient” to raid the private markets of capital”

Only Republican’s would think “Cost Plus Contracts” are great for the American Treasury !

Peter

January 24th, 2011
1:44 pm

HA HA HA…….A Hearty Cheese Sauce…

Seems while Bush was in the last days of office…….all the blundering led to the implosion of the American Financial markets to where we almost had the 2nd Great Depression.

You seem to forget fast…Duhhhhhhhhh !

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

January 24th, 2011
1:54 pm

Sorry Peter…You LOSE!!

JF McNamara

January 24th, 2011
1:58 pm

A Hearty Cheese Sauce,

Here is a chart that shows you when the jobs were lost causing our unemployment. I’m not sure how much more evident it can be that Bush caused the problem than this picture.

http://press.take88.com/unemployment-under-bush-versus-obama-administration/

Peter

January 24th, 2011
2:10 pm

Hey……..A Hearty Cheese Sauce…..

Stay away from that stuff, bad for your heart and MEMORY !

Peter

January 24th, 2011
2:18 pm

Giving AIG, Citi, GM, and a bunch of others Money was competitive Kyle ?

Or maybe what had to happen to keep America from IMPLODING ?

Cost Plus Contracts written out of Cheney’s office for his buddies were competitive Kyle ?

Road Scholar

January 24th, 2011
2:25 pm

Peter: Cheese tends to stop you up. Does that mean Cheese Sauce is full of…

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

January 24th, 2011
2:30 pm

Sorry but your chart is wrong and therefore relegated to the garbage dump. Nice try…

NEXT!!

Peter

January 24th, 2011
2:33 pm

Hey Kyle……this is making Georgian students more competitive ?

Lawmakers propose cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from the higher education budget for this fiscal year and the next. They’re revamping HOPE, the popular scholarship program that for years has covered tuition if high-achieving students attend a Georgia public college.

Republican live the lie !

Peter

January 24th, 2011
2:36 pm

Yes Cheese sauce forgets that Tarp and the Billions given out to banks was started by Bush…all to save the financial markets after 8 horrible years of Bush in office.

His house must have gone up in value ? Just like the land deal that is ripping off Georgians.

Suckers

January 24th, 2011
2:41 pm

Labor unions have done a marvelous jobs of complaining and bullying their way to what they perceive as “fair” or “living” wages that it is cheaper for employers to outsource their jobs.

If you feel under compensated, change your job, your skill set, or your country of residence.

You too can live in India, work in an American call center, and live a tick above squalor.

jm

January 24th, 2011
3:30 pm

bob

January 24th, 2011
3:38 pm

Teachers that whistle blow are getting the same treatment here in Georgia…..Tell the world a teacher is helping kids cheat, and they are getting in trouble. Amazing environment the Republican’s have this Sad State in.

Peter, are you telling us that republicans run the Atlanta Public Schools ? Your the only one on here that has figured that out. The rest of us have been thinking the since democrats run Atlanta, the democrats would have something to do with our school system.

bob

January 24th, 2011
3:40 pm

Peter, what do repubs have to do with Atlanta schools ? You can blame allot on repubs but Atlanta and lib dems go hand in hand.

JF McNamara

January 24th, 2011
3:52 pm

Cheese,

If the Bureau of Labor Statistics is wrong, then all of our unemployment reporting is wrong. Therefore, I claim that the 9% you claimed for unemployment is wrong. Its the same source.

You’re either an idiot or just looking for a rise by posting crazy items. Either way, I’ll just ignore you from here on.

Aquagirl

January 24th, 2011
4:10 pm

Republicans aren’t pro-business, they are pro BIG business. JF has already nailed the problem. With crap like eminent domain for developers and, taxpayer bailouts, excuse me if I don’t shed a tear for them being denied Republicans like Jack Murphy.

Business is completely amoral. The goal is to make money. That’s what a business does, if it wants to hang around. As long as you remember this, you’re ok. However, once you forget and start making policy at the behest of an entity that has no conscience, you’re an idiot. Would you empty out death row and put those guys in charge of government?

You unemployed dummies who voted for G.W. Bush and Sonny Perdue took hook, line, and sinker. I have no sympathy, maybe your kids will remember what happened when daddy/mommy did something so dumb and now the family is living in a cramped apartment, eating beenie-weenies and praying nobody gets sick. On the other hand, mommy/daddy would rather blame Obama instead of admitting their own culpability, so I’m not holding my breath.

BS Aplenty

January 24th, 2011
4:21 pm

@aquagirl

And yet the AJC reports that Coca-Cola recently gave $3,000,000 to the Red Cross.

Heartless, just heartless.

CJ

January 24th, 2011
4:23 pm

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has an opportunity to explain the difference between the Republican vision (pro-growth and pro-free markets) and the Obama vision (pro-cronyism).

As the past decade has demonstrated, there’s nothing pro-growth about the Republican vision.

And putting Paul Ryan, the author of the radical “Roadmap” budget, center stage demonstrates their anti-growth agenda further. His proposed budget lowers taxes for the rich, raises taxes on everyone else, privatizes Social Security, and guts Medicare such that seniors would have no way of keeping up with the rising cost of health care. After all this, his proposal doesn’t even come close to balancing the budget for decades.

Meaningless platitudes (”small government”, “pro-growth”) might get them votes, but if the specifics of their plans were covered in the media as much as their rhetoric, the GOP would shrivel up and blow away.

DawgDad

January 24th, 2011
4:32 pm

Aquagirl: Climb out of the soup and get yourself grounded. You obviously haven’t talked to many Republican voters.

Business and the Federal government are FAR too cozy, and the appropriate constitutional role of government is being corrupted and compromised. A lot of this started with the Franklin Roosevelt administration, but alas, well-intentioned (cough, cough) Federal programs rarely if ever die when their usefulness has expired. Now we have entire industries believing they are “dependent” on corporate welfare, tax breaks, agricultural subsidies, sweetheart labor laws, etc. This is the spider web we have woven for ourselves, and we need to tear it apart before the spider finishes us off. Washington is awash in fascist-style business arrangements, aided and abetted by the leadership in BOTH parties. We just witnessed this with Obama and GM. Thousands of companies, unions, and other institutions are being waived from key provisions of Obamacare, diluting the supposed benefits for the very people who voted for Obama. No way many of these organizations support Obama if they didn’t understand they would receive “protection”, but hey, mob-style criminality (paying for protection) is now mainstream Federal governance. Representation of the people, by the people, and for the PEOPLE is sorely lacking.

I can personally attest agricultural subsidies have wandered into the realm of pure looniness, with NO value returned to the people of this country for many of the dollars expended.

carlosgvv

January 24th, 2011
4:41 pm

JF McMcNamara

You are 100% correct. As for you, Suckers, if it weren’t for unions we would have 12 hour workdays 6 days a week, no vacations, no healthcare, no sickleave, no overtime and no vacations. This is the ultimate goal still of Big Business and the Republicans.

AmVet

January 24th, 2011
4:58 pm

Mr. Wingfield, are you kidding me?

What article did you read, because apparently it wasn’t Ms. Rubin’s.

And only in the world of Republispeak does that drivel qualify for “explains”. Neatly or otherwise.

As is often the case, when one references the Republican Dictionary of Made Up Definitions, the points” (being gracious there) made by her are specious slogans and not sage specifics.

But the kicker?

…the global warming hoax…

Surely (and don’t call me Shirley) you jest.

Outside of the hard-core, dead-red Republican fringe, there are precious few informed people who would take sophomoric crap like that seriously.

Don’t shoot the messenger…

Suckers

January 24th, 2011
5:01 pm

Wrong Carlos.

Without unions, we would have lower labor costs and better service. Every time an organization unionizes, it ends up running itself into the ground.

The teachers’ union is the penultimate example of failure. The teachers that go against the union and report cheating are being ostracized and singled out by a group of bullies within the union. By controlling the collective bargaining power of the teachers’ it strips them of their individual free will to do the right thing for fear of retribution. We call that fascism.

wallbanger

January 24th, 2011
5:03 pm

Carlosgv, it is funny you say that, but you may be right. Look at the poor fools who have law and medical degrees. They work these hours all the time. It is only the union employees, and the governnment employees (redundancy here I know) that can live in the lap of luxury for many more years than any private employee. Most people in the private sector are trying to hold on to their jobs into their 70’s, while government employees are happy to “retire” at 55, live on incomes in excess of $100,000 per year, and then have a “second” career which also may give them a pension. Where did private enterprise go wrong? We should have all been government employee maggots.

Misty Fyed

January 24th, 2011
5:10 pm

“Outside of the hard-core, dead-red Republican fringe, there are precious few informed people who would take sophomoric crap like that seriously.”

Yet you lost the house this year and will most likely lose the Senate in 2012.

Keep saying it and say it with anger. That will make it true.

Misty Fyed

January 24th, 2011
5:14 pm

So a Government employee who works 20 -30 years isn’t entitled to retire because you can’t? Where was all the crying about gov’t employee benefits in the 80s and 90s when you were getting the stock options….business trips…. profit sharing….etc.

I don’t recall hearing any.

AmVet

January 24th, 2011
5:19 pm

Misty, you make a classic and juvenile mistake. You think because I excoriate your beloved GOP, that makes me a Democrat.

Which is laughably simplistic and proof of the absolutist, black and white, stranglehold that the duopoly has over you. (Us good, them bad. Me right, you wrong.)

I voted against the democratic candidate for president in four out of the past five elections. You? Did you vote for all five Republicans?

And that statement regarding the deniers is proven and easily corrobated. Unless you have some shocking new information, whereby the Republican Party is NOT the only segment of any western democracy on the planet to refute it.

NOT with science, but with whining…

JohnnyReb

January 24th, 2011
5:25 pm

Just one question for our Liberal friends – please list a problem or two Liberals can fix if NOT using Conservative money?

JohnnyReb

January 24th, 2011
5:43 pm

No replies from the Libs? They must all be watching Gleen Beck!

Peter

January 24th, 2011
5:45 pm

Hey JohnnyReb…..tell us how going to WAR in Iraq and “Cost Plus Contracts” were ever good for America ?

Tell us that was good using Conservative Money ….. cause that was just the Bilking of the US Treasury…..and no way was competitive bidding ever involved.

Peter

January 24th, 2011
6:06 pm

Hey bob …… Who appointed the Superintendent of schools for Georgia ?

Raymond Huffman

January 24th, 2011
6:27 pm

JohnnyReb, AmVet’s quote above applies to you”

“laughably simplistic and proof of the absolutist, black and white, stranglehold that the duopoly has over you. (Us good, them bad. Me right, you wrong.)”

but “liberal” or “conservative money” takes the cake!

Job creators used to be Inventors, not lenders.

JohnnyReb

January 24th, 2011
6:31 pm

Peter – every Congresisonal Rep and all but one Senator, Barry, voted to go to war. The Dems were in control of the House the last two years of the Bush presidency. If they were not OK with paying for the war without it being in the budget, whey did they not put it in the budget?

As to cost plus contracts, considering how much the Dems hated Bush, do you really think if there was anything illegal they would not have had hearings?

What you should be more worried about is how Obamacare robbed Medicare to create new entitlements for the uninsured.

JohnnyReb

January 24th, 2011
6:33 pm

Huffman, my point was, since you did not get it, Liberals have zero answers that don’t use someone elses money. They seldom don’t have their hands in someone elses pockets.

Peter

January 24th, 2011
6:53 pm

Yes JohnnyReb….and all were lied too about the WAR before the vote……. Kind of like Saddam and Bib Laden planed it together as Cheney asserted.

Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the rest of the lies.

I am more worried about how Bush screwed the economy for most……and allowed the housing crisis to happen by not regulating.

The Bilking of the Treasury was his finest Republican moment……..kind of what he meant with “Mission Accomplished” .

Peter

January 24th, 2011
6:55 pm

Hey JohnnyReb……..you must think all the land in Georgia went up over the last two years, as the Governor thought ?