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.