- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 1, 2011

The administration’s arrogance has no limits. President Obama called on Congress to convene in joint session next Wednesday so he could read a speech about jobs. The idea was to have the major television networks carry his remarks live, diverting the attention of politicos from the Republican effort to provide Mr. Obama with firsthand experience of the growing unemployment lines. Like millions of Americans mired in the Obama economy, the president knows his own jobremains in danger in 2012.

The White House spokesman insisted it was coincidental that the joint session was to be scheduled at the precise date and time that CNBC, MSNBC and Telemundo had set for a debate among eight Republican presidential candidates at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. “There were a lot of considerations that once you decide you want to do a speech to Congress, and you have to deal with congressional schedules, and there are many other factors here,” said Mr. Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney, not very convincingly. “And obviously one debate of many that’s on one channel of many was not enough reason not to have the speech at the time that we decided to have it.”

Traditionally, the commander in chief uses a joint session to deliver the State of the Union address and rally the country on extraordinary issues of national concern. President George W. Bush addressed the war on terror in the week following Sept. 11. Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which kicked off World War II. Woodrow Wilson delivered several speeches leading up to World War I. John Adams updated Congress on relations with France. Now Mr. Obama wants to give a political speech calling for more spending.

Fortunately, House Speaker John A. Boehner saw through the baloney. The Ohio Republican decided the speech could just as easily be given a day later, on Sept. 8, and so it will be. Expect the presidential teleprompter on that day to be loaded with the usual rhetoric about the need for “investment” (i.e., more spending) and “fairness” (i.e., more taxes). The classic Democratic tax-and-spend message will be dressed up as “infrastructure” and “winning the future,” but it’s the same old failed Jimmy Carter ideas.

Mr. Boehner’s agenda, available at jobs.gop.gov, calls for abandoning this disastrous course. The speaker wants less spending, less regulation and lower corporate taxes - the agenda of President Reagan, who restored America’s economic prosperity. The only way for Mr. Obama to revive the economy and avoid electoral defeat is to fundamentally change course and embrace limited government. Otherwise, with luck, one of the GOP hopefuls assembled at the Gipper’s library on Wednesday will be ready to repeat Reagan’s success by overturning all the Carter-Obama big-government policies after the next election.