- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 10, 2012

President Obama sent a warmed-over five-point “to-do” list to Congress this week that he said will create jobs and spur growth. There was nothing new in any of the points. He’s offered these ideas before, but Congress rejected all of them.

In a gimmicky performance before an audience at the State University of New York at Albany, Mr. Obama unveiled his plan on two large flat-screen television monitors in the form of a green Post-it note with five unchecked boxes next to the proposals.

It was a desperate, hastily slapped together video show in the wake of last week’s bleak unemployment report, which showed few jobs were being created and the Obama economy was slowing down - again.

The stock market was tanking, sharply reducing workers’ retirement savings. Foreclosures were still at severe levels. The real unemployment rate was at 18 percent, including the unemployed, underemployed in temporary jobs and 3 million discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work.

The frustrated president said he’d offer new ideas to deal with the jobless crisis, and his advisers came up with the Post-it-note gimmick to portray Congress as an obstructionist body that was blocking his efforts to get the economy growing again.

Did the White House truly believe Congress was going to take this plate of leftovers seriously?

Three years and four months into his presidency, with little more than six months remaining before the election, Mr. Obama is without a plan to put America back to work, without an agenda for the next four years or any fresh plan of action for economic growth.

His Post-It-note gambit served as a pathetic symbol of the emptiness of his ideas to deal with a $15 trillion economy.

He is still offering small proposals for a big problem. Obstructionism on Capitol Hill is not his problem. It’s his economic policies and the deepening uncertainty that has infected the business community that has stymied investment and growth.

One of the bromides on his Post-it note would give a 10 percent income tax cut to small businesses that create new jobs or give workers pay raises.

He offered this idea early in his presidency, when the economy was struggling to climb out of the recession and businesses had few if any resources to hire anyone, let alone raise wages.

Cash-strapped employers could not hire any more workers until they saw more business coming through the door. But Mr. Obama’s advisers never understood that simple rule of cost control and cash flow.

Only someone who had never run a business or spent time with people who had run one would propose such a silly, illogical idea. Even members of his party shook their heads in disbelief.

But the idea defined the core of Obamanomics: Do what we tell you to do, no matter what your financial problems are, and we will give you a tax cut.

All of this has led to the fourth year of Mr. Obama’s remedial presidency, when we are struggling with a weak economy, high unemployment, declining wages, severe gas prices and fewer job opportunities to get ahead.

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