Perhaps the reason for President Obama’s flat and energy-less speech Thursday night — TV cameras panning the convention floor actually showed delegates falling asleep — was that he already knew Friday’s jobs numbers were going to be a disaster. The August unemployment report completely punctured his argument that if you just give him four more years, his policies will solve the economy.
Of course, reading through the speech, I didn’t see the word “jobs” mentioned once. In fact, though I could be wrong, I didn’t see the word “growth” mentioned once.
What I did see were constant references to government. Obama has taken to calling it “citizenship.” But it’s the same old, same old. Whether it’s more money for the teachers unions, or more Solyndra-like green energy, or more for infrastructure, it translates to more government spending and dependency in a second Obama term, all to somehow be financed with tax hikes on the rich.
Unfortunately, as former President Clinton mentioned in his convention speech, the arithmetic doesn’t add up.
Taxing successful, upper-end earners, investors and small-business owners will generate less than half the revenue Team Obama expects. Maybe far less than half, since taxing capital gets you less capital, lower investment, fewer jobs and slower growth. This will lead to a huge revenue shortfall, all while spending as a share of gross domestic product continues to rise, perhaps to 25 or 26 percent.
Despite the president’s argument, ever larger government is the problem. It interferes with private-sector growth. Obama has never understood this. During his speech, he mocked tax cuts and deregulation, not understanding that permanent tax incentives and easier regulatory burdens free the economy to produce more growth.