Obama Set a Trap for Republicans

Obama’s job speech was designed to trap Republicans. He’s counting on the economic “crisis” to give him the opportunity to manage the economy Soviet-style. Here’s how the president put it:

“The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy; whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.”

He has studied the track record of Republican folding under political pressure. He’s counting on them to fold one more time. Here’s his plan. First, Obama knows people are fearful of losing their jobs. They want something to be done no matter what the long-term effects. A good number of so-called Independents want the partisan bickering to stop. The two parties should get together and compromise. This means, as Democrats know, Republicans will give into the Democrats because they don’t want to be seen as the job-killing party. This is the Democrat version of “compromise.” If the Republicans don’t go along, the media will be the mouthpiece for the Obama administration giving him and the economy cover. They’re already doing it. Here’s an example:

Obama is daring Republicans to fight a package that is loaded with tangible benefits for specific constituencies, that includes measures once backed by the GOP and that would have a do-nothing Washington doing something, anything, about jobs. Go ahead, he dared Republicans, make me be the reasonable one.

Second, Obama positioned his bill in such a way that to oppose it will be perceived as political obstructionism. The Republicans want to see the economy tank, so they will oppose anything the president puts forward. Independents will blame the Republicans if the economy continues to falter, and it will, whether the jobs bill passes or not. Raising taxes to pay for it only shifts money from the productive to the unproductive. This is called theft. The jobs are targeted to shore up his base (e.g., public school construction done by union workers for union workers). The spending will be immediate but paying for it will be delayed. Notice that most of the tax increases aren’t implemented until after the 2012 election when it will be too late to repeal them. The tax cuts are meaningless because, like the spending, they are targeted. What if a company does not need to hire someone? Will these tax incentives be permanent? If they’re not, then these hired employees will be later fired, but only after the 2012 election.

Third, if the Republicans capitulate, then the GOP base will go on the attack and begin to consume their own. This is not all bad. Like 2010, more RINOs will be sent to the taxidermist. This is risky, but it is the upside. Again, the media will go into attack mode against the GOP.

So what should the GOP do? Here’s the operating rule: You can’t beat something with nothing. The Republicans need to come out with a comprehensive tax cutting program that includes cuts in government spending. They need to bring in small and large business owners who can articulate why they are not hiring and spending. No personal attacks, just simple comments on how and why people make economic decisions. It has nothing to do with an artificial stimulus.