By Carole on Sep 22, 2011
President Barack Obama hit another American city today claiming to care about the nation's unemployment crisis but showing his real concern is for his own political future. His chosen backdrop of the Brent Spence Bridge which links Ohio and Kentucky was the perfect setting for an attack against two of his political opponents House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). But his usual mixture of sarcasm and lies were no match for the truth Senator McConnell ably delivered from the Senate floor.
On the Ohio side of the bridge, our Candidate-in-Chief made an attempt at humor saying his decision to speak in front of that particular bridge was "sheer coincidence" and "purely accidental." He then called on Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell to, "Help us rebuild this bridge. Help us rebuild America. Help us put this country back to work. Pass this jobs bill right away!"
Of course that "jobs bill" is the president's American Jobs Act which is not a bill at all. It's just a volume of already failed stimulus spending that would cost American taxpayers another $447 billion. None of Mr. Obama's fellow Democrats have even drafted a bill based on his plan and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has said it will be at least another month before such a bill would be placed on the Senate calendar.
Yet the president keeps demanding that Congressional Republicans pass this imaginary bill "right away". His claim today that doing so would "Help us rebuild this bridge" is even more ridiculous in light of the fact that the Brent Spence Bridge is not a shovel-ready project that could put Americans back to work immediately. An existing $2.4 billion project to replace the "functionally obsolete" bridge is not slated to start construction until 2015.
When asked about that pre-existing timeframe, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney offered up a steaming portion of government-speak saying, "if the American Jobs Act were passed, we could speed up the process of environmental and other approvals on this specific bridge."
Meanwhile back in reality where lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have spoken against the president's American Jobs Act and where the past two and a half years of failed economic policies are not ignored, Senator McConnell took to the Senate floor and spoke truth to Mr. Obama's ridiculous campaign rhetoric:
"Over the past week, President Obama has been traveling around the country trying to set a record for the number of times he can say the words 'pass this bill right away' in a single five-minute speech.
"And today, he'll bring his act to a 50-year-old bridge that connects my own state of Kentucky with Ohio.
"Now, the purpose of this visit is clear: The President's plan is to go out to this bridge and say that if only lawmakers in Washington would pass his second stimulus bill 'right away', then bridges like this one would get fixed - and that the only thing standing in the way of repairing them is people like me.
"Well, I would just make a couple of points about all this.
"First, I find it hard to take the President's message all that seriously when his own Communications Director is over at the White House telling people he's no longer interested in legislative compromise; and when the leaders of the President's own party in Congress are treating this bill like an afterthought.
"We'd be more inclined to look at this so-called jobs bill if the President's own staff and the members of his own party in Congress started taking it a little more seriously themselves.
"Second, I'd remind the President that the people of Kentucky and Ohio have heard this kind of thing before. Don't forget: the President made the same promises when he was selling his first stimulus. It's a message he brought to Ohio repeatedly.
"Here's what he said two years ago this week at a stop in Warren, Ohio: 'All across Ohio and all across the country, rebuilding our roads and our bridges...that's what the Recovery Act has been all about.'
"Yet two and a half years later, what do we have to show for it: politically-connected companies like Solyndra ended up with hundreds of millions in taxpayer-backed money, and bridges like the one the President's at today still need to be fixed.
"It's worth noting, in fact, that this one company blew through more taxpayer money than the first stimulus allocated for every road and bridge in the entire state of Kentucky - combined.
"The President told Ohioans and Kentuckians the first stimulus would keep unemployment below 8% too.
"Yet two and a half years later, unemployment in both states is still above 9 percent.
"So we've heard these promises before, and I don't think the President should expect anybody to fall for them again.
"I mean, how many stimulus bills do we have to pass before these bridges get fixed?
"How many Solyndras do we have to finance?
"How much money do we have to waste before the President makes good on the promises he's already made?
"If a bridge needs fixing, by all means, let's fix it.
"But don't tell us we need to pass a half a trillion dollar stimulus bill and accept job-killing tax hikes to do it.
"Don't tell the people of Kentucky they need to finance every turtle tunnel and solar panel company on some bureaucrat's wish list in order to get their bridges fixed.
"And don't patronize us by implying that if we just pass this second stimulus, that bridges will be fixed ‘right away.'
"The American people heard the same thing when the administration was selling the first stimulus, only to turn on their television sets two and a half years later to see the President having a big laugh over the fact that all those shovel-ready projects weren't quite as shovel-ready as he thought they were.
"So I would suggest, Mr. President, that you think about ways to actually help the people of Kentucky and Ohio, instead of how you can use their roads and bridges as a backdrop for making a political point.
"If you're truly interested in helping our state - if you really want to help our state - then come back to Washington and work with Republicans on legislation that will actually do something to revive our economy and create jobs. And forget the political theater."
Excellent advice but unfortunately for the country, Candidate Obama has other priorities.
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