Two weeks before election day and President Barack Obama decided to release his plan for a second term. Let me state that again, a mere fourteen days before Americans go to the polls (and some two weeks after early voting has begun in a number of states) to elect ostensibly the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States graces us with his ideas for a second term.
It seems like a joke. Sadly, this joke is on us. Before diving into the substance of his plan it is worth noting that until today Obama apparently thought his charm was enough of a reason for folks to vote for him. If anyone doubted that Obama was more demagogue than democrat this late release serves as exhibit A. Furthermore, it is reasonable to assume that Obama would have never produced a plan if he thought re-election was assured.
I have written policy plans for state legislative candidates. The plans I drafted were written sometimes exclusively by me, sometimes in consultation with the candidate. Occasionally, other staff was involved. Usually the process involved sitting at a computer amid piles of press clippings, legislative records, some analysis and research reports, and a demographic survey of the district.
In comparison Team Obama has every available resource. Obama has access to Harvard lawyers, and Hollywood screenwriters. The President has the ability to test his priorities with focus-groups. Really, every advantage that I can think of is available to the President. There should be no comparison between the President’s plan and one I wrote as a 27 year old hack staffer for an unknown state legislative candidate while sitting in a rented office.
Yet, my plan is better. I do not mean that my plan is better philosophically (though it is). I mean my plan had more substance and was more thoroughly developed. Here are a few nuggets of “substance” from Obama’s plan.
Double exports and create one million new manufacturing jobs
The absence of punctuation comes from the author. Not me. Otherwise, this is the plan. How will he create one million new manufacturing jobs is never described. This line is pure invention, so why stop at one million, why not the nine million jobs we need to recover the economy? It also begs the question that if Obama had a magic wand that could create one million jobs why has he not yet used it?
Will invest in education, research and technology to grow the economy for the long term
Okay. Sounds nice. What does it mean? If it means Obama will spend more money, I believe him. If it means he will improve the economy, I have my doubts.
Invests in new resources like wind and solar, production of which has already more than doubled
Set a goal to cut tuition growth in half over the next decade with a plan to double campus based student aid and incentives for schools that are successful at keeping tuition growth down
Setting goals is not a plan. I have a goal of learning Korean and Latin, while writing a best-selling book, losing fifteen pounds, and winning an Iron Man triathlon. All in 2013. Are you convinced I will do it, or even know how to do it? Give me credit, I did set a goal.
3.1 million young Americans now have health insurance
This is one of my favorites. Define “young” Mr President? 3.1 million, in total, or in new policies? If it is 3.1 million more, than more than when? 3.1 million out of how many? Is it good health insurance? Do they want it, or need it, or use it? What does it cost? Is it effective?
Proposed a new rule to keep families together by allowing certain undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens to apply for legal status from inside the U.S.
Seriously? Proposing a rule is somehow less persuasive than setting a goal. How is this in anyway, whether you agree with the general notion or not, an argument for handing Obama the keys to the White House for four years?
I could honestly do this all day.
I have written more than my share of boilerplate nonsense. I know meaningless tripe when I see it. The Obama plan for America is worse than meaningless. His plan redefines vague in the most offensive way possible. Lest you accuse me of picking on Obama below is an excerpt from the Romney plan, a plan which has footnotes and citations.
Reduce individual marginal income tax rates across-the-board by 20 percent, while keeping current low tax rates on dividends and capital gains. Reduce the corporate income tax rate – the highest in the world – to 25 percent.
Fourteen days to the election and Obama remarkably thinks this plan will help convince voters that he deserves another four years. If you are not insulted by this, you are probably … nevermind.