Monday, July 26, 2010

Why The Hell Is Barack Obama Coming To New Jersey?

President Barack Obama plans to visit Central Jersey on Wednesday to discuss economic issues...The White House announced Friday the president's plans to visit "the Edison area.'' It did not give specific information about the time or location of his visit.

I'm curious as to what he is here to discuss. New Jersey's unemployment rate is 9.6, consistent with the national average. More recently: economists say slow jobs recovery and a shrinking manufacturing sector mean Jersey will be one of the last to emerge from the economic slump.

It's not as if the stimulus actually stimulated any new manufacturing jobs, or business expansion in New Jersey. Actually, due to our notoriously high tax rates and regulatory environment, it seems unlikely that Jersey makes anyone's short list as a place to establish/expand a business venture.

There is this, however:

Though private companies added 5,200 jobs in New Jersey (in June), public sector rolls fell by 7,200, according to the state labor office.

Technically, that's minus 2,000 jobs, but in reality, it is 2,000 less state employees whose salaries, perks and benefits will be paid for by the overwhelmed taxpayers of New Jersey. I don't think there is much sympathy amongst the public for state employees right now...

So why would Obama come to New Jersey, a place where his policies have already been put into place, have failed spectacularly, and have been rejected? Some thoughts:

-Obama is only comfortable in Blue States, surrounded by perceived friendly crowds. This current "recovery summer" swing will tale him first to Michigan, then to New Jersey, and then to a shooting of The View. He's safe with Whoopie, but I am no longer so sure about Snookie...

-He has to appear in public somewhere, and with only a handful of competitive races in New Jersey, it's one of the few states he can actually show up in and not drag down his party's candidate.

-He plans to take credit for the 5200 private-sector jobs created in this moribound state. Why not? It's not like the president has ever used "honesty" as a barometer of what should or shouldn't come out of his mouth.

-Maybe - a long shot - he's planning on taking on the Fat Man of Trenton? Will Obama point to the job losses in the public sector, the pressure on the teacher's union for givebacks, and the closing of certain state services (motor vehicle inspection stations) as a rallying cry for additional stimulus dollars? Will he criticize Christie's austerity budget and veto of a "millionaire's (starting at $400K) tax"? Will he tell the people (or more likely, a hand-picked audience of union thugs)of New Jersey to get on the horn with their representatives and demand higher taxes, more stimulus, and more government as the solution to their woes?

Well, that would be audacity. But there would be very little hope. The residents of New Jersey already rejected this liberal program by giving the boot to Obama's pal Jon Corzine in November. Who, with the exception of state employees - who see the gravy train derailing and heading into the drink - could possibly get behind such a retro policy?

I would love to see Barack Obama take on Chris Christie. The governor's in-your-face, fact-based, no-nonsense approach to government is a stark contrast to the weaseling, whining, lying mode preferred by the president. Like an ant taking on a elephant...

Incidentally, I notice that Barack Obama is not planning (at this time) to appear with fellow African-American and Democrat Cory Booker, the well-respected Mayor of Newark. Gee, I wonder why...

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