In populist speeches promoting his jobs plan, President Obama has made only a passing reference to global competition.
It’s a striking omission.
The economic growth needed to encourage private-sector hiring depends on the United States improving its global competitiveness through tax, trade and regulatory policy. Yet in his Rose Garden remarks Monday, his speech Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, and his campaign-like speech Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C., the words “compete” or “competition” appear only once, in the Columbus remarks, and then only in the context of the public sector, that is education. Speaking at Fort Hayes High School, the President said:
I wouldn’t mind taking a few classes here. (Applause.) You’ve got computers in every classroom, got state-of-the-art graphic design and science labs, new media center, music rooms. And when you combine that with outstanding teachers -- (applause) -- and a challenging curriculum, you’ve got the foundation for what you need to learn and graduate, and compete in this 21st century economy. (Applause.)
Business places a high importance on educational quality, but this seems like a passing reference to the realities of global competitiveness.
A plan meant to encourage private-sector job creation has to embrace policies that promote growth, right? Without economic growth, employers have no need to add employees. By eschewing the discussion of global competitiveness, President Obama has narrowed his focus to jobs as being a product of government stimulus, and that’s too narrow.
Speaker of the House John Boehner outlines the Republican “pro-growth” jobs program this afternoon at the Economic Club of Wahsington. Here are excerpts from his prepared remarks.
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