What does the partisan symbol of Wall Street mean to those with enough time on their hands to be milling in the streets, shouting at cameras in the middle of a work day? Wall Street protests show how successful Democrats have been at exploiting joblessness, and deflecting anger that should be focused on them. The protesters are being deceived, and those who believe the president’s jobs bill has anything to do with their plight should go home and study up on who the spending will benefit.
There is a difference between class warfare and using misfortune caused by the economy to incite hatred. The president has toed that line since his reelection campaign began months ago, demanding that income be redistributed for the benefit of supporters who suffer at the hands of the wealthy:
Some see this as class warfare. I see it as a simple choice. We can either keep taxes exactly as they are for millionaires and billionaires, or we can ask them to pay at least the same rate as a plumber or a bus driver.1
Those angry about the absence of job opportunities are responding mindlessly to tired Democratic rich vs. poor rhetoric. Protesters should question why the president failed to give them the slightest lip service in his Saturday morning address. Pushing hard for the new bill, Mr. Obama offered nods to public employees and unions, tossing out vague estimates of “hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers” laid off, and “millions of laid-off construction workers” who could be put back on the job by his spending measures.2
Funding salaries in the short term is a policy of desperation that is guaranteed to fail. We tried the same thing in August 2010, when Democrats coerced $26 billion to fund hazy numbers of public employee salaries:
And that’s why today we’re trying to pass a law that will save hundreds of thousands of additional jobs in the coming year. It will help states avoid laying off police officers, firefighters, nurses and first responders.3
Just like this year’s spending bill, last year’s Teacher Jobs Bill was fully paid for by punishing ill-gotten corporate wealth:
Now, this proposal is fully paid for, in part by closing tax loopholes that encourage corporations to ship American jobs overseas.4
The president’s commonsense appeals for his new bill rule out partisan differences. He used the same strategy to sell the public his 2010 bill:
It should not be a partisan issue. I heard the Republican Leader in the House say the other day that this is a special interest bill. And I suppose if America’s children and the safety of our communities are your special interests, then it is a special interest bill. 5
Now Barack Obama is back at the trough, demanding money for his supporters. Democrats are in a tough spot, so they have taken their appeal to the public, demanding that money to fund public employee and union jobs come from those that partisanship dictates are not paying their fair share.
Union involvement in Wall Street protests should give participants a clue as to what the president insists we pay for. Another hint comes from the administration’s stomping of states like Alabama for trying to protect their budgets from illegal immigrants. The president claims that we are out of money to pay for teachers, but he is pursuing a hands-off approach with states that offer expensive, taxpayer-paid benefits for illegals like resident tuition and, in destitute California, taxpayer-funded student financial aid beginning in 2013.
The president’s campaign bus was paid for with public money, too. He criticizes lawmakers for worrying about their election prospects, even though he has been on the campaign trail since last summer:
The people who represent you in Washington have a responsibility to do what’s best for you – not what’s best for their party or what’s going to help them win an election that’s more than a year away.6
Protesters are justifiably angered about the lack of job opportunities, but their stance becomes ludicrous when they condemn the wealth that permits businesses to keep their doors open, and to pay employees’ salaries. Expecting business owners to shoulder the risk and responsibility of operating a business, then fleecing them when they become successful is a job-killing, growth-ending policy that guarantees the unemployment rate will never budge.
Perhaps Democrats can convince the GOP to free up some funding for soup kitchens for those angered by a vague symbol of unfairness endorsed by our money-hungry, campaigning president. With long-term unemployment up in September, and the jobless rate fixed at 9.1%, a free bowl of soup is the best protesters should expect. They are passive, misled tools helping Democrats spread their message of how success and wealth creation kill jobs. Unless they plan on starting businesses themselves, which seems unlikely, given their condemnation of profit, protesters should count on milling in the streets for the remainder of Barack Obama’s presidency.