Last week, President Obama announced a "Jobs Forum" to solicit ideas to help put unemployed Americans back to work. This would be fine and dandy if we were talking about a student council proposal. Meet and have cookies, discuss possible themes for the prom, and maybe sign everybody up for a leadership conference or two. But when the President of the United States of America starts suggesting brainstorming sessions and team-building exercises to jump-start the economy, you know he is completely in over his head.
Not that we should be surprised. If you've spent your entire political career running for office and never been held accountable for actually running an office, holding a "Jobs Forum" probably seems like the perfect solution to pretending to do something about a problem you have no desire or idea how to fix. When unemployment is expected to reach almost 11% and one in six Americans is said to be looking for more hours of work, you have to at least act like you're concerned. Such antics might work in an election, but it's a terrible way to lead a nation.
Not only can't the government create jobs without stealing resources from the private sector (thus killing private sector growth), but every policy the president has pushed so far can accurately be described as a "Jobs-Killing Forum." From the stimulus boondoggle to handing control of car companies over to the unions, from cap-and-trade energy schemes to state-run health care, from protectionism to higher taxes, President Obama has all but declared war on free enterprise.
Rather than let the invisible hand of the free market correct the economy, the Obama administration has cut it off and inserted their own heavy hand in its place, picking winners and losers and threatening regulations at every turn. Private companies now change their behavior to meet the federal government's whimsical desires, often at the expense of innovation and job creation. What good is a forum when the best ideas to come out of it will be ignored if they don't support a larger, more intrusive bureaucracy?
Of course, the purpose of the "Jobs Forum" isn't to turn the economy around. It's to protect and insulate the Obama brand from the political fallout from his statist policies. To turn the economy around, Obama would have to abandon his Far Left agenda, shrink government, lower taxes, and listen to the will of the people. That's not going to happen. Meanwhile, so long as we're aimlessly brainstorming, why not hold a "Peace Forum" to solve Iraq and Afghanistan.
The only forum that Obama doesn't seem willing to hold is a "Listen to the People Forum." He has all but ignored the results of this year's elections in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey in which Republicans, left for dead nine months ago, won handily. He has ignored the polls, demonized the Tea Party protesters, and vilified news organizations that oppose his policies.
Only the most callous person would continue to push an unpopular ideology at the expense of everyday Americans, but it's become clear that Obama holds in contempt those who wish to succeed without relying on the state.