Inquiring minds would like to know why President Obama hasn’t met with his once-highly-touted Jobs Council in more than six months. It’s been reported the Council was created “in part to inoculate himself” from an anti-business record, but the President has insisted, “This has not been a show council. This has been a work council.” And with unemployment at 8.2 percent and businesses represented on the Council predicting higher health care costs as a result of Obamacare, they probably expected some follow through from the President. So what gives? The White House suggests the President, with “a lot on his plate,” is just too busy to be bothered with the Council. Given the President’s heavy fundraising schedule and wandering priorities, that seems to most like a stretch.
Perhaps there’s another reason he’s not eager to face them: he’d have to explain why he’s ignored – and even attacked – so many of their key recommendations. . The Wall Street Journal reports, “President Barack Obama is at odds with some of his handpicked outside advisers on hot-button election topics such as regulations and corporate taxes.” Yeah, awkward.
Flashback to January. When the Council last met, they produced a series of recommendations to get the economy moving and create jobs. As it turned out, their report looked a lot like what House Republicans have been advocating in the Plan for America’s Job Creators. Here’s how Reuters described the Council’s recommendations back then:
“President Barack Obama's jobs council is calling for a corporate tax overhaul, expanded domestic drilling and new regulatory reforms… The panel calls for lowering corporate tax rates to ‘internationally competitive levels’ while broadening the corporate tax base by eliminating deductions and loopholes… the report calls for an ‘all in’ strategy on energy that would seek to further exploit domestic fossil-fuel supplies to reduce reliance on foreign imports… [and] the report called for a series of reforms to streamline government rules and reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, which it said would enhance U.S. competitiveness.”
As Speaker Boehner said at the time, “With this report, President Obama’s own panel of experts has endorsed the approach to job creation House Republicans have been pursuing for more than a year.” Indeed, House Republicans have passed more than 30 jobs bills that are focused on these very types of solutions: increasing American energy production, cutting red tape, providing tax relief for small businesses, and reforming our burdensome tax code. Despite calls for action from his Jobs Council, the President has “checked out” and roundly ignored these House-passed bills, leaving them to collect dust in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The White House, in damage control mode, has assured Americans they aren’t giving up on the Council – even suggesting a supernatural relationship. But that weak spin isn’t going to cut it. After 41 months of unemployment above 8% unemployment Americans would appreciate a President focused more on saving jobs than saving face.