Three weeks ago, President Obama went to the Ohio State University to give the commencement address, and there he urged citizens to reject cynicism about government.
In particular, he said this:
“You’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems. You should reject these voices, ‘cause what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”
Well, what a terrible thing to say! Of course, maybe some of us just think that certain people can’t be trusted with our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule — because they are cynics who gain political power when we trust government to do things for us that we can and should do for ourselves.
Like — say, Barack Obama!
For a case in point, consider what he did on Saturday when he gave the commencement address at Morehouse University. As Washington press types like to say, Obama looked to “pivot back to jobs” after a week of trying to squirm out from under a trio of scandals. But in doing so, he reminded us of why we are so often disappointed when we look to government for answers.
Since he figured we care more about jobs than we do about scandals, Obama tried to make the case that he can take action as president to create more jobs. One of the ways he plans to do this is to expedite the permitting process on a whole bunch of projects that supposedly are big job creators.
The Los Angeles Times reports from the speech:
"One of the problems we've had in the past is that sometimes it takes too long to get projects off the ground," Obama said. "There are all these permits and red tape and planning and this and that, and some of it's important to do, but we could do it faster."
Obama said he recently ordered accelerated permitting for 50 big projects across the country, including work on the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York and the Port of Charleston in South Carolina.
"We've been able to, in some cases, cut approval times from seven years down to a year," Obama said, to loud applause from the crowd at the Baltimore plant. "Today I'm directing agencies across the government to do what it takes to cut timelines for breaking ground on major infrastructure projects in half."
Now do you see the problem here? First of all, why should it ever take seven years to complete the “permits and red tape and planning and this and that?" But beyond that, if Obama can cause a seven-year process to be reduced to a year just by giving an order, then what he’s shown is that these seven-year government delays are entirely unnecessary.
They only take that long because the government is inefficient and completely unconcerned about the problems it creates for people. They’ll speed up the process if the president tells them to on 50 big projects, but they won’t speed up the process as a matter of course because that is the right way to do things.
No wonder people are cynical about government!
What Obama said at Morehead is compelling evidence that what he said at Ohio State is nonsense.
People are wise to be cynical about government, because government routinely gums up the job-creating works, unless and until a politician who needs to change the subject from a scandal (or three) decides to tell it to stop gumming up the works.
If we get six or seven more scandals going, maybe Obama will finally approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Surely he would never allow job creation to be delayed because of this or that.
Following the conclusion of his presidential campaign, Herman Cain established The Cain Solutions Revolution, an organization whose mission is to educate the public and advocate for the policy solutions that drove his campaign for the presidency. Read more reports from Herman Cain — Click Here Now.
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