I was looking at the Twitterz again and saw a tweet showing a video of Obama at the PBS Town Hall in June of 2016. The former President spent a lot of time saying things, but it’s clear he had no idea what he was talking about.
I had to go look this up to see the full speech he made that includes this clip. I’m a firm believer in context just to make sure there is no funny business. And boy, am I glad I did!
While that clip in the tweet was funny in of itself, the longer clip made him look far worse.
Here is the clip:
Obama is certainly not an expert in business. He is barely an average Constitutional lawyer with no real credentials. When being asked questions about how the economy works, like his debate with Romney in 2012, he was completely out of his element.
Here are the highlights:
The question was about the loss of jobs in relation to the news that Carrier was going to move its plant to Mexico. The union steel worker wanted to know about his and his co-workers jobs.
Obama started off with a deflection by saying two things. One is that there were more manufacturing jobs in the US than in the 1990’s. This was a lie. Even FactCheck.Org rebutted his statement in an unrelated exchange that Josh Ernest made when Carrier made a deal with President-Elect Trump to keep the plant in Indiana.
The other is that he talked about how the auto industry was booming, having increased sales over the last five years than they had “in a long long time”. This, too, was in fact, another lie as sales of automobiles had improved from 2009-2017, but they didn’t reach pre-2009 levels until 2016. I guess a long time meant after he was elected.
In trying to circle back, he says the US manufacturing base is bigger today than in most of US history. Interestingly, the Economic Policy Institute says in a 2015 report that manufacturing has declined since 1998 and is still recovering. While it is true that the auto industry had rebounded somewhat, other industries still lagged.
But even then, he blamed some of the problems on the fact that jobs went overseas, which is true. And his solution was to negotiate trade deals that other countries raise their workers wages and they manufacture their products in a more environmentally friendly manner, necessarily raising their costs so that the American worker didn’t have to compete against that. Of course, he didn’t mention a single trade deal that he signed that included any of these principles.
Next up, the blame goes to automation. Robots are taking away jobs. What use to take 10,000 people to work in an automotive plant, now only takes a 1,000. The good news is that whole industries are starting to pop up. Even more good news is that companies are starting to come back to the states because energy is cheaper and workers are better. Obviously, he offers no evidence to support these statements, and the statements go unchallenged.
Now comes the political talking points. He says that people who have lost their traditional American jobs because, you know, even though those companies want to be in the US despite Carrier wanting to move its plant to Mexico, well, the problem is, you need to be retrained for the new jobs that are popping up. His reasoning? Some of those jobs are just not going to come back.
And then he goes into the ramblings of the video clip in the tweet.
The Union Worker, who is supposed to be the base of the Democrat Party was just told by the sitting President of the United States that even though he was losing his job, car sales are up, manufacturing is better than ever! However, sorry dude, what needs to happen is for you to retrain in the new economy because I don’t know how we can bring those jobs back.
I wonder what Obama might say today? I’m sure he’ll pull out some of those “statistics” attached to “talking points” that have worked so well.