He came, he saw, he spent
By Henry Payne / The Michigan View
In the latest stop on his “Recovery Summer” tour, rock star President Barack Obama landed in Holland, Michigan Thursday, insulted its congressman, handed American stimulus dollars to a Korean corporation, and proclaimed Obamanomics a success even as Michigan has lost 94,000 jobs since his Recovery Act was enacted.
All in all, another day in the life of an increasingly unpopular president who seems to be living in an alternative universe.
But the green economy looks like a lot of green for the well-connected. The president handed $150 million in stimulus money over to Korean CEO Peter Bahnsuk Kim of LG Chem. LG Chem is an $11 billion Korean conglomerate that hardly seems a candidate for the American Recovery Act. No wonder the program is so unpopular.
Accompanying Obama was Governor Jennifer Granholm - Obama praised her as “one of the best governors in America” even as she presides over the nation’s second highest unemployment rate – who has been complaining that Washington Republicans are denying her the $500 million in stimulus money she needs to plug Michigan’s Medicaid budget hole. So here she was in West Michigan celebrating $150 million for Corporate Korea. Huh?
Obama said his benevolence would create 300 jobs in Holland – but that’s $500,000 per job. At least it’s a bargain compared to the $ $1.25 million per job Obama spent on two solar companies in Arizona over the July 4 weekend.
The president cheered that LG Chem batteries will go into GM’s electric plug-in Chevy Volt "so when you buy one of these vehicles, it will be stamped 'Made in America.’” But precious few Americans will buy the $40,000 Volt (that’s BMW 3-series sticker territory) as they are targeted at well-healed consumers making over $100,00 a year in places Silicon Valley.
West Michigan is suffering 12 percent unemployment yet President “Audacity of Hope” had the audacity to suggest that the stimulus “efforts we took we are no longer bleeding jobs." In fact, since his $1 trillion Recovery Act was passed a year ago, Michigan has lost nearly 100,000 jobs.
Obama couldn’t even get his manners right. Ever the partisan, he took a shot at his host, Holland Congressional representative Pete Hoekstra who was in the audience. Despite opposing the Recovery Act, Hoekstra attended the ground-breaking ceremony, he told The View, “out of respect for the office of president.”
The respect was not returned. "Some made the political calculation that it's better to obstruct than to lend a hand,” sneered Obama at the end of his remarks. “Now that doesn't stop them from being at ribbon cuttings, but that's OK."
And then the president jumped in his 10 mpg Caddy limo and headed to the next stop on his tour to transform what Americans drive.
Henry Payne is editor of The Michigan View