You like American jobs, right? So does President Joe Biden. Why, just ask Joe Biden, who’s more than happy to tell you about it at length.
Not that this is new for him — or any president — but Biden seemed especially eager to prove it during his speech in front of a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. In fact, he saw employment for hardworking, blue-collar Americans pretty much everywhere he looked.
Take climate change, henceforth to be known as the “climate crisis”: “For too long, we have failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis,” Biden said, according to a transcript of the speech from USA Today. “Jobs. Jobs. For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs.”
Naturally, he saw jobs in renewable energy: “There’s no reason the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing. No reason why American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries.”
Spending $2.3 trillion of your tax dollars on “infrastructure” that isn’t really infrastructure?
You guessed it:
“The American Jobs Plan will create millions of good-paying jobs – jobs Americans can raise their families on,” Biden said. “And all the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: ‘Buy American.’ American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America that create American jobs. The way it should be.”
Heck. Yes. It’s time our tax dollars got spent where they belong: Here at home. If we’re going to dig us some serious Keynesian ditches, as Biden’s larded-up American Jobs Plan certainly puts us on a path to do, the administration’s going to be digging them in the good ol’ U-S-of-A.
Unfortunately, like most diet plans or exercise regimens, the Biden administration’s dedication to ensuring American tax dollars stay in America to fund American jobs is going to begin tomorrow.
Here’s North Carolina GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry, one of the members who attended Wednesday’s socially distanced shindig, noting that the people doing the advance prep work didn’t get it quite right:
Was invited to attend President Biden’s speech. In order to attend I had to show proof I’m fully vaccinated AND was told I’d be required to wear a KN-95 mask. Get there and they hand me this. You can’t make it up. #JointSession pic.twitter.com/bQUmvjoHAI
— Patrick McHenry (@PatrickMcHenry) April 29, 2021
“Was invited to attend President Biden’s speech. In order to attend I had to show proof I’m fully vaccinated AND was told I’d be required to wear a KN-95 mask. Get there and they hand me this,” McHenry tweeted, along with a picture of a mask, clearly stamped with “Made in China.”
“You can’t make it up,” McHenry added.
(No, you can’t. You also apparently can’t cover it if you’re part of the mainstream media, which would likely have had a field day if this had been on former President Donald Trump’s watch. A Google search Thursday morning indicated no mainstream news outlets even saw fit to mention the apparent disparity between Biden’s words and the deeds surrounding his speech.)
But forget about the self-evident absurdity of a sparsely attended, socially distanced speech in front of a vaccinated audience requiring KN-95 masks for those who attended.
Let’s talk about China, since the country got mentioned a few times by Biden, too.
“We’re in a competition with China and other countries to win the 21st Century,” Biden said, before invoking his go-to catchphrase whenever he wants to spend your money: “We have to do more than just build back. We have to build back better.”
Again Biden, talking about investing in R&D with government money: “Decades ago we used to invest 2 percent of our GDP on research and development. Today, we spend less than 1 percent. China and other countries are closing in fast. We have to develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future: Advanced batteries, biotechnology, computer chips, and clean energy.”
Of course, the federal government isn’t exactly funneling enough cash to build a technology park outside of Qingdao by buying KN-95 masks from China. So much of messaging is getting the details right, however, and this is arrant hypocrisy.
Remember the spurious claims that Trump’s campaign was manufacturing MAGA hats in China and how much play they got? This is materially identical. At a speech where so much of the rhetoric dealt with buying American and creating American jobs, not buying American masks for attendees to wear at the event is a missed free-throw that’s going to come back to haunt the Biden administration.
That’s doubly true when you consider there were plenty of conservatives willing to point out the administration has already been appallingly bad for American jobs:
The first thing Joe Biden did in office was kill good-paying American jobs when he killed the Keystone XL pipeline. I have a hard time believing him when he talks about jobs.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) April 29, 2021
Biden’s entire vision for America is just more government. Government creates all the jobs. Government spends all the money. Government makes the decisions. Nothing about empowering the independence and ingenuity of the American people. What happened to the American Dream?
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) April 29, 2021
You could argue any jobs created by PPE manufacturing and sales would only be transient in nature. Very well. Let’s take the “climate crisis,” as Biden is fond of calling it. Biden looks at it and sees lots and lots of jobs. So did Republicans, although they were talking about jobs lost through the administration’s decision to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, kill the Keystone XL pipeline and cancel oil and gas leases on federal lands:
President Biden’s first two weeks have been a sprint to the left.
After bucking the inaugural message of “unity,” far-left policies have been the only priority.
The American people have already been left behind and hundreds of thousands of jobs have been destroyed. pic.twitter.com/ziYtC0hiXR
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) February 1, 2021
The first number in the above post comes from the Heritage Foundation, which reported in 2017 that analysis showed the climate accord is “essentially an agreement to put hundreds of thousands of middle-class American workers in coal, steel production, oil and gas, construction and manufacturing into unemployment lines.”
“Our Heritage Foundation colleague Nick Loris estimates that, over the next decade, the agreement will cost Americans an extra $30,000 per family of four in higher energy prices and some 400,000 lost jobs (200,000 in manufacturing alone),” the report stated.
Biden elides over all of this because, one suspects, he knows full well this isn’t about jobs. That’s the easiest way to sell his administration’s policies, though: The $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan will provide jobs for those who don’t have a degree.
Want a degree? The $1.8 trillion American Families Plan will do that, too, subsidizing a two-year community college education for everyone. And all of this money will be used to buy American. Your tax dollars will stay at home.
Except for the masks, of course.
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