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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Not So Saintly

St. Barack has put his foot in it, yet again, with his comments that folks in Pennsylvania cling to "god and guns" because of the states economy. While he was at it he should have said "rural Pennsylvania is why they call it a TOOTH brush".

Of course that line wasn't supposed to get out, it was at a media free fundraiser, and the conspiracy theorist figure it was a Clinton supporter who leaked what he said. Who cares, he said it.

The more he back tracks, and tries to apologize, the more Obama sounds like what I've been calling him for months, a politicians, not some new fangled "agent of change".

Part of Obama's reasoning is correct, people are frustrated when they live in areas for years, or decades, they've felt left behind. He's even partially correct that they should be frustrated with the government. The problem is his solution, more government, is the problem in many of those areas.

When you look at Michigan, Pennsylvania and other "rust belt" states that are facing many of the problems he mentioned the government solutions of tax something to pay for retraining, tax something to pay for new programs hasn't worked. Yet his idea is for more taxes to pay for a new program.

The reason Pennyslvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin don't attract more companies, more jobs, etc is that companies look at them as "tax hells". Why locate in a place with high corporate tax rates, crazy mandates on what business has to provide (Wisconsin's "gold plated" insurance requirements) and generally unfriendly attitudes when you can go to Texas, New Mexico, Iowa, and elsewhere and be greated as someone wanting to help, not as a new source of revenue.

Forbes put Pennsylvania in the bottom ten states to do business in it's 2006 "Best Places To Do Business" list. Every indicator they use to create the ranking system had Pennsylvania rated 29 or lower, save quality of life. However, that one is great for employees, but doesn't do much to attract employers when the rest of the deck is stacked against them.

Unfortunately, Obama can't lay the blame on Pennsylvania's problems where it belongs, with the state government. They are all democrats, and already mostly supporting Hillary Clinton. But the truth is, until the state decides to do something to make itself more attractive to businesses, there's going to be little Obama, Clinton, or John McCain can do to change the frustration of those left behind there. Though not making condescending remarks about them might help.

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