Topics are flying about in Washington these days. As the wheel of priorities rotates on the hill, job creation is replaced by gun control, which is then pushed back by immigration reform.
Two years ago, after getting clobbered in the midterm elections, President Obama created a Jobs Council to rebut criticism that his administration had no real experience in private-sector executive competence.
Some folks in the business community were encouraged when that happened and thought that Obama might get more disciplined about the cost-benefit analyses of proposed regulatory expansion. Nahh.
Obama’s Jobs Council met in full only four times in its two-year existence. Instead it held 18 or so “listening and action sessions” around the nation. In polito-speak that meant that they sat down with some folks and asked them what was going on and what should be done about it.
I guess that was all that was expected of them. Last year Obama praised his Jobs Council and said that the White House had taken action on 33 of the 35 executive actions that they had recommended. And having done that, it seems the administration felt the council’s work was done.
It’s probably a disappointment to them that the latest news reports that the U.S. economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended. Bummer.
Partisans will probably argue that it would have been even worse if we wouldn’t have had those 33 executive actions. It’s possible, I suppose. Maybe.
In any event, the council has since gone months without meeting. And, as of the middle of last week, the president was unsure of whether to even bother having them on the payroll anymore. I guess that’s it for jobs. Now it’s time to move on to guns.
The effervescent Sen. Dianne Feinstein from San Francisco kicked the process off with a sweeping proposed bill banning more than 157 deadly assault weapons that have, in her words, “but one purpose,” and that is “to be able to kill large numbers.”
That one-purpose thing came as a surprise to some of my friends who own such weapons. They bought their guns without intending to shoot anybody, and they use their guns regularly. They get kicks blasting the heck out of targets. Often they do so in a friendly contest with a buddy that involves a wager or two.
I also know some guys who do Cowboy Action Shooting. They dress in authentic western duds and go up to a range near Bristol to partake in competitive timed shooting events. Real six-guns, real gunfighter-style shotguns, real bullets, real shotgun shells. I’ve never tried it, but it’s fun to watch.
Don’t tell Sen. Feinstein about what’s going on outside of Bristol. She might proclaim that the fast-draw holsters these CAS shooters are wearing were designed for only one thing: Allowing a fast draw for a hired gunslinger. “Quick-draw rigs must be banned,” she might proclaim.
Actually such a ban might help holster makers. So far the proposed gun regulations have caused a boom in gun sales. And as gun dealers get richer, maybe they’ll buy more stuff for themselves and the economy will benefit from the force of capitalist activity. Every little bit helps.
Maybe we should hope that someone will propose a ban on certain types of RVs. A rush to buy in order to beat the ban on RVs would be a welcome effect in our area. I’m surprised the president’s Job Council didn’t think of that.
Of course I’m being farcical with the ban RVs comment. But would that dopey idea be any more extreme than a Senate that refuses to create a budget, a progressive proposal to abolish the debt ceiling or a monetary policy that continually inflates the currency in order to maintain 0-rate Fed funds?
I’m just askin’.
Former Elkhart furniture store owner Richard Leib has served on planning committees in several industries. An avid auto fan, he raced in the 1972 coast-to-coast Cannonball Run. He has written on a wide range of subjects.