Is Obama ‘lazy’ on the economy?

President Obama says we’ve “gone a little soft,” “been a little bit lazy,” and that this has hurt business development in America. Whatever the context, I’m sure the president doesn’t mean he has been lazy. But there are a few things he could do to make sure nobody gets the wrong idea about himself and his administration. And these aren’t academic policy changes, these are practical things the president could start today.

First, do the opposite of what you are doing on several fronts.

Order a report, due Monday, to determine ways to rush the building of the Keystone XL pipeline. If you dither, the pipeline will head west and the oil will go to China.

Tell the bureaucrats to fast-track permitting for fracking natural gas. The more natural gas, the quicker, the better. Letting American industry do more, faster will help our technology set the world standard and create exports.

Next, work to expedite the building of the Boeing plant where Boeing wants to build it in South Carolina. Don’t let America lose its market share in commercial aircraft sales.

Then, quickly contract with American companies to launch people and supplies into space — stop outsourcing this to the Russians.

While you’re at it, tell your employees in foreign embassies to rush visas for investors, students, and foreign entrepreneurs who still want to come here to live and work. The unique appeal of America is diminishing as other countries make it easier for people and money to find a friendly home. It is alarming and underreported that so many have quit trying to come to the U.S.

By any measure, politically or substantively, the Obama jobs agenda has failed, and the associated political costs are rising.

Good politics would be to commit to a few specific, tangible, job creation ventures to associate the administration with. Other than the auto union bailout, the president isn’t identified with one traditional private-sector jobs initiative that has been enacted. Solyndra defines this president’s view of what a private sector job should be more than anything else in the news today. Yet the realities of Keystone, Boeing, and other businesses that are being strangled become clearer every day. The president’s “lazy” comment adds real insult to real injury. It is now part of campaign 2012 until the voters decide who is lazy.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.

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