THE BLOG

President Obama Misses a Chance to Create Jobs

Today I received this innovative crowdsourcing message from James Kvaal, Policy Director, Obama for America:

WE CAN'T WAIT
As Republicans in Congress continue to stall on President Obama's jobs plan, we're building a case for action based on the stories of Americans from all over the country. Take a minute now to share yours.

This was my response:

The President is entirely correct in his criticism of the Republicans for their obstructionism on jobs.

However, the President is not without fault.

If he had more aggressively implemented his new policy on Cuba, he would have easily created thousands of jobs in the travel industry instead of a few hundred.

He could have provided general licenses (not requiring an application) for people-to-people travelers as well as for Cuban Americans, college students and religious organizations.

He had the power to enable travel agents and tour operators all over the country to book flights, accommodations and programs for authorized travelers to Cuba rather than maintain the restrictive licensing system of 250 Travel Service Providers, two-thirds of them in Florida.

If he had even authorized general licenses for all IRS registered 501(c)(3) groups he would have spared our organization and hundreds of other not-for-profits the interminable and arbitrary bureaucratic process of application to the Office of Foreign Assets Control. (Eight months later I am still waiting and the jobs I might have created do not exist.)

Point the fingers at the Republicans but also look in the mirror.

Listen to your base and independents, Mr. President, and two-thirds of Americans (including 57% of Cuban Americans) who favor unrestricted travel to Cuba and believed you would move further beyond decades of failed policy.

Turn away from Republicans who will never support you and from the handful of Democrats who receive campaign funds from the same embittered anachronistic exiles.