You’ve got to give Obama credit for a couple of things in his jobs speech.  First of all, for offering tax breaks to companies that hire.  Corporations are sitting on a mountain of money and have a unique opportunity right now to lead the charge of an economic recovery.  It’s like someone said, “Well, the stick isn’t working, should we try the carrot?”  The biggest incentives are for small businesses.  And there are some neat ideas like asking companies to give the unemployed six weeks of job training or skills building without their unemployment benefits being put at risk.  Second, he didn’t ask anyone to give him the 447 billion dollars to pay for his plan but instead added it to the amount Congress will have to cut from the government’s already overweight budget.   The parts we didn’t get are the sort of old-school liberal lines about protecting collective bargaining at a time when those same unions are demanding pension plans that state governments can’t afford.   It isn’t the wealthy who are responsible for teacher layoffs, it’s pension plans that governments can’t sustain.  Also didn’t get the emotional rant about rewriting trade agreements so as many Japanese are driving Chryslers and Dodges as Americans are driving Prius’.  Um, if we don’t want those Dodges and Chryslers, why would they?  A dated car with bad gas mileage doesn’t have quite the panache that a pair of Levis has abroad. In terms of sheer politics, we were grateful that Speaker Boehner indicated a willingness to get down to business, refusing to blast the plan in an immediate response and instead admitting the program has ideas in it that “merit consideration.”