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Obama's Latest Jobs Booster: Designating a National Park


"It's a huge economic opportunity for southern Virginia."

As part of his "We Can't Wait" jobs strategy (a strategy that circumvents Congressional authority), the president is trying to sell yet another executive order. What is this latest job-creation idea? Declare a former Army base a national park.

"Obama would use powers granted to him under the Antiquities Act to preserve the Hampton waterfront fortress and hundreds of acres of open space along the Chesapeake Bay," U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar told the Virginian Pilot in a phone interview.

The area's congressional delegation, which had originally introduced legislation to create the national park, urged President Obama to use his executive powers to make it happen more quickly, reports the Virginian.

So how did they convince the White House that declaring the area a national park was in their interest?

You guessed it: job creation.

The White House maintains that the money spent by tourists at the park will create "many jobs in coming years."

"It's a huge economic opportunity for southern Virginia," Salazar said.

Not everyone is convinced, however. Business Insider covered the story with the headline, "You're not going to believe Obama's latest jobs plan."

Previous executive orders from the White House have been low key, involving relatively minor initiatives involving prescription drug shortages and online government service portals. And just like his newest executive order, these were all done in the name of job creation.

Some critics believe that the entire purpose of Obama's "We Can't Wait" strategy is to show Americans that he can fix the economy all by himself, with or without the help of Congress. Perhaps "We Can't Wait" is a response to critics who have accused him of lacking a "get tough" style of leadership.

However, if the entire purpose of "We Can't Wait" is to create a "get tough" image, one has to question whether designating a national park in the name of job creation will convince Americans that he is the right man to fix the economy.

(h/t Business Insider)

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