Happy Labor Day to the 9.7% Unemployed

Since it is Labor Day, it seems a good time to talk aboot the 9.7% unemployment rate in this country. Wait a second. 9.7%? I thought if we passed the Obama Stimulus the unemployment rate wasn’t going to go any higher than 8.0%. At least that’s what Joe Biden said, a NO ONE messes with Joe!

(End snark…for now)

Yes, those of us who thought the stimulus was a giant crap sandwich were attacked by state run media outlets like the NY Times and NBC News as in wanting the country to fail. It didn’t matter that after P. Bush borrowing and spending recklessly, we didn’t think it made sense for P. Obama to borrow more and spend more, more recklessly. It also didn’t matter than when we saw Obama economic advisers like Larry Summers and Peter Orszag on the talk shows, they didn’t look like they believed the words that were coming out of their mouths.


There are now 26 million Americans who can’t find a full-time job. Average weekly hours remained at an abysmally low 33.1—which is putting a strain on family budgets. And the jobless rate including so-called discouraged workers, or those who have stopped looking, leapt to 16.8% from 16.3% in July. Meanwhile, the number of Americans working part-time who want full-time work increased by 278,000 to 9.1 million, which as a share of the workforce is larger than at any time since the recession of 1982. These are the workers that employers will tend to hire first as a recovery unfolds, so it is worrisome that this cohort remains so large.

None of this does much for the credibility of the Obama Administration’s stimulus spending plan, which was sold with the promise of a jobless rate this year of “below 8%” if the stimulus were passed. That was off by some three million jobs in a mere seven months. The same economists who fretted in February that $780 billion in stimulus was too small now claim that the $300 billion or so that has been spent has somehow ignited the recovery.

You sound like you only support “tax cuts for the rich”…

But a tax-cutting stimulus would have provided much more job and economic growth for the buck, and it could even now too. If the Administration really wants to fire up private job creation, how about taking the remaining $400 billion or more and using it to lower business taxes? The unspent stimulus is enough for a two-year down payment on repealing the U.S. corporate income tax, which studies show is a job and wage-increase killer.

But we voted for change. Surely the Obama Campaign knows what they’re doing…

We still believe an economic recovery is under way, and some job growth will certainly follow. But the danger is that the U.S. will recover with only European levels of job creation. The French and Germans have had a hard time bringing down unemployment even during expansions, thanks to the burden of high taxes, regulation and onerous union work rules. The economic agenda now pending on Capitol Hill includes all three of these burdens, so it’s no wonder that employers are being supercautious before they add to their payrolls.

Now, I’m no economist. I don’t even play one on television I’m just a guy who is employed by a small business, and we’re all trying to keep our heads up and not be part of the statistic when the unemployment rate inevitable jumps to 10%. It would be nice if the President understood that and was at least pretending to craft policies that were actually going to help.

Instead, he’s having a big primetime speech before a joint session of congress to save his falling poll numbers and push a health care “reform” bill that a) most people don’t want, and b) does nothing to create jobs.


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