Mr. Obama decided to hold a "jobs summit" and develop a new policy...what that policy is no one outside of Washington, DC has yet to discover as there has been very little substance to follow up. Since last fall, the official unemployment rate has continued to top 10%. But, the unofficial rate is much higher, especially if you count those who are underemployed as well as those who have stopped looking for work. That moves the unemployment rate well over 17%, despite the "green shoots" this administration's enablers in the financial media have propagandized about.
Media interests have attempted to attempted to shore up the Obama Administration from the very beginning, firstly by refusing to vet him in the same manner as the other candidates running for president. Secondly by excusing every misstep made. The $800,000,000,000.00 "stimulus package" was a huge mistake. It was nothing but a payoff to every single Democratic constituency on the books. Additionally, instead of forcing those states whose over spending has caused their financial woes, the pork laden package merely postponed the heartache to come.
Those states, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, among others, have utterly failed to do the belt-tightening necessary to fend off bankruptcy. Those states are now leading the call for more "stimulus" or frankly bailouts so they don't have to face the fact that 40 or more years of poor planning and overspending. To make matters worse, many analysts had predicted that for the first time in nearly 2 years, job losses would be around 8,000, instead the figure was more than ten times higher: 85,000.
Thus, unemployment has stayed above 10%, not because of any stabilization of the employment market, but rather it reflects that millions of Americans have simply ceased looking for work, and thus aren't counted as being "unemployed. That's political correctness run amuck. Don't count 'em cause they just don't count any more...it's not because they don't want work...there just isn't any jobs out there. Employers have sharply reduced their workforce in order to stave off the tax increases they are facing due to arrive with the socialization of health care. They will be forced to pay substantial fines for not providing insurance, but those fines will be less with fewer workers on their payrolls, therefore, stagnation.
On the other hand, it is proof of the mounting hopelessness in vast stretches of the United States – especially in those states, such as California, southern New England and the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes States, where cities are being hit hardest by a federal auto-industry "bailout" that only encourages those companies to close factories in U.S. cities or simply move production to Mexico and China where labour is much cheaper. .
You would think that this would get the attention of the political leadership of the Democratic Party in Washington, DC. Yet, so far it has not. They are too focused on seizing one sixth of the economy in their very false hope that this is what the country desires. This as congressional approval rates plummet into the low 20 percentiles. This Congress has been (nearly criminally) neglectful of this, the most serious problem facing the country.
A few leaders in the controlling party have attempted all last year to gain the attention of their party. As Senator Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat who has been battling his party leadership to turn their attention toward this problem, said Friday: "Today's jobs report underscores the need for Congress and the Obama administration to make jobs an immediate priority. The report shows that employment continues to lag so swift action is needed."
With the start of a new year, the country enters the most volatile midterm election in the past 50 years. The only time that comes close is the 1980 election wherein Ronald Reagan gained control of the White House...though the GOP didn't gain control of Congress until 1994. Much as in that time, our political "elite" is worried more about foreign policy issues, while the electorate is considerably more concerned about the economy. The Democratic leadership are now facing the prospect of serious losses in state and federal races this fall, because they (like the GOP for the most part) are facing a genuine disconnect between the direction they desire to take the country, and what those voters want. Unemployment is a terrifying experience and increasingly realistic possibility as the economy further stagnates. This greatest threat to their political survival.
The Democratic leadership's idea is to mount another "stimulus package" which will mean another huge increase in deficit spending. This idea is extraordinarily unpopular with the mass of voters who don't see spending more money the country doesn't have as a solution.
Instead of spending money we, as a nation don't have, voter's would rather Congress reduce taxes across the board as well as reduce spending on programs that are not working. What voters really want is to return all unspent TARP funds as well as those in the original "stimulus package". By cutting taxes and returning unspent funds, will reduce both the deficit as well as the national debt, which Congress recently had to raise above $12,000,000,000,000.00. Of even more important to voters is Congress ceasing their seizure of health care. This is seen as a relatively unimportant matter in the present economic mess.
Unfortunately, I don't think that the leadership of either party has the sense to head any of this. They will continue blithely down the path of economic destruction they have chosen to take.
UPDATE: The various states that are the least likely to stop their huge deficits are in deep trouble and are hoping to pass the trouble onto the Federal government:
Taxpayers, prepare to be extorted and robbed. If the first two state-of-the-state speeches Wednesday are any indication, we are in for it. Fiscal mismanagement leaders California and New York opened the hunting season on taxpayers. Forty three other state legislatures convene soon to deal with the fiscal carnage they wrought through political profligacy and false promises to dedicated state workers during recent bubble years.Most of these states will only raise taxes or hit the Federal government for more funds (i.e. another stimulus package, instead of making those spending cuts that will be necessary to bridge the deficits they are encountering. This will only make the recession worse, instead of better. Democrats control nearly all of those states that are in the worst financial difficulties and will only pass on to their citizens the debts they have incurred.
As of December, the National Conference of State Legislatures fiscal survey found: “Thirty-six states already report another round of gaps since FY 2010 began. The total now hit $28.2 billion, and the fiscal year for most states doesn’t end until June.” They already are in the hole despite raising taxes, cutting spending, squandering “rainy day” funds and using federal debt and accounting tricks to close $146 billion in cumulative budget gaps.
Those shortfalls pale against the lurid reality of unfunded promises to retirees, deferred public works projects and years of accounting tricks hiding true deficits. Compounding all that is the fact that $248 billion in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds stop Dec. 31, halfway through most states’ fiscal years. And, according to the National Governor’s Association “Fiscal Survey of States” released last week, “the $87 billion in Medicaid funds and the $48 billion in state stabilization funds … allowed states to offset planned budget cuts and tax increases,” meaning that’s another $135 billion they are going to have to take from somebody next year.