Friday, September 4, 2009

The Writing Is On The Wall

Once again, the appearance of improvement in the jobless numbers has turned out to be a mirage.

And I am more convinced than ever that the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress made a fatal mistake by not making job creation a priority.

The midterm elections are about 14 months away, but mark my words. The Democrats will lose a lot of ground in next year's congressional elections, and Barack Obama will squander a lot of time trying — as Ronald Reagan did — to persuade Americans to "stay the course." Obama probably will use a different catch phrase, but, ultimately, he will be as unsuccessful as Reagan was.

In July, as you may recall, the unemployment rate dropped 0.1%, to 9.4%. Actual job losses were 247,000. And there was much rejoicing — unjustifiably, because the economy added no jobs. It lost nearly a quarter of a million jobs.

I warned people not to get carried away. I reminded my readers that we've seen similar "good news" before. But my voice was drowned out by all the renditions of "Happy Days Are Here Again."

And now, sure enough, we are faced with another "one step forward, two steps back" scenario., ever eager to find the silver lining for the Obama administration, reports that "[u]nemployment jumps to a 26–year high of 9.7%, even as employers cut the smallest number of jobs since August 2008."

I'm not an economist, but even I can grasp this simple fact: We aren't creating jobs. We continue to lose jobs in six figures every month.

As attention turns to the 2010 midterm elections, Obama could have made a plausible argument that he had been trying to stimulate job creation if he had insisted that his 2008 campaign promise to offer tax credits to companies that hired Americans in 2009 and 2010 had been included in the stimulus package. Such credits might even have made a difference.

But, apparently, there wasn't enough room in the package for those tax credits, once the pork and the concessions to Republican lawmakers were included.

Well, something's got to give, right? This year, the unemployed were expendable. Next year, it will be Democrats on Capitol Hill.

When that happens — as it surely will — Obama and the Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves.

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