2008 record      


Jobs: Another week, another bad employment number — this one a 34,000 jump in jobless claims. Gee, what happened to Obama's "laserlike focus" on jobs? And for that matter, why hasn't his Jobs Council met in six months?


Obama used to say jobs were the first thing he thought about after waking up, and the last thing he thought about before tucking in.

If he's truly worried about jobs, he has a funny way of showing it. Today, by government estimate, 13.2 million Americans have no jobs. But based on our IBD/TIPP poll, the real number is closer to 30 million — a disaster.

Obama's policy responses have been, in a word, pathetic. He spent trillions of dollars on questionable "stimulus" efforts, only to see unemployment remain above 8% for 41 straight months — a level, most economists would agree, suggesting recession.

Starting in January 2009, Obama and his aides promised repeatedly to "focus like a laser" on creating jobs. It became almost a mantra. He even created a special blue-chip Jobs Council made up of CEOs, policy wonks and organized labor representatives to come up with new ideas for jobs.

But if they've come up with some magic bullet for joblessness, Obama wouldn't know. The last time the jobs group met was Jan. 17. It seems Obama just hasn't been able to shoehorn them into a schedule that in seven months has included 106 campaign fund-raisers and enough golf to boost the number of rounds he's played during his presidency to an even 100.

Unfortunately for all of us, things have suddenly gone very sour. The economy grew just 1.9% in the first quarter, and just this week Fed chief Ben Bernanke warned that the economy looked wobbly in May and June.

Retail sales have now fallen three months in a row, which, as economist A. Gary Shilling notes, has signaled a recession 25 out of 27 times it has happened.

Amid signs of surging food costs, home sales plunged 5.4% to a 4.37 million annual rate in June, the lowest level since October, despite record-low mortgage rates.

We've entered the 54th month of supposed recovery, but employment is still down 3.5% from when the recession began in 2007. This has never happened before.

Indeed, as noted here last week, the respected nonpartisan Economic Cycle Research Institute now believes the U.S. is back in recession.

But sure, let's look at Mitt Romney's tax returns and forget all about this, right? That's been the White House response to the growing drumbeat of bad news from the economy. Anything for a political distraction.

Obama and Democrats in Congress have never taken responsibility for their incompetence. Instead, they threaten job-killing tax hikes and insult America's entrepreneurs. Americans won't stay distracted for long.

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