Dr. Boozman's Check-up
A Puzzling Defense of a Failed Policy
Jul 06 2012
The June jobs report looks familiar. In what has become a pattern, the numbers can at best be called disappointing. Another month of high unemployment, little growth, and a recovery stuck in neutral has become the new norm under President Obama’s leadership.
In a post on the White House blog, White House Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger tried to make the case for keeping the course and continuing to follow the President’s approach.
It’s a rather puzzling defense of failed policy. For instance, Mr. Krueger writes:
“It is critical that we continue the policies that build an economy that works for the middle class and makes us stronger and more secure as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession”
Perhaps the President’s policies aren’t “shovel-ready” for the job. With only 80,000 jobs created, June marks the third straight month with growth of less than 100,000. This is not an anomaly. In the past 48 months, only 10 experienced 200,000 or more jobs created. These numbers don’t even take into the account those who dropped out of the workforce or who are underemployed. Most economists peg real unemployment near 15 percent of the workforce.
The very next line of Mr. Krueger’s post ramps up the head scratching a notch:
“There are no quick fixes to the problems we face that were more than a decade in the making.”
That response may have been acceptable to most Americans early in the President’s term, but we are halfway through the final year of his first term and still hearing the same excuses. This report marks 41 straight months under President Obama’s watch where unemployment has remained over eight percent. The President’s policies haven’t led to an economic recovery. In fact, despite promises that the “stimulus” would solve our economic woes, his policies have prolonged the recession. Remember, this Administration predicted in 2009 that the “stimulus” would have the unemployment rate around 5.6 percent today. And yet President Obama wants us to give his policies more time.
Mr. Krueger goes on to write:
“Employment is growing but it is not growing fast enough given the jobs deficit caused by the deep recession.”
The Administration is right when they say the economy is not growing fast enough, however it is not the “deep recession” that is preventing faster economic growth. It is the President’s own policies that are holding back our small businesses, and in turn, hindering job creation. Contrary to what the President recently said, the private sector is not doing “fine.” The private sector is struggling in large part because of the President’s relentless efforts to pursue policies that do not encourage economic growth.
The final paragraph, however, is where Mr. Krueger really takes a giant leap:
“Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.”
I don’t think anyone is reading “too much into any one monthly report.” I do fear that this Administration is not reading enough into 41 consecutive dismal reports.
The President needs to stop running the same play. It’s not working and he is starting to run out of defenses of this failed policy. Instead, President Obama should work with us to foster an environment that kick starts our economy and puts Americans back to work.