Archive for Saturday, September 4, 2010

Democrats out of jobs options

September 4, 2010


— “It’s still the economy, stupid.”

And there’s virtually nothing Democrats can do to change that reality before Nov. 2.

Time has all but run out for President Barack Obama and his party, which had hoped for a big economic turnaround by the homestretch of the midterm elections.

But with just two months left in the campaign, the Labor Department reported Friday that the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent in August — inching up for the first time in four months as the economy shed 54,000 jobs and more than a half-million Americans resumed their work searches.

“We’re moving in the right direction. We just have to speed it up,” Obama insisted, focusing on the 67,000 jobs that private business added last month. He struck both realistic and optimistic tones, saying: “There’s no quick fix” and, yet, “There are better days ahead.”

For the country, maybe so. For Democrats, probably not.

“It’s the economy, stupid,” was the oft-repeated message of Bill Clinton’s winning presidential campaign in 1992. The point: Don’t bother overmuch with other issues; elections are won or lost on how people are feeling about their own economic well-being.

Now, the traditional Labor Day start of the fall campaign has arrived. And “Recovery Summer” — as the White House dubbed it earlier this year — is still among the missing.

Making matters worse for the Democrats, early voting gets under way shortly in many states, including several with double-digit joblessness that’s worse than the national average.

Given all that, Democrats who have controlled Congress since 2006 — and during the near-economic meltdown of late 2008 — are bracing for a heavy dose of blame from frustrated voters.

Obama, too. He inherited an economy in tatters from President George W. Bush, but he owns it now, in the second year of his presidency and following attempts to jump-start American business and industry. Those efforts included the much-heralded $814 billion stimulus plan that Republicans, and some voters, claim didn’t work.

The president’s not on the ballot, but he’s got a lot on the line.

Using the Democrats’ economic record against them, Republicans are pushing to gain control of the House and, perhaps, the Senate as well as a number of governorships. The outcome will shape the remainder of Obama’s first term and his likely re-election bid in 2012.

Mindful of all that, Obama on Friday acknowledged that his administration must do more to create jobs and accelerate growth. He urged Congress to take up a small-business jobs bill and castigated Senate Republicans for blocking it. He plans to discuss a jobs package next week and travel to Wisconsin and Ohio to promote his administration’s economic work.

There are signs, to be sure, that the economy is recovering; credit has loosened up, and industrial production has increased. Recent reports on housing, manufacturing and private sector hiring indicate slow growth.

But it’s hard to feel like the economy is improving if you’re unemployed and can’t find work.

And a Commerce Department report caused heartburn last week by showing the gross domestic product — the broadest measure of the economy’s output — grew at an annual rate of just 1.6 percent in the spring, more sluggishly than at the start of the year.


Maddy Griffin 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm going to leave this alone and let the Fear Right Wing do their thing.No one here wants the truth anyway. Just more fear.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for stopping by, grammy. You could have just said 'I can't answer any of these because I don't know what I'm talking about'.

You are right about the fear. The millions of people that don't have jobs are afraid, afraid of things such as how are they going to find away to feed their kids. They're afraid the idiot they put in the White House still has time to make things worse before it can start to get better. Mostly they're afraid the policies of the Democrats, which they've had a couple of years to get a glimpse of, can't be reversed, at least not quickly enough to help them.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

Anyone wanna' bet the Democrats will try to push through another extension of unemployment benefits, making themselves look like the ones that 'care' about the working man, and making more of the electorate's livelihoods dependent on voting for the Dems?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Savings and Loan Heist "There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and were part of the Bush Jr. administration.

Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this was about one quarter of our national debt").

The Reagan/Bush savings and loan heist was considered the largest theft in history at the time. George Herbert Walker Bush then took $1.4 trillion of taxpayers money to cover the theft.

  1. The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers "And, yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities ignoring their regulatory responsibilities."

  2. Only 3 major Financial Institutions Were at Risk In Spite of What Were Told ? "There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America, Citigroup, those three were clearly in very weakened form. So, many of the other big banks were not.

  3. Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = tax increases for the middleclass.

These repub frauds perpetrated on the economy and the taxpayers are hard to match. 23 million people looking for full time jobs and corp america moving to communist China says corp america has screwed the USA in a big way.

Repubs pull off these big time frauds then we elect democrats to clean up the mess. There is very little to work with after repubs sink the economy. It will take time.

Why would anyone vote republican ever again at any level of government?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

Woo hoo! Have you made it to having posted this same set of links 500 times, merrill?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

What is the end result of repub thefts and frauds?

'ATLANTA (Reuters) - A dismal job market, a crippled real estate sector and hobbled banks will keep a lid on U.S. economic growth over the coming decade, some of the nation's leading economists said on Sunday.'

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

A Ponzi scheme has to grow—and grow rapidly—in order to stay viable. When its growth slows, the early participants can no longer be paid the returns they expect. At this point, the operators disappear with what’s left of the participants’ funds—unless the authorities step in and arrest them, which is what happened with Charles Ponzi in 1920 and Bernard Madoff this year.

A bubble is similar to a Ponzi scheme: early participants can do well while later ones incur losses; it is based on false expectations; and it ultimately falls apart. But there need be no fraudulent operator at the center of a bubble. Also, while a Ponzi scheme depends on people giving their money to someone else to invest (e.g., Madoff), people made their own housing investments—though mortgage companies and banks made large fees for handling these investments.

Often, government plays a role in bubbles. The housing bubble was in part generated by the Federal Reserve maintaining low interest rates. Easy money meant readily obtainable loans and, at least in the short run, low monthly payments. Also, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan denied the housing bubble’s existence—not fraud exactly, but deception that kept the bubble going. (Greenspan, whose view was ideologically driven, got support in his bubble denial from the academic work of the man who was to be his successor, Ben Bernanke.)

In addition, government regulatory agencies turned a blind eye to the highly risky practices of financial firms, practices that both encouraged the development of the bubble and made the impact all the worse when it burst. Moreover, the private rating agencies (e.g., Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s) were complicit. Dependent on the financial institutions for their fees, they gave excessively good ratings to these risky investments. Perhaps not fraud in the legal sense, but certainly misleading.

And, yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities ignoring their regulatory responsibilities.

So, no, a bubble and a Ponzi scheme are not the same. But they have elements in common. Usually, however, the losers in a Ponzi scheme are simply the direct investors, the schemer’s marks. A bubble like the housing bubble can wreak havoc on all of us.

Arthur MacEwan is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a Dollars & Sense Associate.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

"What is the end result of repub thefts and frauds?"

Uh, wait, I got it, hang on a sec ...

An endless litany of mindless drivel posted over and over and over and over again to every thread on the LJW message boards?

cato_the_elder 7 years, 8 months ago

It's refreshing to see an AP reporter actually remember the fact that Democrats have controlled Congress since 2006, which is one of the many reasons that "blame it on Bush" has become a tired, politically impotent excuse.

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