The “Jobs” Bus (Campaign) Tour
President Barack Obama set out this past Monday morning for a three day tour of Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, to discuss the economy, politics, debt, and next year’s elections, all at taxpayer expense. The tour began in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Later on Monday, he held a session in Decorah, Iowa. On Tuesday, Obama held a rural economic forum in Peosta, Iowa. On Wednesday, he visited Atkinson, and Alpha, Illinois, before returning to the White House. Thursday he joined his family on their annual vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. BTW, the tour busses were manufactured in Canada. As a backdrop to his “jobs” tour, a recent Gallup poll showed that less than three in ten people approve of Obama’s handling of job creation (29%).
With his “jobs” bus tour in mind, let’s look at some unemployment facts. The unemployment rate dropped to 9.1% from 9.2% in June, 2011, as a result of people leaving the labor force. [emphasis mine] With budget cuts at the federal, state, and local government levels, the burden of job creation falls on the private sector. The share of the eligible population holding a job declined to 58.1 percent, the lowest since July 1983. The monthly unemployment rate fell to 9.1 percent from 9.2 percent in June – but that was partly because some people who are unemployed stopped looking for work.
The Labor Department’s statistics don’t include the underemployed and those who have stopped looking for work. This alternative measure creates a much higher number, the “real” unemployment rate, which was 16.2% in June, 2011. This real unemployment rate – known as the U6 rate – has been climbing since February, 2011, when it was at 15.9 percent.
What Obama Has Done/Is Doing About Jobs
Jay Carney, WH Spokesman, said on August 4, 2011, “Well, the White House doesn’t create jobs. The government together – White House, Congress – creates policies that allow for greater job creation. And that can be through tax cuts, for example, for working Americans; everyone who works pays a payroll tax. And the tax cut that this President pushed for, for one year, for this calendar year, he’s pushing for to be extended next year.”
From Rich Mitchell at Conservative Daily News, we learn, “As recent as December of 2010, the employment outlook was gloomy which finally forced Obama to sign the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts into law on December 17th[, 2010].” And also from Rich Mitchell, we learn, “Remember in April of 2010 when Joe Biden predicted that the American economy would be producing as many as 500,000 new jobs very soon. It’s been over a year since those statements were made and for the first time were seeing something that at least approaches Mr. Biden’s lowest estimated growth.”
From a recent press release we learn that President Obama announced an initiative to credential 500,000 manufacturing workers with industry-recognized certifications through an expansion of “Skills for America’s Future.” Are we to assume that “credentialing” workers will help the unemployment rate?
Says smalgov at CDN, “The unemployment rate averages 9.1 percent in the United States today, it will likely increase because of Obama’s job crushing cross-border trucking deal with Mexico.” The Obama administration is trying to sell resolving the solution to the dispute over long-haul, cross-border trucking services between the United States and Mexico, to the American people as a safety oriented and job creating plan. But there is no proof provided of any safety improvements and it will COST American jobs, as well as American taxpayers money.
Obama’s “Jobs Initiative” Announcement
Obama is experiencing growing pressure from Democrats to propose a more aggressive strategy to create jobs. President Obama said he would send a very specific jobs package to Congress next month. “I’ll be putting forward a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs and to control the deficit,” Obama said. “And my attitude will be, ‘Get it done.’ ” Obama’s jobs agenda calls for $30 billion to rebuild roads, bridges and ports; improvements to the patent system to spur innovation; trade deals with a trio of countries to boost exports; a $40 billion extension of unemployment insurance benefits; and renewal of the current one-year reduction of the payroll tax at a cost of up to $120 billion.
“Jobs” Tour Also to Talk (Listen?) About Economic Setbacks
One of the reasons for the bus tour was to listen to people about how the economy was affecting them. The White House said the President’s sole reason for the trip is to listen to the concerns of everyday Americans about, among other things, economic setbacks. Figures released over the past couple of weeks have shown that economic growth has slowed sharply in America. And the latest Gallup poll, taken August 11 – 14, show that one in four Americans approve of the job he is doing with this economy. The poll showed just 26 percent of people approving of Obama’s handling of the economy while a whopping 71 percent disapproved.
White House advisers said the president’s economic team is working on new ideas for jump-starting the sluggish economy. “You’ll see more ideas,” said Jason Furman, deputy director of the president’s National Economic Council. “People here are constantly thinking about new ideas and the president is constantly talking about new ideas.” But Furman and other White House aides declined to provide a timetable.
The WH had better think of something fast, as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, the most used indicator of economic performance, remains weak. While the economy is growing, most economists say that it’s not fast enough: “Bottom line, things aren’t falling off a cliff, but they’re trudging along at what is likely to be a fairly weak pace,” said Keith Hembre, chief economist at Nuveen Asset Management
So Where Are We?
As Rich Mitchell says, “During the longest recession of our time, Obama started what Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney called the “Magical Misery Tour”. On Monday [14 August, 2011], the President kicked-off a three-day, 100% taxpayer-funded campaign event “ that isn’t a campaign event.” He concludes, “Without a doubt, the bus tour is a campaign event.”
But that’s just my opinion