It’s no coincidence that the White House announced a forum to talk about unemployment a day after Gallup reported that voters now favor Republicans instead of Democrats going into the next congressional elections. The political maestros in the West Wing can read the data as well as anybody else, and they realize many Americans think President Barack Obama’s priorities are mixed up.
While Obama spends time on Capitol Hill extolling his plan for massive growth of government spending and taxes by nationalizing health care, unemployment reaches 10.2 percent, its highest level since 1983. He’s already driven the deficit up to an unprecedented $1.4 trillion. His health care reform proposal will take trillions more out of the economy at the worst possible time.
Contrary to the president’s fairy tale that his $787 billion stimulus program has “created or saved more than a million jobs” and slowed the growth of unemployment, the reality is that the month-on-month increase in unemployment from September to October was four times as big as job losses from August to September. The losses in manufacturing and retail jobs accelerated in October, and most of the increase in new unemployment claims came among adult men. The economy is sick and getting sicker.
So the president calls a “forum on jobs and economic growth.” If this routine sounds familiar, it’s because the Obama team did something quite similar a week after the stimulus package was approved. And what will they do at the White House forum on unemployment?
“We’ll gather CEOs and small-business owners, economists and financial experts, as well as representatives from labor unions and nonprofit groups, to talk about how we can work together to create jobs and get this economy moving again.” In other words, they will ... talk.
Obama’s forum announcement came within days of something else: an avalanche of media reports about the fraudulent data behind the claim that a million jobs were created or saved.
As The Examiner’s Mark Hemingway reported in a Beltway Confidential blog post headlined “The return of lies, damned lies and stimulus jobs,” journalists across the country examined Obama stimulus job claims and found them full of what appeared to be purposeful misrepresentations in at least three states.
Instead of trying to sell a bogus stimulus program with dishonest data, and calling a White House talk-fest, Obama should follow the examples of John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan: Stop taking money out of the economy, cut taxes, get rid of bureaucratic interference, and free businesses small and large to do what they do best, which is expand the economy by making things and providing services people need and want.
It’s a proven formula and the White House should stop pretending it won’t work again.