WSJ: Obama Presser Highlights Failure Of His Own Policies

How bad are Obama and the Democrats policies for unemployment? This bad

Presidents typically invite Americans to appear at Rose Garden press conferences to trumpet their policy successes, but yesterday we saw what may have been a first. President Obama introduced three Americans–an auto worker, a fitness center employee and a woman in real estate–who’ve been out of work so long they underscore the failure of his economic program. Where are his spinmeisters when he really needs them?

One thing rarely reported in this fight to extend unemployment benefits is that not everyone is entitled, particularly people who voluntarily left or were terminated for cause (such as for taking vacations and playing golf during a crisis). What is being done for them? Nothing, you say? So, Obama is playing politics?

But Mr. Obama was nonetheless obliged to concede that, 18 months after his $862 billion stimulus, there are still five job seekers for every job opening and that 2.5 million Americans will soon run out of unemployment benefits. What happens when the 99 weeks of benefits run out? Will the President demand that they be extended to three years, or four?

He’ll have to, since his policies, along with the other Democrats, are not pro-increased hiring.

The one possibility the President and Congressional Democrats won’t entertain is that their own spending and taxing and regulating and labor union favoritism have become the main hindrance to job creation. Since February 2009, the jobless rate has climbed to 9.5% from 8.1%, and private industry has shed two million jobs. The overall economy has been expanding for at least a year, but employers still don’t seem confident enough to add new workers. The economists who sold us the stimulus say it’s a mystery. But maybe employers are afraid to hire because they don’t know what costs government will impose on them next.

That’s what I’ve been saying for months. And the Democrats always have one more reason for the private sector to say “I really need that extra position or two to expand my business, but, I may end up getting hosed by Los Federales. I guess I’ll hold off.”

A 2006 NBER study by Raj Chetty of UC Berkeley on a related subject begins, “It is well known that unemployment benefits raise unemployment durations.”

The current recession is bearing this out, as a record 6.7 million Americans have now been out of work for at least six months. That’s 45.5% of the total jobless, close to the highest share ever recorded. The number was 23.4% in February 2009. Americans tend to support jobless benefits on compassion grounds, but at some point such a policy becomes the false compassion of welfare by keeping people out of the job market and thus not learning new skills.

Quite frankly, without the unemployment payments (hey, what about those who do not qualify for unemployment? Where’s your compassion for them, Dems?), these people would be on the streets, because they would be in the same place: unemployed, due to other Democrat policies. It’s a catch-22.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach

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