Employment May Be Key To Obama’s Reelection

So says the NY Times (linked through MSNBC, avoiding the silly paywall), telling us in detail what we already know

No American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent. (except Reagan, which is pointed out later in the article)

Seventeen months before the next election, it is increasingly clear that President Obama must defy that trend to keep his job.

Roughly 9 percent of Americans who want to go to work cannot find an employer. Companies are firing fewer people, but hiring remains anemic. And the vast majority of economic forecasters, including the president’s own advisers, predict only modest progress by November 2012.

So, the Stimulus has completely failed? We threw almost a trillion dollars out, and it didn’t help? Who would have predicted that?

The latest job numbers, due Friday, are expected to provide new cause for concern. Other indicators suggest the pace of growth is flagging. Weak manufacturing data, a gloomy reading on jobs in advance of Friday’s report and a drop in auto sales led the markets to their worst close since August.

Somehow, I’m sure the Democrats, who control the Senate and White House, will find a way (along with a compliant media) to blame this on House Republicans. Not in this article, but, certainly in the future. Yet, all the negatives we are seeing are direct responses to the inept policies of Democrats during Obama’s first two years as president.

Republicans have set the terms of debate by pressing for large cuts in federal spending, which they say will encourage private investment. Democrats have found themselves battling to minimize and postpone such cuts, which they fear will cause new job losses.

Those jobs would be ones that feed from the federal trough. Republicans told President Neophyte that more spending was a non-starter

“The discussion really focused on the philosophical difference on whether Washington should continue to pump money into the economy or should we provide an incentive for entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow,” said Eric Cantor, the majority leader. “The president talked about a need for us to continue to quote-unquote invest from Washington’s standpoint, and for a lot of us that’s code for more Washington spending, something that we can’t afford right now.”

The problem with the spending, excuse me, investing, is that it is aimed right back at the government, rather than the private sector, and government doesn’t worry about generating a profit. How did painting bridges help?

The Obama administration hopes to tell a similar story (to Reagan’s, when he won with 7.2% unemployment, because it was getting better. Oh, and Reagan made America a great country again, after the Carter disaster).

“We have undertaken some of the biggest policy actions to create jobs that any administration has ever done,” said Jason Furman, deputy director of the National Economic Council, which advises the president on economic policy. Mr. Furman said that the economy was still benefiting from last year’s tax cuts, and from the dollop of federal stimulus spending that Democrats pushed through in 2009.

And how’d those work out? Unemployment is still high, hiring is still stagnant. Just because one does something big doesn’t mean the results will be better.

Unfortunately, to a good chunk on the left, the complete incompetence of the Obama administration will mean nothing when it comes time to vote. A president who has failed this badly should be a shoe in to be promoted to customer. Alas, there are too many who are too hyper-partisan to walk away from Obama.

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

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