The latest jobs report showed the unemployment rate ticking up to 9.6 percent, putting the final nail in the coffin of recovery summer. The Obama Administration announced “Recovery Summer” last June to highlight the expected gains in jobs and economic strength resulting from Obama’s stimulus. Not. The economy is literally sliding into the fall.
President Obama, who has already tried a massive and massively ineffectual stimulus bill followed by a series of policy gimmicks (cash for clunkers, tax credits for first-time homebuyers) has announced that, once again, he is focusing intently on the economy. The following from The Washington Post is telling:
His advisers described his attentiveness—noting, for example, that he discussed the economy with New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) for 15 minutes before golfing—but got little traction.
It is comforting to know the President has time to discuss the economy with the mayor of New York City—and to learn that he could spend 15 minutes doing so. Fifteen whole minutes he could slip into his busy schedule between golf rounds.
There is in fact a good explanation for the President’s inability to spend more time on creating the millions of jobs he promised. As is now evident, he just does not know what else to try. The policies that would work—tax relief, spending cuts, free trade, reducing regulations—are anathema to him and his ideology. So, he can either change course or play golf.