This morning, Barack Obama appeared on five different networks -- speaking about the economy, health care, and Afghanistan.
But in his exchange on CNN's State of the Union with John King, President Obama articulated a softness on the imperative of job creation that is disconcerting.
From a CNN report:
Obama even suggested that the national unemployment rate, which is hovering at just under 10 percent, could climb higher in the near future.
"I want to be clear, that probably the jobs picture is not going to improve considerably -- and it could even get a little bit worse -- over the next couple of months," the president told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, "And we're probably not going to start seeing enough job creation to deal with the -- a rising population until some time next year."
Obama added that he thought the economy would be creating jobs throughout the end of 2009 -- but not enough to keep pace with population growth and to make up for steep losses in employment that occurred earlier this year.
"I think we'll be adding jobs, but you need 150,000 additional jobs each month just to keep pace with a growing population. So if we're only adding 50,000 jobs, that's a great reversal from losing 700,000 jobs [a month] early this year -- but, you know, it means that we've still got a ways to go."
In January and February of this year, the president committed himself to a jobs creation plan of approximately four million jobs in created or saved jobs by 2011. We are no where near on that course. In February, Paul Krugman warned that the so-called economic recovery plan tweaks were already reducing the job-creating element of the stimulus package by between 600,000 and 1.2 million jobs.
The economy is in lousy shape still -- though we are going to see robust third and fourth quarter upswings in the GDP -- but this is GDP growth without job growth ... and that is what economic advisers to Obama who are Wall Street-centric have scripted.
Lawrence Summers needs to get out of the White House more -- and get to something other than fancy DC parties where folks fawn over him. He needs to go to heavily impacted communities where foreclosures and joblessness are high and needs to deal with the fact that the reflation of Wall Street has come at the expense of generating balance in the lives of average Americans.
A GDP recovery, which we are going to get, is something that the President of the United States should be apologizing for and for which he should be holding his economic team accountable. An uptick in GDP without growth in employment should not be treated as positive news.
The outcome we are getting on a no-jobs recovery was a "policy choice" - and we need to make better choices from this point forward.
-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note
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