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It's The Jobs, Stupid

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   3 comments
Message Brent Budowsky
Source: The Hill

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On Thursday, the weekly jobless claims number ballooned to an unacceptable 385,000. On Friday the monthly jobs report showed a collapse in job creation to an anemic and unacceptable 88,000. The actual unemployment rate went down to 7.6 percent because the labor participation rate collapsed to the lowest level since 1979. Perhaps we can have full employment if every jobless worker gave up and stopped looking for work.

From President Obama's perspective, the headlines throughout the weekend will highlight the latest jobless pain with his leaked plan to cut Social Security and Medicare. The fact is that since the president began his outreach to Republicans during the last month and job creation tanked, his Gallup poll numbers have tanked with the low job creation.

From the Republican point of view, I would not want to be an incumbent House Republican running against Democratic challengers at a time of high joblessness while they fight for cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

From the American point of view, and the point of view of workers and consumers throughout the world economy, they don't care about the politics, they care about this:

It's the jobs, stupid.

It's the austerity, stupid.

It's the reactionary notion that at a time of slow growth and few jobs, governments should be imposing austerity and cutting back. History has proven this ancient theory wrong from the moment that Franklin Roosevelt allowed conservatives in Congress to win austerity in 1937, until today, when conservatives and submissive liberals in nations such as Great Britain throughout Europe are imposing austerity, which deepens recession.

It was a draconian mistake for the president to surrender to, and congressional Republicans to claim victory, for the sequester.

The sequester will destroy jobs, and has begun to destroy jobs, as the Congressional Budget Office warned it would destroy perhaps 750,000 jobs this year. Exhibit A: today's jobless report. Exhibit B: Thursday's jobless claims report.

I would suggest that former President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might team up, through the Clinton Global Initiative, to devise proposals for domestic and global job creation. For now:

The sequester should be repealed.



Second, it was a major mistake to increase payroll taxes with the jobless rate so high as this year began. This took money out of the hands of workers and consumers at the worst possible time.

The payroll tax should be cut. Or, in the alternative, the president and Congress should enact a refundable tax credit, or a tax rebate, or some other means of restoring support to workers and consumers.



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Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hillà ‚¬ „ s (more...)
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