In 44 states last month, the unemployment rate went up. The heartbreaking problem of joblessness just got worse in 44 states.
In 44 states, it got harder for an unemployed dad to look his son in the eyes at the dinner table.
In 44 states, a young mother worried that her daughter won't have the same opportunities as the other kids at school.
In 44 states, a man laid off in the middle of life laced up his best shoes, straightened his tie, and walked out the door to face another long day of hard stares, hard interviews, and hard disappointments.
Last month, more families were shattered, more hearts ached, and more children wondered if they'd ever see their parents smile again because the hope of a recovery that should have been ours grew dimmer in 44 states.
In six states, people saw the unemployment rate go down or stay the same. But all Americans are hurting. Too many are living paycheck to paycheck. Just this week, we got the unbelievable news that household incomes fell even further during the so-called recovery than they did during the recession itself.
Anxiety has never been higher. Another new report out of Washington warns that higher unemployment and a double-dip recession will be a reality next year unless immediate steps are taken to avert what they're calling a "fiscal cliff."
In all 50 states, Americans are looking to the White House for leadership. But all they're getting from their President is fear, frustration, and blame. Instead of uniting our nation in this time of crisis, President Obama has hit the campaign trail to declare "a stalemate in Washington."
Think about that. With millions of Americans hurting like never before, the President has admitted defeat. With five months to go before his term his up, he's saying he won't even try anymore.
Isn't this a devastating verdict on his own failure to lead?
I've led companies. I've overseen an Olympic Games. And I've governed a great American state. When people are telling you to give up, that's when you find a way to try harder. When others are pointing fingers, that's when you extend an open hand. And when Americans are hurting and families are falling apart, that's when you put politics aside and find a way to get them some help. In a word, you Lead.
Look to Tampa. Two days from now, leaders from all across the country will gather to show Americans that help is on the way. For that father whose heart cries out for the dignity of work for that child who needs a stable home for that mid-career worker who just wants another chance, a better America can be more than just a hope. It can be our future. It must be our future.