May's unemployment number came out last Friday. Rather than see the unemployment rate gradually come down, as one would expect if we were today in a recovery, the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2%. And if that wasn't bad enough, the previous two months unemployment numbers were revised to show the jobless rate in those months was worse than it had been reported.
Descriptions of the jobs report in the media included the following: disappointing, dismal, discouraging, dreadful, and dugly (well, ugly actually, but I was sticking with just "D" words.)
The stock market plunged upon release of the jobs report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down nearly 275 points for the day, and down well over 10% from recent highs. The stock market has now erased all its gains for the year, and is now in negative territory.
President Obama, as usual, blamed everything and everybody but himself for the lousy jobs picture. It was the weather; or it was Greece; or it was China; or it was his favorite target, Congress. He says Congress hasn't passed his jobs bill. And that's true. Congress hasn't passed his big, bloated, budget-busting Stimulus II.
But the Republican-controlled House HAS passed 30 or so common-sense bills -- tax relief, regulation relief, litigation relief bills, that if they became law, would have had a direct impact on the economy and job growth. But the Democrat-controlled Senate, in cooperation with Barack Obama has blocked virtually every one of them, and we're seeing the direct results of that obstruction -- a stalled economy and a lack of job growth.
There was considerable speculation by the political pundits about what impact these latest jobs numbers would have on the presidential election. The consensus was that President Obama's reelection chances are not helped by such poor economic news. And whereas this may well be true, as far as I'm concerned, there's something else that's far more important. And that's the real people who are directly affected by the trauma of unemployment. Real people, real families, real lives are being impacted -- today, right now.
Real Americans are losing their means of support. They're losing their homes. They're oftentimes losing everything they've worked for their whole lives.
It's not a game. And the American people have a right to expect that those they've elected to the Presidency, or to the Congress, will focus their best efforts on improving things, especially the economy and the jobs picture, rather than just scoring political points.
President Obama should begin this effort by signaling Harry Reid in the Senate to take up those 30 House-passed bills, and let them have a vote. I think most of them would pass -- even in a Democrat-controlled Senate. President Obama could then either sign them into law and take credit for improving the economy and growing jobs, or veto them and be held accountable for his actions.
NO MORE EXCUSES.