Many Faces of Obama Don't Want to Face Job Losses
January 14, 2010 "Rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief." That old children's rhyme describes the first year of the Obama presidency. The media have cast President Obama in nearly every one of those roles in the constantly shifting scramble to portray him in the most favorable light.
Meet Dr. Obama, the health care president. That’s was Time magazine’s take on health care reform. The lefty magazine put a picture of Obama wearing a lab coat and stethoscope on the cover of its August health care special report. That one-sided issue included a piece by Joe Klein who called American health care both a “fiscal mess” and a “moral mess.”
Just a few months later, Obama was on the cover again, this time as Commander-in-Chief Obama, the national security president. Time used a photo of Obama surrounded by West Point cadets with the headline: “It’s His War Now.”
Then there was FDR Obama – a Photoshopped picture putting Obama’s face on the late president’s body, complete with trademark cigarette holder. That was the reformer Obama the media so desperately sought. He was the one supposed to bring big government solutions and solve every economic crisis.
None of these images truly fit, especially Obama as FDR. The only one he’s tried even a bit at is being a health care president – by pushing a major health care reform opposed by most across the political spectrum. The role of national security president or jobs president are only things Obama has played at while both issues took over the nation’s front pages.
As Jobs President, Obama has been a particular failure. The last month of 2009 brought more bad news for the nation and the White House. Unemployment stayed at 10 percent, and the workforce bled another 85,000 jobs.
That only scratches the surface of how bad things were during Obama’s first year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that represented the most job losses in a year since 1940, and the only reason that isn’t worse is the BLS doesn’t track back further than that.
Job losses reached 4.1 million during the year. Unemployment went from 7.7 percent all the way up to 10.1 percent before dropping slightly to 10 percent. Counting discouraged workers – the ones who have given up finding a job – the number hits 17.3 percent. Not exactly a successful term as the Jobs President. More like the Job Loss President.
Yet to hear the White House explain it, “close to 2 million jobs have been created or saved by the close of 2009.” That bit of creative accounting came from Christina Romer, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Romer credited the result to the $787 billion stimulus and said those job numbers were “a truly stunning . . . effect of the act.”
Truly stunning I’ll agree. “Romer's new figures are based on macroeconomic estimates, not reports filed by stimulus funding recipients,” the Post explained on Jan. 13. So the big numbers are really just estimates or what ordinary people call them – guesses.
And the White House wants to keep us guessing. Rather than let anyone do the necessary digging to prove them wrong, the administration is changing how those numbers are tallied. That change “could make the reports more reliable but make it more difficult to gauge the stimulus's impact over time,” wrote the Post.
One in 10 Americans who reads this is unemployed. That person knows the only statistic that matters is whether people are getting jobs. Nearly one in five people can’t do that. They don’t need the president telling them prosperity is just around the corner. They need a president who does more than talk about “green” jobs.
Systematically, Democrats have made it more and more difficult to run a business, and businesses are the ones who hire in our economy. The left has increased the minimum wage, increased regulations and interfered in how businesses are run from New York to Detroit.
That’s just for starters. Waiting in the wings (or the West Wing) are moves to push the anti-Democratic Employee Free Choice Act, the economy crushing cap-and-trade program and higher taxes on businesses and businessmen. Then there’s health care reform, another fiscal boondoggle that hurt the economy.
Every one of those programs will make job creation that much harder, but journalists still don’t hammer Obama on his failed predictions of job losses, and they let the administration play games with the numbers.
The result is Obama gets to keep playing the role of Rich Man, thanks to his million-dollar book deal. Nearly one-fifth of our nation gets to learn more about life as Poor Man.