Before President Barack Obama left for China to meet with his bankers, he took a moment to announce that he has scheduled a major â€œunemployment summit,â€ with CEOs, small business owners, economists, financial experts and representatives from labor unions and nonprofit groups “to talk about how we can work together to create jobs and get this economy moving again.”
Amy Goodman, the Marxian host of Democracy Now!, the network voice of American Marxism, picks up the story at the White House, where the President was putting a self-serving spin on some more bad economic news:
Amy Goodman: President Obama has announced plans for a summit on unemployment next month.
Barack Obama: The economy is now growing again for the first time in more than a year and faster than at any time in the past two years. But even though weâ€™ve slowed the loss of jobs, and todayâ€™s report on the continued decline in unemployment claims is a hopeful sign, the economic growth that weâ€™ve seen has not yet led to the job growth that we desperately need.
Cutting through the turgid prose, what the President is really saying here is:
â€œIâ€™m scheduling this summit, because every measure I have taken to stimulate jobs growth thus far has failed, and I donâ€™t know what else to do.â€
In fact, the $787 billion economic stimulus package he ran through last January has had no effect whatsoever on employment recovery, and it is now evident that the President has no clear plan or strategy mapped out to address the deteriorating employment situation.
Consider the following:
â€¢The official unemployment rate is now over 10% (10.2%) with the real figure pegged at 17.5% if you count the underemployed.
â€¢Economists analyzing the unemployment data are expressing concern that many of the jobs shed by business have been lost permanently. They are not expected to return, even if businesses turn around and become more profitable. Companies are adapting to functioning with less personnel.
â€¢A record 5.6 million people have been unemployed for more than 6 months (thatâ€™s a whopping 36% of all unemployed individuals), a statistic not seen in years.
â€¢Over 11 million full-time jobs have been lost, and because many of those workers have been shifted (through no choice of their own) to part-time work, those underemployed individuals are not counted in the overall unemployment figures.
â€¢The average workweek is now down to 33 hours.
And through it all, the President goes on lying:
Barack Obama: Over the past 10 months, weâ€™ve taken a number of bold steps to break the back of this recession. Weâ€™ve worked to stabilize the financial system, revive lending to small businesses and families, and prevent responsible homeowners from losing their homes. And through the Recovery Act, weâ€™ve cut taxes for middle class families, extended and increased unemployment insurance, and created and saved more than a million jobs (emphasis added).
Lies piled upon lies.
And now, the President is looking to â€œtalkâ€ about how to create jobs and â€œget this economy moving again.â€
If only he had considered having his â€œunemployment summitâ€ ten months ago, before he threw $787 billion into the wind.