Thursday, August 4, 2011

Heads In The Sand

In case you missed the change of the calendar, with all the recent hoopla over the debt bill, it's August - the month traditionally known for ugly heat, a Congress in recess, and over the last few years, constituents who have been driven into a frenzy by outside groups, primarily from the right.

While there doesn't appear to be an issue just waiting in the wings for the right wing lobbying groups to gin up anger during the next five weeks, we wouldn't be surprised if they attempt to find one. After all, as more than one Republican leader has made plain, their goal is to sink the President. A decreasing unemployment rate wouldn't help their primary goal one bit.

We're not saying the politicians in DC, especially those on the right, are attempting to tank our economy, or shoot American business in the foot, as some on the political left are saying. It's obvious to us, however, that far too many House and Senate members alike have their heads in the sand when it comes to the desperate need to help generate jobs in America.

The private firm ADP released its July 2011 jobs survey today, saying U.S. companies added 114,000 jobs last month. While their numbers are often more optimistic than the official statistics, the key to understanding that number is that it mirrors what other economic figures are also showing - that there is a another slowdown in hiring happening right now.

Part of that falloff can be credited to the same issue we've been warning about since late last year: the stimulus money is gone, and now government agencies at all levels are having to cut jobs - again - as their budgets continue to be slashed. For example, the Army, already looking to cut 27,000 soldiers from their ranks, is trying to cut another 8000 civilian jobs in the next fifteen months.

Consulting firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas confirmed that over 66,000 more Americans found themselves out of work last month, and thousands of those lost jobs came from the public sector - also known as the government sector, the place where the bloviators on the right say "government can't create any jobs."

If government can't create any jobs, how can it lose over 66,000 jobs? We're sure the individual Americans who lost their civilian jobs in July doing things like serving our military would tend to disagree with those same purveyors of hot air.

So far this year, since the new 112th Congress came in, we've seen the Democrats try to focus on jobs - and be distracted by fake crises like the debt ceiling. We've seen the President try to focus on jobs - and be distracted by fake crises, like whether he had a valid birth certificate. The President is leading the way again, telling Congress to get back to DC to put over 70,000 construction workers back to work on FAA construction projects. Obama is even planning on a bus trip through the Heartland later this month to try to talk with Americans about their ideas for generating jobs.

Meanwhile, the current House of Representatives, led by Republican John Boehner, has only FIFTEEN pieces of legislation they've originated, passed through both houses of Congress, and had signed into law by the President. In comparison, the Democratic-led 111th Congress succeeded in passing 254 laws and eleven joint resolutions over two years, while the Democratic-led 110th had 308 laws, plus ten joint resolutions. Even the last GOP-led 109th Congress finished with 316 laws, and 16 joint resolutions.

For a man who said his Republican House was going to have a "laser-like like focus" on job creation when they swept into office almost a year ago, Speaker Boehner and his caucus should all be fired for gross negligence of the responsibilities of their own jobs.

Yes, we realize that would also add to the numbers of unemployed on the streets. Somehow, though, we think the country - and even Mr. Boehner - would do better without certain current members of the House of Representatives.

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