Brent Budowsky: There was no excuse for the president to shout from the rooftops about the dangers of sequester while not doing a thing to prevent it. Americans need jobs, not spin, and leaders, not photo ops.
Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: The only way workers will succeed in defending jobs with decent pay lies in workers standing together and embracing the principle that the labor movement was built on — solidarity.
Anthony Samad: Hindsight is 20/20, but it’s time to admit it — the Black Community picked wrong in 2005. It intends to pick right in 2013.
Charley James: First they came for the working poor. Then they came for the lower middle class. Now, they are after the middle and upper middle classes. Next, they’ll come for the … 98-percenters.
Charley James: Chairman Bernanke may well be boxed in by the Fed’s much-to-cautious ruling board of bank presidents but there’s no reason why he cannot use his very public platform to jawbone the governors into action.
Kathleen Peine: The unemployment report came out recently, and Punxatawny Phil saw a service sector job — that means six more years of growth. Or something like that. It’s all very complicated.
Robert Reich: January’s increase in hiring is good news, but it masks a bigger and more disturbing story – the continuing downward mobility of the American middle class.
Robert Reich: Government should extend unemployment benefits, and not cut spending until the nation’s rate of unemployment is down to 5 percent. Then, and only then, should we move toward budget austerity.
Julie Driscoll: In their zeal to see that President Obama is a one-term president, it does not behoove Republicans to roll out anything that would actually improve the economic outlook for the unemployed. They barely pay lip service to it.
Norman Solomon: Only government has the capacity to provide economic remedies for social distress of this magnitude. But government is failing.
Carl Bloice: The average period of unemployment now exceeds 26 weeks, well above the previous peak in July 1983 of just 21.2 weeks. This is critical because the longer that people of any age are out of work, the less likely they are to find another job.
Steve Hochstadt: The calls to flatten the income tax, to eliminate welfare payments, and to repeal regulation of industry are about going back to an earlier America, where the rich and powerful could use their advantages without hindrance.
President Barack Obama: I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules.