The new jobless numbers are out, and the core jobless rate is a punishing 7.3 percent. It would be much higher, except the number of Americans who became depressed and just dropped out of the labor force is now at its highest in 35 years.
The real jobless rate is almost double that. This is a scandal. Shame on President Obama. Shame on Republicans. Shame on Congress. And shame on the media.
The pain of workers is excruciating, and nobody in Washington cares. As Congress prepares to return from a ridiculous five-week vacation with no attempt to pass a major jobs bill in four years, it is no surprise that the president’s favorable numbers are low and the favorable numbers for Congress are so low they have become a joke on late-night comedy.
Obama, for the first time in four years, should propose and fight for a major jobs bill — not as a photo op, not as a public relations gimmick. He should propose a major jobs bill that would rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, ports and schools. He should propose a program far larger than he has proposed, and this time, he should go to the country and fight for it, and not forget about it once the cameras have stopped rolling.
Republicans should stop attacking, opposing and obstructing every jobs bill the president and Democrats propose. The Republican opposition to jobs bills is a national shame and disgrace. The GOP should stop its policy of trillions of dollars for bankers but not one penny for workers.
The president and Republicans should repeal the sequester, which has cut spending for jobs when jobs are urgently needed. The president and Republicans should restore the payroll tax cut for workers instead of raising taxes, as they did, when consumer spending creates jobs and payroll tax cuts increase consumer spending.
I would add that this problem afflicts Europe, too. The European Union must end its cruel austerity, which has caused and now prolongs recession and even depression conditions for many European workers.
The new job numbers are a scandal and outrage. The performance of politicians in Washington and conservative governments in Europe ignores every lesson of economic history and common sense. It is time to end the shame and create the jobs.
Monday, 9 September 2013