What About Jobs?

June 4, 2009

What About Jobs?


Economy: The new White House economic forecast contains more than one stunning revelation. Tops on our list is that no net new jobs are expected this year, even as the economy recovers.

Read More: Economy

One of President Obama’s campaign pledges was to “create or save” more than three million jobs in his first two years in office — not all that ambitious considering the economy has created 1.5 million jobs annually since 1980.

Well, so far this year, 1.9 million jobs have been swallowed by the recession. So he’s already nearly five million jobs in the hole.

Now, Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, says don’t expect any new jobs this year — and that unemployment could reach 9.5%, up from the current 8.9%, even though she expects the economy to grow 3.5% in the fourth quarter.

We understand that jobs are a lagging, not leading, indicator of economic strength. And this time will be no different.

Yet, in the near term, we’re actually more optimistic than the White House. Not because we think what’s been sold to the American people as “stimulus” is any great shakes, but because private- sector economic activity and global stock markets appear to have hit bottom and are ready to resume growth later this year.

The stimulus money, in other words, isn’t getting out fast enough to make a difference. Even if it did, a dollar spent by government is a dollar not spent by you. Government grows at your expense.

Unfortunately, the smothering hand of government — including massive spending, thousands of new rules, government takeover of key industries, higher taxes on energy, capital and incomes, and up to $4 trillion in added deficits by 2012 — will be everywhere.

That’s not a growth scenario — it’s a stagflation scenario.


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