What does the Obama administration have to say about today’s dismal job numbers?
Well, two things, neither entirely unexpected: it is critical to continue the current course of action and—oh yes—the numbers are somebody else’s fault.
Here an excerpt from a statement just issued by Alan B. Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, as taken from the Weekly Standard blog:
It is critical that we continue the policies that build an economy that works for the middle class and makes us stronger and more secure as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession. There are no quick fixes to the problems we face that were more than a decade in the making. President Obama has proposals to create jobs by ending tax breaks for companies to ship jobs overseas and supporting State and local governments to prevent layoffs and rehire hundreds of thousands of teachers.
If I might interject: Teachers unions may be a key component of President Obama’s constituency, but other segments of the population are equally hard-hit. Hiring more teachers, regardless of their abilities to teach, is not the answer to our economic woes.
As for the decades in the making charge, it should be noted that unemployment was 7.8 when President Obama took office; today is is 8.2 with only 80,000 new jobs added. So the last three years have been devastating. The picture is particularly bleak for African Americans (14.4 percent unemployment) and Hispanics (11 percent unemployment).
In responding to the news, Mitt Romney was correctly solemn, speaking appropriately of the “amount of pain which is occurring in middle class America.” Still, Romney seemed to be phoning it in. Nevertheless, he made all the right points: high taxes, increased regulation, and the Obama administration’s trade policies, which have not opened up new markets for American goods, do not a good economy make. "It doesn't have to be this way," Romney said.
Of course, no matter the overall employment numbers, President Obama can likely win a second term if he carries Ohio, where his campaign’s painting of Mitt Romney at Bain Capital as an outsourcer of jobs. The claim has been debunked, but it seems to be sticking anyway.
It should be noted that American businesses, when they do outsource, often do it for a reason: bad economic policies at home that make it hard for business to turn a profit. Romney’s campaign needs to make a much stronger statement about outsourcing, especially in the Rust Belt. In responding to the outsourcing charge, Romney has got to do more than phone it in.