I know we’re 419 days away from the 2012 Presidential election. But President Obama’s bid for re-election officially ends tomorrow night.
Why? Because the only thing that matters to Americans right now, based on the latest Gallup polling, is the economy and jobs.
And the President is about to deliver a jobs proposal to a joint session of Congress, which, based on early indications, can’t possibly mend the labor market.
Before you resort to political name-calling, at least check out the proof…
Talking Shop on Labor Day
“We’ve got roads and bridges across this country that need rebuilding. We’ve got more than one million unemployed construction workers ready to get dirty right now.”
That’s what Obama said at a union rally in Detroit, Michigan on Monday. And as CBS News reports, he wants to start “with a two-year, $109 billion [infrastructure] spending package.”
But we’ve already been down this road before (pun intended). You’ll recall that the 2009 stimulus package disbursed $20.9 billion toward infrastructure projects.
And guess what? At the peak – in the third quarter of 2010 – those funds only created a whopping 53,648 jobs, according to the official government website, Recovery.gov.
So even if we spend about five times as much money this go-round, even in a best-case scenario, we’re talking about creating approximately 300,000 jobs.
And if you think that’s going to put a dent in our unemployment problem, I suggest you try peeing into the ocean and seeing how quickly it turns yellow.
Will Work… Period!
The problem is no single initiative – and certainly not another infrastructure program – is going to fix our country’s jobs problem.
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Not when there are 14 million unemployed Americans… 8.8 million underemployed Americans (part-timers that want to work full-time)… and roughly 2.6 million Americans that have just given up looking for a job.
Add it all up, and the real unemployment rate isn’t the 9.1% most widely cited. It’s actually 16.2%!
So you see, creating 300,000 jobs might make those 300,000 people very happy. But it’s not going to do a thing to lower the unemployment rate.
In fact, 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict that the unemployment rate will still stand at 8.5% at the end of next year. And that’s terrible news for President Obama.
Since World War II, no president has ever won re-election with unemployment above 6%, except for Ronald Reagan. And the only reason he was able to pull off the impossible is because he had momentum on his side. The unemployment rate dropped more than three percentage points in the two years before Americans cast their ballots in 1984.
However, President Obama lacks any jobs momentum right now. Literally.
Last Friday’s jobs report revealed that hiring completely stalled out in August. That’s right. The U.S. economy added zero jobs last month.
I hate to tell you this. But the infrastructure spending and the other measures reportedly included in President Obama’s proposal, per Labor Secretary Hilda Solis – like helping people that are out of work for more than six months, tax breaks for middle-class people and payroll tax reductions – won’t jumpstart the jobs market, either.
Why? Because these are the same initiatives our government already tried earlier in the recovery. With no success.
Bottom Line: The presidential candidate with the best plan to stimulate job growth – ASAP – is going to win the White House in 2012. And that’s not going to be President Obama, unless he changes his plans drastically in the next 24 hours.
Ahead of the tape,