Buying Time

Shortly after his inauguration, President Obama assured Americans that his recovery programs would create more than 3 million jobs within a matter of months. With those words he was attempting to back up some of his campaign promises, but he didn’t say how those jobs would be created.

More than a year has passed since that assurance was given, and because it was becoming painfully obvious – to anyone who was paying attention – that thousands and thousands of jobs were being lost every month, the administration was forced to change its tune.

As recently as last Thanksgiving, you may remember, the president declared, “I will not rest until businesses are investing again and businesses are hiring again and people have work again.” It was just another attempt to buy time, of course, but again he didn’t say how those jobs would be created.
In his State of the Union address early this year the president devoted most of the first 3,341 words of his speech on the country’s unemployment problems. Then he brought up and advocated a health reform program. Almost like an afterthought. But that’s what took up 100% of the administration’s – and Congress’ time – since then.

And as thousands and thousands were being thrown out of work every month, nothing was being said about job creation – because no one in authority knows how to create jobs.

Singapore’s Business Times reported on a trip Vice President Biden took to Pennsylvania a few weeks ago to stump for Democratic candidates. Campaign promises were heard once again, but there was no “health reform” hoop-la. The VP opted instead to tout job creation. He was well aware that Americans want to hear about jobs, and not “health reform programs”.

The VP firmly stated that the U.S. economy could soon create 250,000 to a half-million jobs every month as the recovery was picking up speed. “I’m here to tell you,” was how he put it, “some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.” But again, he didn’t say how because he doesn’t know how.

As Bob Herbert wrote a little while ago, “Those who think some kind of robust recovery is hiding around the corner, just waiting to spring a pleasant surprise on us, are deluded. Too many families and individuals are tapped out. They’re struggling from week to week and month to month just to meet the necessities of housing, food and energy costs. Those crazed, debt-driven buying sprees that held the economy aloft for so long are over.”

Buying sprees, and only buying sprees, bring economic recovery, however. Paychecks, and only paychecks, promote buying sprees – and jobs, and only jobs, provide paychecks.

And what’s the only way to create those jobs? Another Emergency Shipbuilding Program, and only another Emergency Shipbuilding Program.