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Comments on Unemployment Figures

I posted these email comments I received from some people smarter than me as an update to an earlier post, but did not want them to be buried so I am repeating here:

We've had enormous government spending in the last few years, from farm bills, to stimulus, to bailouts, to new federal regulations and control over major industries of the economy, and this is what it has given us? 3 million lost jobs in about a year? This is the hope of a bigger government and patriotic tax increases and federal control of healthcare, banking, and real estate?

Government grew $400 billion under Bush and we spent more than $1 trillion on bailout/stimulus in his last year but look at the results... while the private sector is slashing 600,000 jobs, Obama is proposing to add 600,000 new bureaucrat jobs in the public sector.
"Americans can't afford a trillion dollar mistake, however well meaning the intent. And at this point, that's what many of them think this bill would be." -- Mitch McConnell
I received the following via email:
Labor Report Underscores Need for Jobs Focused Recovery Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) today issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. economy lost 598,000 jobs in January:

"Today's Labor Department report underscores the case that Republicans have made - that any economic recovery plan must preserve, protect and create jobs. Unfortunately, the bill being considered by the Senate greatly expands taxpayer funded government programs instead of empowering middle class families and small businesses to overcome the difficult challenges they face.

"The House Republican plan is smart, simple and free of taxpayer funded government waste - which no one can say is true of the Democrats' plan. To revitalize our economy, we must allow middle class families to spend more of their own money and small business owners to reinvest and create jobs.

"Although yesterday the White House failed to support the tax relief for small businesses and struggling middle-class families included in the Republican plan, I remain hopeful that President Obama is committed to real change in the form of a bipartisan recovery plan that is focused on jobs."


Background: When Asked To Name A SINGLE Republican Idea That The President Was Supporting In The Stimulus Package, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Couldn't Name One:

MSNBC'S CHUCK TODD: "Robert, you've said just now actually in an answer to one of the questions or the President has said if he hears some good ideas from the Republicans, he's all for it. Has there been a good idea from a Republican that he is now trumpeting into this stimulus packet?" GIBBS: "Well, I think the President talked with Senator Snowe and Senator Collins yesterday." TODD: "Was there specific like okay, that's a good idea, let's do it?" GIBBS: "I have not gotten from him that. I know that he believes that and stated over the course of the negotiations that there are things that he didn't, while good policy, didn't believe should be in the bill. And I think he is watching what is And I think he is watching what is going on in the Senate in order to see where the process moves this along." (White House, Press Briefing, 2/5/09)

Background: House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) launched http://republicanwhip.house.gov/jobs, a website outlining the House Republican Economic Recovery Plan. The website details a smart, simple stimulus plan that will create twice the jobs at half the price of the economic package that Democrats forced through the House despite bipartisan opposition.

The House Republican Economic Recovery Plan

Immediate Tax Relief for Working Families: Rather than a refundable credit based on payroll taxes, House Republicans propose reducing the lowest individual tax rates from 15% to 10% and from 10% to 5%. As a result every taxpaying-family in America will see an immediate increase in their income with an average benefit of $500 in tax relief from the drop in the 10% bracket and $1,200 for the drop in the 15% bracket. A married couple filing jointly could save up to $3,200 a year in taxes.

Real Help for America's Small Businesses: Small businesses (those employing less than 500 individuals) employ about half of all Americans, yet they can be subject to tax rates that siphon away one-third or more of their income. House Republicans propose to allow small business to take a tax deduction equal to 20% of their income. This will immediately free up funds for small businesses to retain and hire new employees.

No Tax Increases to Pay for Spending: The stimulus proposal pending in Congress includes record levels of government spending that will substantially increase the current deficit. House Republicans are concerned that this level of spending will result in new tax increases on American working families. House Republicans are insisting that any stimulus package include a provision precluding any tax increases now or in the future to pay for this new spending. House Republicans believe that any stimulus spending should be paid for by reducing other government spending, not raising taxes.

Assistance for the Unemployed: Incredibly, the Federal Government actually imposes income taxes on an individual receiving unemployment benefits. House Republicans propose to make unemployment benefits tax free so that those individuals between jobs can focus on providing for their families. The plan would also extend unemployment benefits from March to December, 2009.

Stabilizing Home Values: The real-estate market is paralyzed as potential buyers wait on the sidelines waiting for prices to fall even further. This is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. In order to encourage responsible buyers to enter the market and stabilize prices, House Republicans propose a home-buyers credit of $7,500 for those buyers who can make a minimum down-payment of 5%.


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Comments (26)

Just seems to me if you add... (Below threshold)

Just seems to me if you add 600,000 government workers, you're going to have to increase the taxes paid by the private sector to cover their overhead - because you KNOW they're going to be suckling off the government teat for the rest of their working careers - and just where are their pensions going to be coming from?

Really, can't anyone inside the beltway look beyond the next election?

I suspect that Obama knows ... (Below threshold)

I suspect that Obama knows that his spendulus bill won't help the economy. But he lives by the idea that you should never let a crisis go to waste. Plus he needs to save face politically.

Government jobs don't produ... (Below threshold)

Government jobs don't produce anything except more Democrat votes and more union dues which end up donated to Democrat campaigns.

Personally, I think Obama s... (Below threshold)

Personally, I think Obama should do to The Republicans what Tom delay used to do to the demsocrats - tell them to shove their ideas up their asses. We're in a freaking crisis here and all these jagoff Republicans want to do is play politics. I never thought it was a good idea to reach out to these snakes. Just let them keep obstructing so they can become even more irrelevnt a party than they are now.

I never have agreed with Obama's desire to reach out to the assholes who created this mess in the first place. They're a bunch of vipers and the only thing they give a damn about is playing politics. They using ths same mantra that got us into this predicament. It's old, tired, worn and disingenuous.

Bottom line - who gives a rats ass what a bunch of rightwing losers think or want? I don't get it. You people act like you won the last election - talk about arrogance and hubris.

P.S. I'm so pissed off at O... (Below threshold)

P.S. I'm so pissed off at Obama and the dems I can't even type.

Why so angry JFO? You guys... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Why so angry JFO? You guys won. The truth is that Obama is not reaching out to Republicans out of the goodness of his heart. He and the Dems can pass this all by themselves. They don't need us for the votes. They need us for the cover because they know when voters realize this is not a magic bullet, but a bill full of frisbee parks and honey bee insurance and STD prevention, they are going to be pissed and the Democrats do not want to own this one. Simple as that.

Liberals should be thrilled. They can get all the pork and social engineering and government takeover of private sector they want. They have the votes. Remember? THEY WON. So why are they so angry at Republicans for listening to what the voters are saying now? Remember Dems -- you won three months ago. That is an eternity in politics and the winds have changed a bit since then.

Again... there are two choi... (Below threshold)

Again... there are two choices here.

(1) Cut taxes and leave more money in the hands of individuals and let them "vote with their dollars" which businesses are 'bailed out'.


(2) Confiscate money from people and have the government decide how to spend it.

The latter is an example of "tyranny" and former an example of "democracy". Why the hell are so many people blind to these simple facts ?

JFO sounds depressed. His ... (Below threshold)

JFO sounds depressed. His Messiah has feet of clay and speaks with forked tongue.

Yeah, JFO, reality has a way of doing that. It's called a swift kick in the balls.

Lorie is right, JFO-- Repub... (Below threshold)

Lorie is right, JFO-- Republicans are listening to the people. If you hadn't noticed, the Porkulus Bill is less popular by the minute, and is making Americans EXTREMELY uneasy. (When MSNBC is pointing out the pork in the stimulus package, you know things have progressed past simple partisan bickering!) Yes, we are in a crisis, but Congress needs to get this bill right. A lot should be cut from this bill, and put into seperate bills rather than hidden and played off as being stimulating to the economy, or helpful in creating jobs. Congress needs to do what's right by the American people, and it's a shame you suddenly think they shouldn't listen.

Why so angry Lorie? I thoug... (Below threshold)

Why so angry Lorie? I thought I clearly expressed why I'm angry. You get in bed with a bunch of snakes and sooner or later they'll start biting you. As for the votes, unfortunatley it takes 60 votes to do anything in the Senate.

Depressed? Far from it. Angry? For sure.

It's really easy for some of you to boil this crisis down to a few philosophical conservative sound bites. That's a pretty stupid way to deal with this issue. Or maybe you don't believe this is a crisis which is even more stupid.

I'd rather see Obama and the dems say this is what we believe will work, it's what we were elected to do and if the Republicans don't want to go along with it, we'll take the political risk and move forward. I'm still hopeful that's what the result will be.

Right now there's just a bunch of political posturing going on in Congress. It's why most people distrust them no matter which party is in control.

Thos of you who think people like me think Obama is a "Mesiah" are really pretty stupid.

Give it up JFO. Must be tou... (Below threshold)

Give it up JFO. Must be tough for the Dems having to live under the same scrutiny they put on W's administration. The Republicans are not obstructing anything. The Democrats are in the vast majority. The Republicans could go home and the Dems can still pass almost everything their little hearts desire - as a majority. As I see it the only crisis we are really in at this particular moment is the "stimulus" legislation as it is currently written. The first trillion under Bush didn't do anything, what makes you think another trillion will. Apparently basic economic principles don't favor one political party over the other. You libs think anything can be solved as long as you have an unlimited supply of some else's money. Especially if the someone else includes those Americans not yet born. But, hey, under Pelosi's plan most of the births will be red neck Republicans instead effite Democrats so it's probably OK.

Ah, JFO, a minor question f... (Below threshold)

Ah, JFO, a minor question for you - prior to the election (a long time ago, I'm sure you've forgotten about it), you responded to a comment/question of mine about the Democrat platform's spending & tax plans by telling me, and I quote (I saved the conversation), "most [Americans] will get a tax break before any other plan. That's where the 95% comes from.".

In the light of the so called "Stimulus Package" and Democrat support for the additional spending, how do you now justify your reply?

Eagerly awaiting your response,
J (another J)

Lorie -I think JFO... (Below threshold)

Lorie -

I think JFO is pissed because he's realizing that Obama's a politician, and not an especially adept or imaginative one at that. His second post - "I'm so pissed off at Obama and the dems I can't even type." really nails it. It's not about the Republicans being the bad guys here, blocking a progressive utopia - it's about Obama.

He's been betrayed by someone he thought could be trusted. That's why he's so mad...

Just because we are in a "c... (Below threshold)

Just because we are in a "crisis" does not mean the government should pass a bill filled with pork for pet projects. Elections have consequences; I think we all understand that. Obama and the Democrats do not need Republican support to pass this monstrosity. I think everyone understands that, too. But it is rather disingenuous for Obama to claim he wants to work with the Republicans (and the 46+ million Americans who did not vote for him) in reaching a solution for this "crisis", and then to turn all smarmy and self-righteous when his ideas are frowned upon. The fact of the matter is, Americans are hurting, and need assistance. But billions of dollars for bee insurance, skateboard parks and other unnecessary and frivolous projects is not going to help anyone.

Although the known unemploy... (Below threshold)
Paul Parsely:

Although the known unemployment rate is 7.6%.
The real unemployment rate is unknown. With so many home foreclosures as an indicator real
unemployement must be at least 15.2%, if not higher. Anyone searching in the job market
knows it has just about collapsed. Even educated applicants are having a hard time.
Any one with family and friends are aware of this. It is probably safe to say the US is going to experience mass poverty, if it is not already in it's midist. Economists will come forward with a declaration of a depression
months after it has happen. They are always
lagging with news. As the recession of 2007.
Declared in 2008 by economists. With the
FED unable to create enough jobs for 5-10 years
this is a depression, not a recession. The FED
claimed they knew of the home foreclosure
crisis in 2006 but fell asleep at the switch.
As the US slips into a depression economists
are sleeping again as the population heads
for mass poverty.

And for the record, Congres... (Below threshold)

And for the record, Congress' hesitation is warranted. As the American people have found out more about this new government spending package, support has dropped steadily - with only 37% of the public supporting it.

It's funny how the Dems are... (Below threshold)

It's funny how the Dems are now screaming for the GOP to "get with the program," when the biggest problems that we're facing happened AFTER the Dems gained control of Congress (or due to previous Democrat-sponsored laws). They've had two solid years to fix all sorts of things, and they demonstrably made things worse.

So why should the GOP climb on the Democrat bandwagon, just in time for the Dems to drive it off a cliff?

If the stimulus parts of this bill are so important, write them into a NEW bill (about 1/10 the size), pass that easily (the GOP has said they had no trouble with that part), then pass all-new bills to promote the pork that makes up the other 700 billion to 1.2 trillion dollars (they can take their time with that last part, and everyone can get a good look at those bills before they pass).

At worst, they can wait another couple of weeks, and stop trying to shove this stupid, bloated monstrosity into law.

Cirby - So why ... (Below threshold)

Cirby -

So why should the GOP climb on the Democrat bandwagon, just in time for the Dems to drive it off a cliff?

So they can be handed the wheel and the Dems can scream - "It's their fault! WE TRIED TO STOP THEM, BUT THEY WERE TOO STRONG!" Hell, THEY don't want responsibility for this thing passing, so they need a group they can pass it to!

As I said a few weeks ago w... (Below threshold)

As I said a few weeks ago when this "stimulus" was talked about. I want the democrats to pass it. It will help the republicans immensely. ww

JFO - "As for the votes... (Below threshold)

JFO - "As for the votes, unfortunatley [sic] it takes 60 votes to do anything in the Senate."

Are you really that ignorant of the legislative process, or you do know, and now have a bruised and bloody chin from your knee crashing into it?

For the record, it takes one yea vote more than nay votes and that's far from 60 votes you apparently think it takes for the dems "to win."

Paul Parsely - "Althoug... (Below threshold)

Paul Parsely - "Although the known unemployment rate is 7.6%. The real unemployment rate is unknown. With so many home foreclosures as an indicator real unemployement must be at least 15.2%, if not higher."

Huh? Ok, for the sake of argument let's say you're correct.

But... would you care to make an attempt at parsing out those that ARE working and are under foreclosure because they bought a property far beyond their means?

Gimme a number smart guy. Surely you have one. One as easy to find as it was to perform an anal extraction to get the 15.2% figure.

JL - "So they can be ha... (Below threshold)

JL - "So they can be handed the wheel and the Dems can scream - "It's their fault! WE TRIED TO STOP THEM, BUT THEY WERE TOO STRONG!"

A plausible scenario and one we've seen before. Like all the nitwits that claim their Iraq war vote was because of being misled by "Chimpy" and not based on available evidence at the time.

So you think it will be bad... (Below threshold)

So you think it will be bad for the country, Willie, but you want them to pass it in order to benefit your preferred political party?

That's an awfully unpatriotic sentiment for someone who claims to care about his country.

As for taking 60 votes for ... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

As for taking 60 votes for cloture the dems can change that any time they want. Remember the talk of the nuclear option 4 or 5 years ago when the republicans held congress and the dems were not voting for cloture.

The dems want republicans for cover, pure and simple.

If this is such an emergency (as Obama has said) then chop the bill up into little pieces and put each one up for a vote. Some will pass, some wont. This will have the effect of getting things started (if it is SO important to do something immediately). The rest can be looked individually.

Hyper, I care very much for... (Below threshold)

Hyper, I care very much for my country. But I also think some are blinded by their love of Barry and supporting him when it is obvious (75%)the country doesn't want this plan. It takes a mistake sometimes to wake people up. I say let them make the mistake, then they will wake up that they were taken. ww

Hyper -Sometimes y... (Below threshold)

Hyper -

Sometimes you have to just let people make mistakes. You can tell 'em till you're blue that they're going to lose money, or hurt themselves or whatever - but they won't believe it until they see the results.






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