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U.S. Jobless Rate The Worst Since Records Began In 1967

The cold and hard reality of things is that the jobless rate in the U.S. is now the worst since modern records were begun in 1967. Nationally there are now 1 million fewer jobs posted online than just a few months ago. And initial jobless claims were reported at a staggering figure of 626,000 last week, a figure far worse than the 583,000 figure expected.

Meanwhile, Republicans continue to chip away at the economic stimulus package proposal in the senate, hoping to score political points while millions of Americans suffer with no job, unable to afford their house payments or rent, or being able to provide food or pay utilities. The situation is desperate for millions of Americans while some want to play politics back in Washington.

Some senate Republicans have put forth some worthy recommendations. And those proposals deserve a serious look. However, many others only hope to derail this major economic stimulus bill which aims to create 3 million jobs and offer help to American families through a wide range of spending proposals. During the Roosevelt years, it was proven that government spending and jobs creation projects were able to get the economy back on track despite Republican objections back then. And this latest proposal doesn't seem all that much different from those goals. However, Republican opposition is now able to build using right wing talk radio and bloggers. However these critics seem to offer few real answers or proposals on how to strengthen the economy, only critical views on this proposal.

In November, the voters clearly spoke for change with the economy. But Republican critics seem to want to impose "no action" on the economy instead, and the tyranny of the minority seem to want to impose their views on the majority of voters and their mandate for change back in November.

So let's hear it here critics. If you don't support this economic stimulus bill back in Washington, then what do you propose to strengthen the economy? Here's your chance to sound off. Let's have a lively discussion here.


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Rating: 2.1/5 (7 votes cast)


Comments (7)

Al Pennam:

First off, no one is opposing the bill to score political points. That's just ridiculous. We're talking about spending a trillion dollars. Insisting that the money is not wasted on pork and party loyalty rewards is not some political sideshow, it is paramount and prudent. Didn't we just spend the last eight years criticizing the Bush administration for wasteful spending and deficits? Isn't that one of the things that's supposed to change? So why is it out of bounds to insist upon it now, just because the president says it's really really important that no one slow this bill down?

Despite Nancy Pelosi's claims that we'll lose 500 million jobs a week until this is passed, or Obama's equally unsupportable assertion that if we don't pass it we may NEVER recover, there are alternatives to this massive spending bill. There's the null option, of course, which is anathema to congress. Congress doesn't necessarily have to do anything, and it's entirely possible that it would be less costly in the long run to do nothing.

There's also the tax moratorium idea as an alternative. If our minds are stuck on the number $1 trillion (if you include som interest), well that's roughly the 2007 income tax receipts for the federal government. A one year moratorium on the income tax would put money right back into the economy by letting people keep everything they earned, and it would cost the government roughly the same as this bill (when you account the permanent increases in spending that come with the porkulus, this is actually the cheaper option) Wouldn't the money be better used by those Americans you spoke of who are having trouble paying the bills than funneling it through the few well connected recipients of the bulk of the spending package? After all, those are the people who earned it.

Also, I'm curious how they come up with the 3 million jobs created number. Better question, how will they judge success or failure? Even if three million jobs are created, who can say that it's due to this bill (much of the funds in the bill may not even enter the economy for some time)? What if 3 million jobs aren't created? Will people like you who support it admit that the money was wasted?

Allen:

Don't blame President Obama for this situation. The republicans are the ones who made it known from the beginning that they would not work with him. By embracing Rush' message of "hope he fails." this tells me that they never had any intention of being bi-partisan. Maybe this bill is not perfect and the President knows this but it can be adjusted and he is open to this. Where have the republicans been in the last few years? If they had all the answers why didn't they do something sooner? This is THEIR mess and he is trying to get it straightened it out. He did not create it.

I have but one question to ask all of these Republicans who have become economically intelligent the last three weeks: WHERE WERE YOU THE LAST 8 YEARS???? We needed you, but you NEVER showed up.

Some of you people are as narrow-minded as your leaders. This isn't a game. This is about families and their livelihoods. Those of us that have worked all our lives and are now at risk of losing everything through no fault of our own. This is bigger than the "big mouth" Republicans that is seeking attention by being an OBSTRUCTIONIST. This isn't a football game, this is about people lives.

Republicans are only interested in bailing out wealthy CEO's and Wall Street. They don't care at all about mainstream Americans having jobs and would rather invest in businesses and factories that support child labor overseas.

Al Pennam:

"Where have the republicans been in the last few years?" In the minority. Perhaps you missed it. But please blame us for everything that happened anyway.

I must point out that most of us ordinary folks on the right opposed Bush's huge spedulus bill also (that he and the democrat controlled congress passed, and which failed to fix the problem).

You're right, this isn't a football game (as if it needed saying, duhhhh). So why don't you drop the us vs. them mentality that you seem to be a slave to and think about this rationally for a minute. All the eeeevil conservatives you bemoan have jobs at risk too and have a stake in any solution. Calling our representatives obstructionist for wanting to get our money's worth is pretty childish. I remember how mad left wingers got when the dem minority was called obstructionist for trying to filibuster judicial nominees. You wouldn't stoop to hypocrisy, would you?

Lee Ward:

"I must point out that most of us ordinary folks on the right opposed Bush's huge spedulus bill"

Ill call "bullshit" on that one - not a peep, I didn't hear a peppp from any Republicans concerned about the spending patterns of George Bush.

That's not to say a few conservatives objected - but the "organized right" sure has hell didn't. They didn't give a damn about deficits and spending over the last 8 years.

ke_future:

I'm assuming by "Bush's huge spedulus bill" we're talking about TARP?

go look at the archives of NRO or Commentary, they were almost entirely against it. for blogs against it, look at Wizbang main site for an example.

and nice going there, lee, trying to raise by the bar by now saying that the "organized right" did object to it. what is the organized right, anyways? on the left we know it's the labor unions that are the base organization for the party. but on the right? it's grass roots. and most of the grass roots was against it.

but to get back to paul's post, again you are mistaken as to what got us out the great depression. it wasn't FDR or the New Deal. Those mode things WORSE. It was the economic activity generated by WW2 that really pulled us out.

oh, and it's interesting how similar the democrat's ideas are to what Japan tried back in the 90's. guess what, it didn't help them. what makes you think it will help us? it's been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

what gives rise to long term economic growth and prosperity? low taxes, smart and focused government regulation instead of over-regulation, and the removal of government interference in the market place. does the mis-named stimulus bill do any of that? no, it does the opposite. that's why we oppose it. not to score "political points"

the untrue charge you are leveling is just another way that the left uses fear, uncertainty, and doubt to gin up support for their wrong-headed agenda. and you all complain that the republicans and the right are the party of hate and fear. you really out to be ashamed of yourselves.

I'm actually surprised that no one has called "BS" on Paul's title -- "Jobless Rate The Worst Since Records Began". What does that mean?

Unemployment as a percentage of the workforce is currently 7.6%, approximately what it was in 1992. You remember 1992, right? Our previous "worst economy since the Great Depression"?

Yet somehow we avoided a depression in 1993 without a $1 trillion pork barrel debt spending bill. Same with 1988; the stock market was down 45% at the end of 1987 (just like today) yet the Reagan administration didn't panic and triple the previous year's federal spending deficit -- and miraculously we avoided a major recession/depression.

When you look at the scare reports in the news, you see things like this:

Just in the 12 months ending in January, 3.5 million jobs have vanished, the most on record going back to 1939, The Associated Press reported, although the total number of jobs has grown significantly since then.

No kidding. The total number of everything has grown significantly since then. Anyone want to guess how much the Federal budget has grown? Obviously it's way too much effort for the AP to actually give us total job losses as a percentage of the total work force. That would require research and original thinking, and some poor AP reporter might accidentally discover that this is not the worst economy since the Great Depression

Herman:

Paul, that title can't be right.

I know as a fact that the unemployment rate under St. Ronnie was double-digit for at least six straight months (if I recall correctly it was in the second half of 1982).


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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