05.01.2012 1

Does Obama want higher unemployment?


Photo Credit: White House/Flickr

By Rick Manning — The monthly release of the nation’s unemployment rate is due out from the U.S. Department of Labor on May 4 amidst a gathering storm of skepticism about the meaning of the reported unemployment rate and gloom about what appears to be a stalling economic jobs outlook.

The bad news for American workers is that while the unemployment rate has gone down, fewer Americans are employed today than when President Obama took office, in spite of the overall civilian, non-institutionalized population growing by more than 7.9 million people.

It has been widely reported by both this columnist and others that the unemployment rate has largely dropped due to workers dropping out of the workforce and not due to the much promised economic growth that was supposed to flow from Obama’s spending our nation to the brink of insolvency.

One of the key bits of good news over recent months pointing to an economic turnaround has been the weekly Labor Department report on unemployment insurance claims.

In November, 2011, the number of unemployment insurance claims dropped below 400,000 for the first time since Obama took office and new claims dropped to a four year low of 361,750 in the last week of March.

However, this good news has been short-lived as the number of new claims has skyrocketed during April reaching a four week moving average of 381,750 by the week ending April 21.

This dramatic rise is sobering as it indicates that the economy is continuing to shed jobs at an alarming rate at a time in the “recovery” where the economy should be growing robustly.

When coupled with the anemic 2.2 percent growth in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product in the 1st Quarter of 2012, hopes by the Obama Administration of a growing, thriving economy helping his re-election bid are barely alive.

Incredibly, even in the face of an economy that is sputtering as the election season heats up, the President refuses to back down on the job killing environmental and labor regulations that have played a role in prompting many U.S. based multi-national companies to grow their companies’ workforce internationally.

Just one example of this environmental overreach is the Obama Environmental Protection Agency regulation that threatens to the nation’s ability to create enough electrical power to meet our needs.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Utility Department Director Jim Hunter flatly states, “Our nation is facing a potential emergency.   The well-researched projection from PJM far exceeds the predictions of EPA regulators on power lost to the grid from coal plant closures. Add to this number the resulting damage from dozens more shutdowns in the Midwest and Southeast, and America could have a real electrical reliability crisis as well as large increases in electric prices to consumers.”

It is anticipated that U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) will place a resolution on the floor of the Senate that will require an up or down vote on whether to allow the EPA regulation to go into effect.

Armed with the support of some key labor leaders, and only needing to pick up votes from five or six Democrat Senators, some observers believe that Inhofe may successfully block implementation of the economy killing regulation.

With the jobless claims continuing to rise, and the number of employed stalled, one would think that Team Obama would cease and desist from their never ending assault on our nation’s job producers.  Unfortunately, it appears they are more interested in increasing the number of government dependents on programs like food stamps, rather than creating an economic environment where people can fend for themselves.

And when you look at it that way, suddenly the entire Obama Administration makes sense.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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