Mind you, this is Greater Washington, the nation's capital, where jobs are supposedly plentiful and the area unemployment rates are well below the national average of nearly 10 percent. Things are said to be much worse in poorer regions of the country, like the hard-hit Rust Belt in the Midwest, the Deep South and much of the West.
We have been through many trying and difficult times throughout our history. We have weathered depressions, recessions and wars, and have always emerged stronger and more hopeful than before.
But in this period that our political leadership is going through, it feels like they have lost their and our way, that they haven't a clue how to turn the economy up to full throttle. They seem far more concerned that there may be too many millionaires and billionaires in our economy when, in fact, we need to encourage more wealth creation and the jobs and higher incomes that come with it. Sam Walton, Ray Kroc and Bill Gates created millions of jobs, and a lot of the workers who bought their company's stock became very wealthy indeed.
President Obama is nearing the third year of his troubled presidency, and he still can't figure out how to get our lackluster economy moving again. Economists from the Federal Reserve to Wall Street say that unemployment will remain between 9 and 10 percent through 2011 under his present policies, and will remain close to that in 2012.
He persists in his bizarre belief that the best thing we can do for this economy is to raise the two top-income tax rates, which will hit a lot of investors in fledgling startups and a lot of small businesses that create most of the jobs in this country. If he gets his way, the top tax rate will rise to more than 40 percent on Jan. 1.
Lately, the president has been cynically suggesting that the near 10 percent jobless rate and economic growth in the 2 percent range is now "the new normal" in America, because businesses have found a way to make more money with a lot fewer workers and the situation isn't going to change.
But the fundamentals of economics have not changed. American businesses with vision and ambition will hire workers when they are offered the incentives that will unlock needed investment capital for expansion through lower tax rates that will help this economy take off.
But that isn't going to happen with the anti-growth, anti-risk-taking, anti-wealth-building policies of this administration. The minutes of the Fed's last meeting showed policymakers saying that the economic recovery was not only "disappointingly slow," it "was likely to remain slow."
This economy is crying out for a change in fiscal policy to get the great American jobs machine working again. That, too, should be included in our Thanksgiving prayers.