Donald Lambro

Even the liberal network nightly news shows, which largely ignored or underplayed the economic and unemployment debacles for most of Obama's 2 1/2 years in office, have begun stepping up their reporting on the economy's precipitous decline. New CBS News anchor Scott Pelley has been especially aggressive on this story, reporting Wednesday that 15 million workers were now without jobs, more than 20 million if you include workers forced to take only part-time jobs.

Elsewhere, this crisis is ignored, as if it didn't exist, despite rising poverty and homelessness rates and a stampede in food stamp applications.

Democratic leaders, whose minority and lower-income base has been hit hard by the jobless catastrophe, rarely utter a complaint.

Meanwhile, Obama has more excuses for the economy's decline than he has workable ideas to turn it around and get it growing again.

In recent weeks he's blamed the unemployment rate on labor-saving, productivity-increasing initiatives such as ATM machines and airport boarding-pass kiosks. What's next on his list? Salad bars that reduce the need for waiters? Time-saving credit card computers at the gas pump instead of service station attendants?

This week, with his presidency reeling from a volley of disastrous economic data, Obama called in his Cabinet to seek their advice on how to create jobs, delivering still more excuses for the sad state of the economy.

Much of the economy's woes, he said, were caused by turmoil in Europe over its own debt crisis, the earthquake in Japan, and the failure by Congress to pass a stopgap authorization extension for the Federal Aviation Administration, which has put thousands of FAA contractors out of work. He didn't mention that House Republicans approved an extension before leaving town for the August recess, and that Senate Democrats refused to pass it.

At this juncture, it is painfully clear that Obama has no plan and no set of comprehensive growth proposals to pull this economy out of its nosedive. Only more government spending on construction projects, or more green subsidies for renewable energy sources like wind power that have yet to prove they can be economically viable.

So he has taken to the road on a bus tour through the Midwest to talk about jobs, without a plan to create them, or without any idea what it takes to boost capital investment in new private-sector enterprises and small-business start-ups that are the wellspring of job creation.

The White House is lowering expectations that any new policy will make much of a difference during his presidency. "The fact is that there is no magic bullet that lowers our unemployment rate to where it would be ideally," press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday.

"We knew the road ahead was going to be difficult, that the climb was going to be steep. I have to admit, I didn't know how steep the climb was going to be," Obama told supporters in Chicago Wednesday night.

Translation: He didn't have a clue. He's in over his head.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.