The "Summer of Recovery" is looking more and more like the Beltway Chainsaw Massacre for America's workers. As President Obama lolls on Martha's Vineyard with his well-heeled Chicago pals, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that 72 percent of people are very worried about joblessness and 67 percent are very concerned about massive government spending.
After a nearly $1 trillion fiscal stimulus and several multibillion-dollar corporate and union bailouts, unemployment remains stuck near 10 percent nationwide; jobless claims rose again last week. One shudders to think how many more jobs will be on the chopping block after the vacationing president finishes "recharging his batteries."
The blame avoidance industry, of course, never takes a break. Capitol Hill Democrats blame George W. Bush. President Obama blames inaction by the, er, Democrat-controlled Congress. On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden derided GOP Leader John Boehner's speech on the Obama job-killing machine as a return to the past. Biden sneered about the "good old days" when Republicans held the majority in Washington. But laid-off, unemployed and endangered Americans in the health care sector, the auto industry, and the oil, mining, gas, and fishing industries are no doubt wondering: What's wrong with returning to the days when we had jobs and steady paychecks?
These are not the wealthy fat cats and Big Business titans Democrats love to demonize.
They're employees of companies like Assurant Health, which announced last week that it would slash 130 jobs at its offices in Milwaukee and Plymouth, Minn., to prepare for costly Obamacare mandates.
They're employees of medical device firms in Massachusetts, where officials say they'll be forced to cut back on operational costs and jobs thanks to a little-noticed Obamacare tax on their products that goes into effect in 2013.
They're employees of restaurants like White Castle and International House of Pancakes, whose executives say they will be forced into layoffs and premium hikes to cope with the federal law's $3,000-per-employee penalty on companies whose workers pay more than 9.5 percent of household income in premiums for company-provided insurance.
They're mom-and-pop enterprises across the country that must now deal with Obamacare's onerous Section 9006 tax-filing mandate. It requires them to file 1099 forms with the IRS for every vendor from whom they purchase $600 or more in goods. Nebraska GOP Sen. Mike Johanns calls it one of many "job-crushing provisions" that will bury small business in paperwork and legal costs.