The spectacular loss of American jobs is devastating to more Americans than the oil spill in the gulf, but Barack Obama still doesn't get it. This month he bragged to an audience of truckers in Hyattsville, Md., that our economy is "getting stronger by the day."
The U.S. Labor Department reports a very different picture. The number of long-term unemployed, defined as Americans out of work for 27 or more weeks, is at its highest level since the Labor Department began collecting such data in the 1940s.
More bad news comes from the Labor Department. In May, 431,000 jobs were added, but nine-tenths of them were government jobs.
Unemployment of young men is the highest in 61 years of recordkeeping, according to the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. The numbers for minority teenagers are tragic.
Obama's $787 billion federal stimulus program was packaged in mental images of construction workers in hard hats. However, most of those hired with stimulus dollars were government employees.
More than half of stimulus jobs were in education, mostly women, which was part of his payoff to the feminists. Many states expanded staff for teaching and education administration at the same time that they had a declining enrollment of students.
The rest of America may be suffering from a recession, but it's boom time for federal employees. On average, federal employees are paid $71,206 per year, compared to $40,331 for private-sector workers.
Those figures are just the start of the comfort of being a federal employee. When you include benefits such as health care and retirement, federal employees make almost double what private-sector employees receive: $119,982 versus $59,909.
Stay tuned: Federal employees receive raises practically every year. From December 2007 through June 2009, average federal government salaries increased 6.6 percent, while private sector salaries increased 3.9 percent. Most federal workers also get periodic pay hikes, called steps, which average 1.5 percent per year.
Federal employees don't spend much time worrying about being laid off, or about their jobs being transferred to China or Mexico -- the worry that hangs over private-sector workers. Under Obama, federal jobs keep increasing in number, not diminishing.
And there's more. Nineteen percent of federal employees make more than $100,000 a year. That's before benefits, overtime pay and bonuses are counted.
One of the reasons why government employees are so well paid is that they enjoy the advocacy of the richest and most powerful unions, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Last year was the turning point when government-employee unions were able to boast more members than private-sector unions.
According to an article in The Hill, the SEIU expects to spend $44 million to influence the 2010 elections, and AFSCME will spend $50 million. Most will be spent to help Democrats keep control of Congress and to implement Obama's agenda.
The best way Obama could create jobs is to cut taxes on those who create jobs (corporations and investors), but that's absolutely not his game plan. He wants redistribution of wealth from taxpayers to non-taxpayers and a larger percent of our population economically and attitudinally dependent on government.
The second best way to create jobs would be to stop importing foreign workers. Has Obama no regard for the 15 million unemployed Americans and the additional 10 million who have given up looking or are able to get only part-time jobs?
Each year, a million and a half foreigners are brought into our country and given work permits. That's a million and a half jobs a year that do not go to Americans.
At least 8 million illegal aliens also have jobs in the United States. The enforcement of E-Verify would make those jobs available to our own unemployed.
Don't let the liberals get by with the lie that Americans won't do those jobs. Illegal aliens work less than half of the jobs in every one of the categories where they cluster.
It's not only low-paid jobs that aliens take from Americans. The Census Bureau found that 34 percent of all software engineers are immigrants, despite the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers reporting that 48,000 U.S. software engineers are unemployed.
This is the 20th year of the H-1B program, which was supposed to admit only foreigners who can work jobs that require special expertise for which no U.S. employee can be found. From the start, this program has been a racket to allow big corporations to bring in cheap workers with limited skills to work ordinary jobs.
The Times Square would-be bomber, who was only a "B" student, once entered the United States on an H-1B visa. We haven't heard about any bureaucrat being fired for that mistake or even admonished.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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