Ladies and gentlemen, the inimitable Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Fox News Sunday:
Can't you see why I'm conflicted about her reported post-election departure from her DNC post -- even if she is off to bigger and "better" things? This comment comes straight on the heels of another pathetic jobs report, in which (a) fewer jobs were created than economists expected, (b) far fewer jobs were created compared to the numbers we need to see just to keep pace with population growth, (c) and the "real" unemployment number climbed back to within a hair of 15 percent. Worse still, the last three months' worth of data represents the worst jobs quarter in two years, suggesting that the US economy is slowing back down. Using the word "happy" -- or giving any indication that you're pleased with the country's economic stagnation is the definition of political tone-deafness. In DWS' defense, she's parroting put-on-a-brave-face talking points originating from the very top:
If Obama's "step in the right direction" boilerplate sounds familiar, it's probably because that's exactly how he's reacted to a string of disappointing employment reports -- despite multiple warnings from Democratic pollsters that average voters aren't buying the happy talk. Meanwhile, as White House officials admonish Americans not to "read too much into" a single monthly report, the Romney campaign notices that Obamaland has deployed that precise formulation every single month for 22 consecutive months. Okay, if we're not supposed to "read too much into" any lone data set, what about considering the aggregate of 22 straight data sets? Might that broader picture provide some helpful clues as to why many Americans aren't feeling quite as upbeat as Debbie Wasserman Schultz seems to be? Other Democrats seem to be getting the message. Rep. Henry Waxman of California recently asserted that we're in a "depression" (echoing the remarkably low-profile Vice President), and former Obama advisor Jared Bernstein worries that we've settled into a slowdown:
I’m inclined to believe that we’ve actually settled into a slower trend, as shown in the figure, and that is really not where we need to be right now. The slowdown is apparent across many industries, including manufacturing, which added 11,000 in June, but averaged 10,000 per month in the second quarter compared to 41,000 in the first. Today’s report suggests that the downshift looks real, and that’s what should be absorbing policy makers’ time and energy.
Who is Mr. Bernstein, again? Ah yes -- he's the co-creator of the infamous Obama "stimulus" jobs projection graph, which the president informed voters would allow them to "see exactly what this plan will mean for their families, their communities and our economy." How's that working out?
Pay special attention to that red dot on the upper right. If the labor force participation rate were at the level he -- ahem -- inherited, Friday's report would have shown the oft-cited "U3" unemployment rate at 10.9 percent. Keep that in mind as The One and his lackeys prattle on about right directions, millions of jobs created and happiness.