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Unemployment Nothing to Crow About

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Finally some good news out of the Labor Department; the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6 percent.  There are 13.3 million people unemployed; down by 594,000 from the previous month. 

However, 315,000 people gave up looking for a job and left the work force, and that reduced the Labor Participation Rate to just 64 percent.  Less people working doesn’t bode well for economic growth in the months ahead. 

Only 120,000 net jobs were added in November, but the population grew by 172,000.  So, job creation didn’t come close to even breaking even.  A staggering 8.7 million jobs were lost in the first 25 months of this recession, and thus far only 2.5 million have come back.   

No doubt Barack Obama will crow about the decline in the unemployment rate and offer it as evidence that his economic policies are working.  But, a closer analysis of all the data paints a far less rosy picture and explains why most economists are predicting high unemployment and negligible economic growth to continue through at least 2012.  

Has HHS Violated the Hatch Act (Prohibiting Use of Federal Resources for Federal Campaigns)?

By our friends at the American Healthcare Education Coalition (AHEC) 

In November 2011, President Obama traveled to several states and engaged in an obvious campaign "stump speech" using the phrase "we can't wait." His charge is that Congress was not moving his agenda (the truth is that the Democrats have controlled the Senate since January 2007, his party still holds the majority in the Senate and his party is unwilling to vote FOR the president's agenda). Despite these very obvious facts (coupled with the fact the American people wanted divided government and elected a huge Republican majority in the House in 2010 to serve as a check against the President's agenda), the President is running on the idea that Congress won't act.

So the President's campaign agenda of "we can't wait" will be a purely political message in 2012. Here enters HHS. On November 14, HHS issued a press release entitled: "We Can’t Wait: Health Care Innovation Challenge will improve care, save money, focus on health care jobs."  This is a purely political press release and federal law (the Hatch Act) prohibits staff in the executive branch from engaging in political activities that are partisan in nature in the course of their duties or on federal property. The clear intent of the Hatch Act has been violated by officials at HHS

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