The Obama Administration received bad news once entering the Oval Office, the unemployment numbers were at 700K a clip, a month, and the Bush Administration did very little to stop it. Well, the TARP package was the only inkling that got the Bush Administration up in arms, mainly because Wall Street was taking a nose dive.
I give the Obama Administration credit, they have worked hard to curtail the continuous 700K a month unemployment numbers, but the other end of the puzzle is that those out of work have not been able to find work and if they have found work it has been at drastically cut wages.
Many understand that Obama inherited this problem, but there is something about elections and being out of work for a long time that hardens many. These voters need to see some recourse, rebound by this time next year. If not, they will probably not even show up to the polls. These are the people that the Democrats need to win next year and they know it.
The search for further remedies is part of a two-track effort in the White House and Congress. Democrats are also considering plans to continue through 2010 the extra unemployment assistance and health benefits available to people who are out of work for long periods. Also likely to be retained, some officials say, is a popular $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers that was included in the $787 billion stimulus law and has helped rouse a housing market that nonetheless remains shaky.
The unemployment and health benefits are otherwise due to expire at the end of this year, and the homebuyer’s credit at the end of November. Extending the unemployment and health benefits alone through next year could cost up to $100 billion. Additional measures would raise the price tag at a time when the White House and Congress are confronting growing pressure to avoid adding to already high deficits.
Yet Democrats are more anxious about stemming the loss of jobs and creating new ones.
With economists forecasting that unemployment could hit 10 percent before job growth returns, perhaps in mid-2010, Democrats face month after month of bad news on the jobs front in a midterm election year, when a president’s party typically loses Congressional seats. Charlie Cook, a longtime nonpartisan election analyst, said last week that he was raising the odds of Democrats losing their House majority to about 50-50.
I am a realist and look at things hard. Since President Obama assumed the Office of the Presidency, my main worry has always been the unemployment numbers and lack of finding a job. Health care, climate control, Afghanistan, will have decisions and we will move on, but for the average American who can not find a job this hits hard and squarely. Not being able to pay for your mortgage, health insurance, car payments, etc., is a reality to every person that wakes up every day. The unemployment numbers must turn around, but not without JOBS and ones with a LIVING WAGE.
That is the real hurdle the Obama Administration has to jump over.