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The “Gift” that Keeps on Giving

July 21, 2011

Today’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report marks the 15th consecutive week that over 400,000 Americans filed for the first time for unemployment insurance benefits.  This report simply confirms what the American people already know and his own former economic advisers are privately conceding:  President Obama and Congressional Democrats’ stimulus plan did nothing to help businesses pull our country out from the depths of the economic hole we have been in for the past two and a half years.  
Despite the Obama Administration’s prediction that its stimulus plan would lead to an unemployment rate below 7 percent today, it stands at a debilitating 9.2 percent.  And reports from businesses, both large and small, don’t provide much hope that things are going to turn around anytime soon.  
An article in today’s Wall Street Journal notes that large “[c]ompanies are laying off employees at a level not seen in nearly a year, hobbling the job market and intensifying fears about the pace of the economic recovery.”  The article explains that this is a result of “the shifting outlook of employers, many of whom had expected the economy to gain speed as the year progressed.”
To further compound the nation’s jobless woes, a recent National Federation of Independent Business survey indicates that small businesses share the bleak economic outlook of their larger counterparts: “Although June marked the second year anniversary of the recovery, it appeared there was little happening to make small business owners optimistic.” 
The evidence could not be clearer, the Democrats’ stimulus has unequivocally failed to create the environment businesses need to help get the over 14 million unemployed Americans looking for jobs back to work.


Source: Department of Labor unemployment rate data and Obama Administration January 2009 projections (in “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act”)