A Reuters-Ipsos poll just released reveals that an overwhelming 67 percent of Americans believe that President Obama hasn’t devoted enough of his time to creating jobs.
Look at the numbers and you can understand why. The most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the unemployment rate at 9.5 percent, down from 9.7 percent. But that slight decline in unemployment is misleading. The reason the rate came down is because a large number of workers have been unemployed for so long that they are no longer counted as being in the labor force. The percentage of workers unemployed six months or longer is at the highest level since 1948 when we started keeping score.
The real unemployment rate, which counts workers who have been unemployed so long that they have quit looking and workers who are working part time but prefer fulltime work, is closer to 17 percent.
One of every two households in the U.S. is said to be “employment sensitive,” meaning that the household is either living with an unemployed worker in the house or has reason to fear that unemployment is imminent.
Thus, when asked by pollsters, two out of three respondents say that President Obama isn’t devoting enough of his energy to creating jobs.
But I think the poll is wrong.
President Obama’s failure arises not from doing too little but from doing too much. It is Obama’s over-intervention in the economy that lies at the root of the problem.
Don’t push a huge health care mandate on employers Mr. President, and business owners won’t be frightened of the future costs attendant to having employees and therefore might be less reticent to hire some.
Don’t raise the tax rates on investment and capital, Mr. President and the investment that will be necessary to bring about employment growth might happen more quickly.
Promise to get out of the auto and banking businesses as quickly as possible and vow to never go into private business again.
Above all, stop borrowing and spending money, Mr. President. You’re scaring us all to death.
An amazingly concise 288 words in Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution sets forth the powers and duties of the president.
He is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He appoints ambassadors and judges. He negotiates treaties. He grants pardons. He convenes the Congress if he feels it necessary. He approves or disapproves legislation.
But he doesn’t manage the economy.
It’s not that the president hasn’t done enough to create jobs. The problem is that so many people believe that the president has any such power in the first place.
Widespread belief that the government is what drives America, instead of the other way around, is why we find ourselves drowning in debt while unable to find work for willing people to do.
The poll is wrong. President Obama hasn’t done too little. He has done too much.