Just a quick note that my Obama Scandals list hit 300 today. There are a few scandals I never got around to writing up like the jail term deChristopher got for his disruption of an oil lease auction. Contrast that with the hoops Justice Department lawyers went through to try to keep the scudsy Bush-era Scott Bloch from serving any time (item 244). I also never got around to finishing Obama's deficit reduction plan and the Cat Food Commission II. But still a lot of material to remind you of just how bad Obama and our politics are.
Here's the table of contents:
1. Reneged on pledge to filibuster FISA Amendments Act (July 2008)
2. Lobbied for $700 billion Paulson TARP bank bailout Read more about Obama Scandals List at 300
The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report covering October is mildly positive. The number of jobs created was 80,000 with the private sector adding 104,000 and government losing 24,000. The number of jobs created for August was revised upward from 57,000 to 104,000 (an increase of 47,000) and September's figure increased from 103,000 to 158,000 (an increase of 55,000). While both numbers show improvement, both cast doubt on the reliability of the Establishment survey from which they are drawn. Read more about BLS Jobs Report Covering October: It looks a lot like August
The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report for September is out. On the surface, it is a mixed report. 103,000 jobs (Establishment survey) were created in September. The private sector created 137,000 jobs with 45,000 of these coming from telecommunication workers returning from strike. Government lost 34,000 jobs in all with local government losing 35,000. Additionally, totals for the two previous months were increased by 99,000. Yet despite this, the U-3 unemployment rate (Household survey) remained unchanged at 9.1%. Beneath the surface, things are, however, getting steadily worse.
To see what is really going on, as usual, we need to look more deeply into the numbers. Read more about The BLS Jobs Report Covering September 2011: 30 Million Disemployed
Here is a quick overview of the Census data on income, poverty, and healthcare for 2010. The "year" for this report extends from March 2010 to March 2011.
Real median household income in 2010 was $49,445 a decline of 2.3% from $50,599 in 2009. You would have to go back 15 years to 1996 to find a lower number. Conversely, the high for this number occurred in 1999 ($53,252). The 2010 figure marks a 7.1% decline from that high. (Table A-2, p.34)
In 2010, the percentage of those without healthcare insurance was 16.3%, up from 16.1% in 2009. The number of uninsured increased from 48.985 million to 49.904 million, an increase of 919,000. Read more about Census Report on Income, Poverty, and Healthcare for 2010: Damning
Not being able to stomach Obama's sudden interest in jobs, I passed on his speech to Congress and looked up the White House's fact sheet on his proposals. I rearranged them so that it was easier to see who gets what.
The Obama jobs plan:
$78 billion in tax cuts for businesses:
$65 billion cut payroll taxes in half from 6.2% to 3.1% on first $5 million in payroll
and from 6.2% to 0 on first $50 million in wages for new hires
$5 billion for 100% expensing on new plants and equipment, available to both large and small firms
$8 billion for $4,000 tax credits to hire those unemployed more than 6 months
Resistance we have been told by the Democratic party is futile. We have no place to go. Our priorities don't even merit lip service anymore. Medicare? Medicaid? Social Security? All are on the chopping block. Jobs? OK, still some lip service there but even that is 2 1/2 years too late. The wars, the surveillance state, the trashing of the Constitution, all are perking along nicely, thank you very much. Read more about The Power of Resistance
The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report covering August 2011 is out just in time for the Labor Day weekend. It's fitting then that President O's efforts on job creation should be so closely and poetically reflected by the reality. Zero jobs were created in August as per the BLS: "Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (O) in August." The private sector created all of 17,000 jobs for the month. This was offset by an equal decrease in government jobs. Perhaps the reason why President Zero wants to talk to the nation about jobs next week is because he got wind of these job numbers. Read more about BLS Jobs Report for August 2011: Recession is in the Air
Today August 29, 2011, Obama announced the nomination of Alan Krueger as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. Krueger is a labor economist at Princeton since 1992. He was chief economist at the Department of Labor for a year from August 1994 to August 1995 under Clinton. He wrote one study which found that a higher minimum was associated with higher employment and a lower minimum wage with lower employment.
But who is Alan Krueger? Have any of us in the hoi polloi ever heard of him before today? What does he really think about employment and economic policy? Read more about On Alan Krueger, Obama's Nominee to Chair the Council of Economic Advisers
Showing his progressive leadership, Russ Feingold announced today he was not running for any office in 2012. Yes, I am being snarky. Feingold is another example of the faux-progressive which progressives spend way too much time and energy lionizing and promoting. Read more about Oh Noes! Feingold Not Running For Anything.
The main number that will be cited by the media in this month's jobs report, from the Establishment data, is 117,000 jobs created.
However, the noninstitutional population (NIP) was 239.671 million in July, an increase of 182,000 from June.
And the ratio of those employed to this population declined a tenth of a percent to 58.1%.
This means (.581 x 182,000) that about 106,000 jobs were needed in July just to account for natural growth in the population. So on this measure the economy essentially went nowhere in July. Read more about BLS Jobs Report, July 2011: Surface Blah, Deeper Worsening
The number that the media will no doubt push this month from the BLS jobs report for June is the poor jobs number (18,000) from the Establishment data. May's number was revised from 54,000 to 25,000. So really we are looking at two months of extremely poor job creation. The private sector added 57,000 jobs and government lost 39,000. We should expect to see continued job losses in government due to deepening budget cuts and government workers retiring out in face of the federal wage freeze and the frenzy of state legislation targeted against them. Read more about The BLS Jobs Report Covering June 2011: Yuck!
Netroots Nation is on in Minneapolis. This is the big convention where Democrats go and talk about how progressive they are. It only lasts a few days, I suppose, because that is how long participants can keep the irony at bay. Read more about Dead Voices or Netroots Nation 2011
One of the things that has always bothered me is the fiction that there ever were any liberal or progressive economists in the Obama Administration. If you have ever had the misfortune to wander over and read any of Jared Bernstein's posts at his new site, you will quickly see what a dreadful centrist hack he is, and this is after his supposed de-muzzling departure from the Adminstration. The same is true of Christina Romer. The truth about the Obama Administration is that all of his economic advisers are and have been neoliberals, no exceptions. Differences between them have been largely cosmetic or have revolved around questions like how much to give to the rich and the corps or how many times to turn the knife in the middle class. Read more about Christina Romer: Neoliberal
The big, OK really small and disappointing, number you need to know for May from the just released BLS report is 54,000. That's the number of jobs created according to the Establishment Survey of businesses. This is a going nowhere number but it is much worse if you consider that last year the number of jobs increased by 458,000 in May. Or as per the BLS, if you take 220,000 as the average for the preceding three months. Read more about BLS Jobs Report, May 2011: The Big Stall Out