The Summer Of Our Discontent

As a candidate for President, Barack Obama promised hope, change and a new direction for America. Unfortunately, the initial hope has turned into despair, while the change has been negative. Clearly the country is going in a new direction – but it is toward a deeper recession, not an economic recovery.

By the way, Mr. President, where is that often promised recovery? There is no recovery in the real world; it is only a figment of the imagination of Democrats and their loyal supporters in the media.

This was supposed to be the great recovery summer, the time when a plethora of new jobs were created for weary Americans. In fact, this is what we were promised by the always quotable Vice President Joe Biden. Unfortunately for the administration, it has not worked out like they planned.

Instead, this has been a summer of discontent, as Americans continue to be unhappy about the direction of the country and are afraid about their economic future. Last week, a new Labor Department report showed the nationwide unemployment rate increased to 9.6 percent with a loss of 54,000 jobs overall. While there were some private sector gains, it was more than offset by losses in the public sector. In a time of budget deficits, all levels of government are shedding jobs.

Despite furious spinning from the media that the report was actually good news for the country, the raw numbers don’t lie. The report plainly shows that this country is not in the midst of a recovery, we are still in a deep recession.

This creates political problems for the administration. Whenever Americans are upset about the economy, the party in power takes a political hit. This year will be no exception and the Democrats will lose plenty of congressional seats in the mid-term elections in November.

One respected analyst, Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, predicts that Republicans will gain control of the House of Representatives and possibly split the U.S. Senate with the Democrats at 50 seats each. This would be a tremendous blow to the radical agenda of Barack Obama.

If Republicans can gain control of the House, they can block legislation and promote gridlock on Capitol Hill. When the alternative is more government spending and higher taxes, the gridlock option looks pretty attractive. 

A more practical administration would reverse course in the face of such bleak economic news, but not the Obama White House. After the employment report, President Obama promised to push harder for a small business stimulus bill and work with Democrats in Congress on an expensive jobs bill. Yet, these pieces of legislation will only add to the deficit and grow the size of government even more. If the deficit is already unsustainable, how will adding more to the deficit help the economic situation?

Over the Labor Day holiday, the Obama family enjoyed another vacation as millions of Americans were unable to travel because of the bad economy. As the Obama administration spends lavishly on ugly White House decorations, millions of Americans are unable to re-decorate their homes. In our country today, millions of Americans cannot afford the luxury of redecorating; they are just worried about keeping a roof over their heads.

The administration promised that the $800 billion stimulus package would lower the unemployment rate; instead, it soared higher. The administration promised a “recovery summer,” instead it has been a recession summer. The administration is now promising that the country has “turned the corner” on the economy; instead, the American people will turn off the rhetoric and turnout in big numbers in November to send the administration a clear message: recovery will happen when the Democrats lose their grip on power.

 Jeff Crouere is the Host of “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. He is the Political Analyst for WGNO-TV ABC26 and a Columnist for selected publications. For more information, visit his web site at E-mail him at [email protected].



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