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The Most Important Number in Politics Today



A closed auto plant in Michigan symbolizes the state's economic woes. Photo by Rebecca Cook of Reuters

15.2

That's the percentage of the Michigan residents workforce who were unemployed in June, according to statistics released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Wolverine State's unemployment rate is nearly three percentage points higher than the next closest state -- Rhode Island at 12.4 percent.

Looked at more broadly, thirteen of the 15 states with the highest unemployment rates in June were won by President Obama in 2008, including near-certain 2012 battlegrounds Nevada (12 percent unemployment), Ohio (11.1 percent), North Carolina (11 percent), Indiana (10.7 percent) and Florida (10.6 percent).

Throw Michigan into that group and you would have a total of 95 electoral votes up for grabs -- more than one-third of the total a candidate needs to be elected president.

Given those stats, it's hard to overstate just how important the economy will be in determining how strong a hand Obama will have to play when he stands for reelection in 2012. Continued unemployment numbers like the ones mentioned above could badly imperil Obama's argument for a second term, while an improvement in economic growth and a trimming of the unemployment rate -- particularly in swing states -- could put him a nearly unbeatable position.

In the nearer term, the seven states that rank highest in unemployment in June -- Michigan, Rhode Island, Oregon, South Carolina, Nevada, California and Ohio -- all will hold gubernatorial elections in 2010. Four of the seven will be open-seat races while incumbents will be seeking second terms in the other three.

Those elections might well provide a telling sign of where the 2012 race is headed if the economic doldrums continue.

Hat tip to The Post's Jill F. Bartscht for flagging the BLS numbers.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 17, 2009; 3:07 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

No, Jake, not attacking you, making fun of you. You come in here with your small collection of routines and you have clearly and deliberately staked out your own prominent role in these sections, as the local Dunce.

For the record, LONG FORM, in a civil manner, no you answer my questions first. Stupid, resentful, argumentative, predictable, lazy, and always looking for attention.

You have no right to expect anything else.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 18, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

California is a microcosm of America as a whole. It present state of dilapidation is a product of dishonesty that begins with the electorate itself. The ballot initiatives they vote for put their government officials in an impossible Kobayashi Maru, no win scenario (forgive the reference to the Star Trek movies).

Californians--like Americans in general--want it all but they don't want to pay for it. They continue to blindly believe that you can get something for nothing. California--like America--has become to big and complicated to govern the way we have been accustomed to governing in the past. What is needed before anything else can even be considered is an honest facing up to our own failures as a people in the impossible demands we are making of our elected officials.

Posted by: jaxas | July 18, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Most of the bloggers on both sides really do not know what they are talking about. Look. George W. Bush ran as a compassionate conservative who promised tax cuts, smaller government and common sense investments in education. He actually delivered on all three of those promises in a manner of speaking. He did cut taxes (for the wealthy and on investers), he drastically reduced the number of federal employees (to a point where in fact the government became so ineffective that it nearly collapsed) and his No Child Left Behind program was passed but did not live up to its promises.

The truth is that George W. Bush found out what all conservatives find out when they try to force through a conservative agenda of tax cuts, smaller government and reduced spending: That the public is two-faced. They say they support tax cuts, but what they really want is a fairer tax system. They say they want spending cuts but only if their own favorite spending programs are left alone. They say they support smaller government but what they really want is a more effective, efficient government.

It isn't just conservatives that run into this two-faced America. Barack Obama is finding out as well that what the American people voted for in the last election may not be exactly what they want. His biggest job will be to find out what the American public really wants from its government and how much they are willing to pay for it.

Both the ideological fringes don't really care what the public wants. They are intent on giving them what THEY want them to have.

Posted by: jaxas | July 18, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Pre-Reagan and GOP dominance with supply side agenda the expectation was that wealth creation was linked to employment opportunity. Since, the expectation has been that for wealth creation, the link with employment opportunity is relatively less. Wealth was associated more with work, talent, expertise, etc. which benefited employees.
In the supply side world, capital comes first and wealth occurs as a result of increased competition for it. That's why capital gains tax is so low. It incentivises investment in the equity of companies and multiplies the return for owners of equity when more capital is bidding for a finite supply of it in a market - i.e. stock market. To get the same return on investment, say 20%, if the market value of stockholders equity inflates from $1 million or $200K to $2 Million or $400K that means that the company must earn up to twice as much to retain the stockholder investment in the market. Well, increased efficiency by virtue of reduced employment is one and the source of a great deal or out sourcing we have seen. So you see how since Reagan, the link between wealth generation and employment has declined.
Our industry is now Finance. Without diversification and a leveling of the incentives (raising capital gains taxes to a level more competitive with income taxes), Employment will not improve in the long term.

Posted by: tigman_2 | July 18, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

fallsmeadjc and blert:

You can't reason with "chrisfox8" -- you see he even attacks me when I haven't I posted on this thread at all -- better to simply ignore him.

Posted by: JakeD | July 18, 2009 4:51 AM | Report abuse

OK, blert, that's fair. apologies for jumping the gun. It's just that we get so many of the nasty GOP trolls that one settles into just skimming the posts for which side the writer is on and it's easy to lose nuance.

Let me try again.

I take your post as a cut on labor organization. I don't take it as a given that unions are axiomatically bad. I know a little too much about what life was like for workers before the unions. Long hours, unsafe workplaces, unlivably low wages. I don't mean smaller car and plasma TV, I mean hard-working people hungry.

My take is that you are taking one factor you disapprove of for idelogical reasons and using that one factor to explain the high unemployment in Michigan, at the deliberate exclusion of all other factors, for example the central role of the automakers in the state's economy.

If you want to say that people aren't buying Detroit cars right now because they're made by union labor, we can just stop right now. People aren't buying cars much at all because they're worried about their jobs, thems whats got jobs.

You'd get further with me if you showed some even-handedness here; if it's wrong for labor to organize for collective bargaining, are you ready to illegalize lobbying of elected officials by corporations as well?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 18, 2009 2:34 AM | Report abuse

chrisfox8,

It's amazing that in a few brief rhetorical gestures, you can embody almost everything that you accused Republicans/conservatives of being. Rather than debate with logic and courtesy, you call someone an idiot; rather than put together a syllogism, you toss out some incoherent reference to the Emancipation Proclamation in response to a statement about the chilling effects of unions on the Michigan economy. You generalize about everyone by picking out one or two trolls on this website as examples, and then you fail to recognize the more courteous, reasoned, and civil people on this website as potential conservatives. Those two posts in quick succession are most disappointing.


And, by the way, what does the Emancipation Proclamation, a bill passed by Republicans, have to do with unions in Michigan? The person you quote seems to make a coherent point, that big government in California and strong unions in Michigan have left those two states in some of the most dire positions economically and budget-wise in the nation, yet Democrats and liberals seem to want to emulate those states in setting policies around the country. If such policies have sent Michigan and California deeper into budgetary messes than any other states, and Michigan deeper into unemployment, then wanting to set similar policies nationwide seems like folly. This sounds like a very logical argument to me, and then I get this random, absurd comment about thinking the Emancipation Proclamation is a market distortion, which, no matter how I try to see the irony or parody, just doesn't make sense in the context of this very reasonable argument. Can you at least explain yourself?

Posted by: blert | July 18, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

The fruits of unionized labor and hyperactive State regulators.

==

Yeah if we could get rid of labor organization (and wages) we'd have full employment.

The Emancipation Proclamation was a market distortion, wasn't it.

Damned idiot.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 18, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure there are civilized, educated, intelligent conservatives somewhere.

==

If you run into one, "let me know."

As long as I've been doing this, I've yet to run into a Republican type who could stay on the beam. The best of them post erroneous information with vicious sarcasm, the JakeD and K_o_z types are far more the rule.

A few observations, all but universal

(1) they lie. About everything, but about their own lives most of all. They all claim to be fabulously successful, beloved, rich lives, yet they're online trolling 16 hours a day.

(2) they CAN'T DEBATE. They CAN'T put together a simple syllogism, logical argument, ANYTHING. Either they ramble or they fly off the handle

(3) they live in the Eternal Present, like invertebrates; whatever the GOP is amped up about at the moment is an eternal principle for them

Never seen a courteous one, only sarcastic jerks who lecture about civility, like Jake and zouk.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 18, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

The fruits of unionized labor and hyperactive State regulators. Michigan and California should be held up as an example of what not to do. I don't understand why the Feds seem to want to copy them. Why?

Posted by: fallsmeadjc | July 17, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure there are civilized, educated, intelligent conservatives somewhere. Why don't they ever comment on your blog, Chris?

Posted by: nodebris | July 17, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow. It sure is a good thing Presidents don't need to stand for re-election six months into their presidency.

Do you think unemployment will improve over the next three and a half years? If so, do you think Obama will get credit for it?

Posted by: nodebris | July 17, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

walterbert you are FUNNY and
right in a deadly serious way

Posted by: shrink2 | July 17, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

"He's posting from the PC in the day room."

Heh heh,
how do you know this?

I actually get calls all the time about our people who need to get kicked off the internet. Some (trying to be at least) super secret para-military Blackwater company called a few weeks ago to demand we get one of our civilly committed people off the computer in the day room. There is only so much eye rolling you can do.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 17, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they'll just sell Michigan back to Britain or France or Russia or Canada, or something...I mean, who really needs domestic industry, anyway? China makes all our stuff now, and that's ok, right? Right? Hello? Is this thing on? Hello?(Knock, knock)

Posted by: walkerbert | July 17, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

RIP Cronkite.

Posted by: JakeD | July 17, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I get along famously with one dittohead coworker

==

Every time I run into a dittohead, regardless of the circumstances, he completely loses control when he finds he has email access to a bona-fide liberal. Workplace, yahoo groups, professional organizations .. they always end up getting themselves fired, or banned, or whatever, because they just can't let it go.

Like during Bush-Gore, the guy who ignored my polite request to stop emailing me with his screeds. Kept on doing so, and quoted my request so he could mock it. I forwarded it to management.

They're a lot worse than that now. I don't have to do anything to get them in trouble, their viciousness is always enough.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research ("NBER") the payroll employment measure, which is based on a large survey of employers, is the most reliable comprehensive estimate of employment. Unemployment figures quoted in this thread are incomplete and generally a lagging indicator, particularly after the trough in economic activity determined by the NBER. For instance, the unemployment rate peaked 15 months after the NBER trough month in the 1990-91 recession and 19 months after the NBER trough month in the 2001 recession. The unemployment rate (which the committee does not use) tends to lag behind employment (which the committee does use) on account of variations in labor-force participation.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

One step back from "pure internet politics" might be to back away from letting everyone vote by absentee ballot, or to back away from Oregon-style "the election takes place over two weeks and the polling place is your mailbox".

It's enough to make a person wonder if there might not be something to the "caucus" system, for primaries. And for general elections, a real polling place where everyone goes, and where non-lawyers from both parties serve as election judges. I admit that it would be peculiar to *disqualify* a person from being an election judge at a precinct simply because she's a J.D., but it bears thinking on.

These aren't deeply held beliefs, just passing thoughts at this point.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 17, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

douglas, you are of course correct. There is something about anonymous internet posting that brings out some of the worst in people. Even blogs dedicated to ideological categories can be ugly places. I'm not above it, I've been angry and rude plenty of times (I'm trying to get better). I don't know what the answer is, but I think you are right, in person is always better. I get along famously with one dittohead coworker, and we agree on some things like food safety and organics and minor libertarian grievances. She was even leaning Obama before Palin, so I know labels are only so helpful.

Thanks, shrink, though I have to admit I'm not actually a benjaminanderson... long story...

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 17, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey zouk,
Aren't you supposed to be working drive thru duty at Mickey D's today?

==

Do you think anyone as out of control as zouk could possibly be anywhere other than a mental institution?

He's posting from the PC in the day room.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8

congratulations that is a big deal I hope you celebrate

I'm off to swimming with the kids, it is hot and I am off

Posted by: shrink2 | July 17, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

To chrisfox, while it was technically on Bush's "watch," no one knew at the time that the recession started in December (not January) of 2007.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/12/01/nber-makes-it-official-recession-started-in-december-2007/

TRILLION dollar question: will it end before Election Day 2010?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Michigan has the highest rate of unemployment?

How long have they been run by Democrats?

==

How long have Michigan's biggest employers, the automakers, been run by Republicans who beleive in "the marketplace?"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is the GOP vision these days?? What are their plans for health care and education?? Oh that's right...they don't have any!

==

Sure they do

healthcare: tax cuts for the rich

education: tax cuts for the rich

global warming: denial

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

My retirement accounts look real again.

Housing starts are back.

==

My house is PAID FOR!!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

benjaminanderson wrote, "These days when I see even Obama's fairly moderate, if not cautious, approach to policy bring denunciations of communism... well, I'm not sure we can ever get to the point where reasonable people can disagree amicably. It's too bad."

Well said. Unfortunately for political amicability, it seems that an ever larger portion of political discourse will happen on the internet, where people behave the way they do in traffic jams.

If these discussions were happening around a backyard barbecue or over a backyard fence I think your desire for a more amicable debate could be realized - and not only because neighbors would tend to be self-sorted into like groups.

It seems as though that world's gone, but you and I and everyone else who laments its passing would do well to be thinking of ways to get political discourse back into "real space" as opposed to this medium we're using now.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 17, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Well said, you seem like a smartgoodperson, in addition to being a benjaminanderson.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 17, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

dbw, sincere kudos to your wife for her volunteer work. I know many conservative Christians, including blood relatives, that do good work. Personally I think that's admirable. However, I don't agree that society's problems can all be resolved by volunteerism. Sometimes government is the best way to tackle national, systemic problems. That's not to say that government is always the solution or that we shouldn't scrupulously make sure that government programs are well run. I wish we citizens could look for common ground where we would agree instead of all the anger and labeling. Perceptions differ, but that was one reason I was an early supporter of Obama, because I appreciated his rhetoric of common ground even if there was a partisan in me that leaned Edwards because it wanted revenge for W. These days when I see even Obama's fairly moderate, if not cautious, approach to policy bring denunciations of communism... well, I'm not sure we can ever get to the point where reasonable people can disagree amicably. It's too bad.

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 17, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey zouk,
Aren't you supposed to be working drive thru duty at Mickey D's today?

Quit Playing On Your Mommys Computer, you GooPer whackjob.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

It took FDR and his tax-raising, protectionistic policies to really kill business and creat the Great Depression. But you got the start of socialism out of it, so it was worth it to 'progressives'...
I appreciate the chance to teach you a little history.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 17, 2009 5:58 PM |
-------------------------------------


Wow, the dittoheaded Druggy Rush fans are out crying in their beers in full force today - what a bunch of deluded losers.

Who was that you were going to "teach" history to?


Take a good look at who created the majority of our debt, you clown:
.
http://conservationreport.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/history-of-budget-surplus-deficit.jpg
.
http://bethesignal.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/meet-john-mccain.jpg
.


I swear, what's left of the Republican base (the South) are among the dumbest people on Earth.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, zouk, I get it. You hate me. You hate liberals. You hate President Obama. Blah blah blah. Very informative, thanks. I don't particularly care, it's your cross to drag and drag it you will. I'll revert to my previous policy of ignoring you.

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 17, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo:

It amazes me at times the narrow-mindedness of liberals. You get locked into a template of what a "conservative" looks like ("rich", "snarls at the poor", etc), and anything that doesn't fit your pre-conceived notion is dismissed because it doesn't fit the template.

While you are considering your blatant bias, my politically conservative wife who is a health practitioner will be spending tomorrow morning assisting at a health clinic in town that gives free health care to the needy.

You see, right-wing fanatical conservative zealots are already taking care of what Obama and the Democrats brag that they are going to 'fix' with....that's right...another government program.

Because we know government programs funded by escalating taxes are the only way to solve any problem, right 'progressives'?

Posted by: dbw1 | July 17, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

don't see that happening for at least another 20-25 years.

Posted by: BrainPoo


those of us with any cognition beyond where our next handout is eminating, are not surprised at your lack of perpiscacity.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

dbw - can't let a good crisis go to waste.

Or in Lib terms, convert a crisis into a catastrophe.

but of course, it' s all someone else's fault. As in all their views. Not rich? someone else did it to you.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse


but king, bush put 6 trillion on it with his tax bill shortly after taking office

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey zouk,
Keep squinting and squeezing your third leg and maybe some day your beloved Repuglican party will earn the respect of the American voters again, but I don't see that happening for at least another 20-25 years.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

douglasbarber:
"How many consecutive terms did Republican presidents serve before the election of FDR in 1932?"

I believe it was 3 terms, the first 2 of which saw unprecedented economic growth.

"And tell me...once all those consecutive Republican terms resulted in the Great Depression..."

Actually, using the "it-happened-on-Bush's-watch-so-it's-all-his-fault" rule that you guys have created, the GOP rule of the presidency until 1932 ended in a recesssion. Much like today. It took FDR and his tax-raising, protectionistic policies to really kill business and creat the Great Depression. But you got the start of socialism out of it, so it was worth it to 'progressives'...

I appreciate the chance to teach you a little history.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 17, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't connect with thinking people of any persuasion, and is frankly a waste of time to all but the 20% of the population that already agrees with you

>>>>>>>>>>>>>

typical Lib. first they claim to know what's best for all. then they refuse the fact that over 50% of the country thinks Lib ideas are wrong. then as usual, they can't resist calling anyone who disagrees with them close minded and stupid.

It's a matter of gross projection.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

As to the "most important number in politics today," I wonder if Chris previously referred to the ethnic breakdown in a recent Gallup poll. 96% of African Americans approve of Obama's performance as president, only 52% of whites. These figures were cited in an article on "The Post" website yesterday, I think, about Obama's speech before the NAACP.
I was somewhat surprised his approval rating among whites had declined to that level.

As to the unemployment figures, as some have said elsewhere, the real rates are substantially higher since people who are out of work, but temporarily have given up looking for jobs are not counted as unemployed. Neither are part-time workers who want to work full-time, but cannot find such employment.

Alas, the unemployment rates are likely to stay high for at least another few years. This suggests Obama and Democrats may seek "stimulus" III to help their party before the 2010 elections and "stimulus" IV to help him and many Democrats in 2012.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 17, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

shrink2 wrote, "So lets get conservative. I am ready. When we stop breeding like roaches, stop aspiring to excess as a proxy for happiness, who knows? Lets get real about what it takes to have a good, happy life."

What a strange idea! I like it.

What's wrong with making enough to be content, running a corner grocery, without having to convince shareholders that your income will go *up* every quarter from now till the sun goes nova?

Yale labor historian David Montgomery characterizes corporate capitalism as an economic "St. Vitus' Dance". What a way to live.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 17, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

dbw: the final print was only the senate amendment addition (Dodd amendment was it?).
they knew what HR1 entailed for the vote.

Congress can make a law within 24 hours.
Look at 9-11.

When a vote is called for-you go for it. Or not show up.

And any policy that goes into effect because of the law that is signed, does take about a year to quantify results.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Nevermind the eight years of Republican Trickledown Tax Cuts for the Rich Reganomics that caused the whole mess that we're in right now, the Wingnut minions would rather whine about the people who are trying to clean up the mess that their BushCo Repuglican heroes created in the first place.


With the kind of numbers the GOP has now they couldn't win a game of Bingo, let alone a National Election.
.
http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/political-media/the-incredible-shrinking-gop-only-one-in-five-self-identify-as-republican/

Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

the deficit was under a trillion - Well, at least the deficit is not being artificially reported now by keeping the spending for the Iraq war off the books.

Do you think at all or just parrot back conservative talking points?

Oh, the salad days


Posted by: John Dim Bulb


Pitiful.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Here is the future of conservative politics. It may come from the liberal left.

>$15. gasoline will cause a difference in the world's boom to bust consumption cycles. At that point, coming to a world near you, everything will get really expensive, like say, water.

The only money to be made will be in conservative ingenuity. Then we can talk about sustainability or death.

So lets get conservative. I am ready. When we stop breeding like roaches, stop aspiring to excess as a proxy for happiness, who knows? Lets get real about what it takes to have a good, happy life.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 17, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

dbw:
well, it also had to pass because of the budget...
which is inherently debated in march & april.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Rasmussen had McCain winning the Prez election by 6% three days before the election.


Try again GooPer cretins!

Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, zouk, I guess we'll just have to see what happens in the future. I don't think your side is gaining any ground, and the couple of special elections would seem to confirm this. Here's the thing though: you clearly wish for one result and thus discard any evidence that indicates otherwise. You loudly proclaim your absolute conviction about what the world will bring and often as not have been proved dead wrong. Unfortunately this lack of integrity has made you a bit of the boy who cried wolf and a laughingstock. You haven't yet given me any reason to think you have any particularly special insight into national politics, so your loud opinions are just that: opinions. It might shock you to learn that many of us who identify as liberals and democrats actually have open minds, disagree about policy, etc. Some of us would actually welcome honest discussion with conservatives. However, time after time, like a broken record, you come on here with insults and ludicrous extrapolations of your own overheated feelings to the electorate at large. It doesn't connect with thinking people of any persuasion, and is frankly a waste of time to all but the 20% of the population that already agrees with you. As an inciter of hatred, you have talent; as an evangelist/salesman however, I'm afraid you only make your side seem, well, unhinged. That's just my take, I don't expect you to care.

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 17, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

dbw-hell froze over in 1994.

Conservatism is dead. Has been dying since--oh, off the top of my head; since yuppiedom. There was something about yuppiedom of the 80(s).
Conservative BEHAVIOR-in the real world
is dead. Do NOT try and say conservative "belief". Or apply moral and value.

On the corner of Main and Baltic, any day of the week, any town USA.
You will find, possibly, traces of its death.
The rich chick that gets out of her limo and snarls at the homeless person that is standing by the door of the 5th Avenue restaurant she is entering......
that is SO uncalled for!

traces of the conservative death:
-the cheerleader mom that kills another girl because her daughter had to be head cheerleader.
It's that American idealistic dream that keeps haunting us.

Conservative behavior.
Is not necessarily proper behavior.
Conservative BELIEF...is personal.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou:

"Never mind that economists said it would take 12-18 months to see results..."

Ummmm, no. You can't have it both ways. I remember vividly that week when the stimulus was passed. Democrats were whipping up a frenzy that it has to be passed NOW! Not tomorrow. Not next week. NOW! NOW! NOW!

You know how I know that? Because our tax dollars were spent to fly my senator, Sherrod Brown (OH-D) on a military plane from Ohio back to D.C. on a FRIDAY NIGHT so he could cast the final and deciding vote on the stimulus. It couldn't wait until Monday. Or Tuesday. It had to pass RIGHT NOW NOW NOW!!!

Democrats were insistent it had to pass in hours, not days, from the final bill being thrown together. The final bill was printed on Friday morning, final votes were cast that night. On a 1,000+ page bill that no one bothered to read.

Obama said we had to HURRY to avoid monumental catastrophe. Obama promised if we passed it NOW we would never see unemployment exceed 8.5% (oops).

So don't be an idiot and pretend now that everyone said all along that it would take 12-18 months to work.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 17, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

parrot back

>>>>>>>>>>>

funny, parrots are known for repeating back exactly what you just said, sometimes with a little flourish at the end.

that is about all their little bird brains can handle.

but I presume parrots are a little beyond you. They often are amusing and delighful.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

dbw1 wrote, "You know, I keep telling you liberals to look at history. Giddy Democrats said 'conservatism' was dead in 1993, too. Then came 1994...."

That's laughable. You're a typical 2009 conservative. Your idea of "studying history" - whether political or economic - goes back what, sixteen years?

Tell me, dbw. How many consecutive terms did Republican presidents serve before the election of FDR in 1932? And tell me...once all those consecutive Republican terms resulted in the Great Depression...how many times did the American people re-elect FDR? And *after* FDR, what party did they elect to the presidency for a fifth consecutive term?

That's history. What you're talking about is journalism.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 17, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, of course the Wingnutters like Zouky have it all figured out, all we need to do is spend Billions on starting up a trumped up war in Iraq and give more tax cuts to the richest 1%, big corprations and big oil, that'll work!.....wait a minute...uh....nevermind.


No stimulus is going to stem the tide of unemplyment in 4 months, the economy is too big, but it will gradually turn it around and lessen the number of newer claims...Business reacts slowly to hiring in good times and lay offs in bad, just the way it works. The BushCo Republicans left a stinky pile of crap on Pres Obama's door step on Jan 20, 2009 and it's going to take longer than six months in office to clean it up.


Try again, Wingnuts!


Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Rasmussen has Repubs right on 8 of 10 issues.

Keep talking Libs. It is having the desired effect.

If your desire is to have your elected officials join the ranks of Obimbo's unemployed Army.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Zouk - KING of people who care more about being a good Republican then being a good American.

For the record:

It won't be long before voters start nostalgically looking back at Republican rule. the Salad days when:
I had a job - Recession Started in 2008 - BUSH
I had a 401K - What a BS Comment - How about "I had a pension"? Then we could look back to pre-Reagan times.
We were respected in the world - I think it goes without saying that President Bush did not engender respect around the world.
Gas was only $1 a gallon - well, crap.
I could afford air conditioning - I can.
My car was safe - Mine is.
Politicians weren't corrupt - Which politicians are you referring to? Either they've always been all corrupt, or there have always been a few, in either party, that aren't - pick one, Zouk.
there was no shadow government - what?
There were less than a dozen czars - what?
Judges were chosen for accomplishment - What a silly remark - You're saying that President's Bush or Clinton blindly choose judges based solely on their accomplisments and not somewhat on their political standing - GROW UP, Dude!
Taxes were low - In case you missed it, Zouk, taxes were reduced for 85 % of our taxpayers earlier in the year.
Laws were actually passed by congress - as they are today.
the President could throw a ball further than 10 feet - what a silly remark...just to carry on the them, I beleive the all star game pitch did go about 55' - and the current president can sink a three.
A teleprompter was not running press conferences - WHY, OH WHY do you keep bringing this up? (All presidents have used teleprompters - this is such a 6th grade taunt)
Central and south america were free - Something's changed there in the last year that wasn't reported?
Korea didn't shoot missiles at us - Have they now?
the CIA was our friend - I don't want the CIA to be my friend - I want them to be the enemy of overseas threats to our security.
Israel was our allie - Still are.
Iran was our enemy - Still are.
We were braver than France - Stupid remark, but still are.
the press reported bad things the admin did - This is silly - you can check out the Post archives, at minimum and find plenty of bad news stories.
unemployment was below 5% - Repeat after me, Zouk - the recession started in 2008; under Bush's watch - Unemployment is a lagging indicator, meaning that the economy as a whole will bounce back first and then employment numbers will get better.
the deficit was under a trillion - Well, at least the deficit is not being artificially reported now by keeping the spending for the Iraq war off the books.

Do you think at all or just parrot back conservative talking points?

Oh, the salad days

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | July 17, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

dbw1 wrote, "You forgot JFK. It's the slogan the GOP & JFK have been bleating for decades. And not just the wealthy; cut taxes for everybody."

Stop and think for a moment. The federal government actually balanced a budget under Clinton. Ran a surplus, if memory serves.

Then came Dubya, tax cuts, massive deficit. So far so good for Reaganomics.

Then came the largest financial collapse since the Great Depression, requiring unprecedented, truly massive government outlays just to keep the nation's financial institutions open. 150 trillion in emergency disbursements under Dubya, if my rough accounting is correct.

Problem: The government was already running massive deficits during the period of prosperity which preceded this collapse - under a Republican president.

He had already given the tax cuts that would indeed be advisable during an economic catastrophe.

Now that we actually face such a catastrophe, your Republican ex-president has left your new Democratic president no fiscal room to maneuver.

That strikes me as the height of irresponsibility - which might be a good title for a biography of George W. Bush's entire life.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 17, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse


king: ever think that unemployment went up because the funds of the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 were not used properly? A blind-side.
It was scuttlebutt that ---this last Act of Baby Bush, in particular, would cover bases that Obama's HR1 bill would initiate and also, line the pockets of his big contributors for all their loyalty.
How idealistic wouldn't you say?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo:

"just think what will happen when they figure out that conservatism is dead.
And it wore a bowtie."

Gallup says more people today call themselves "conservative" than did just two years ago. Meanwhile, the number of people calling themselves "liberal" is falling.

You know, I keep telling you liberals to look at history. Giddy Democrats said 'conservatism' was dead in 1993, too. Then came 1994....

Posted by: dbw1 | July 17, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Only mentally challenged voters >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

you mean the Libs who, despite suffering high unemployment, keep voting in the perpetrators in the states mentioned above?

Ooops., Facts. Head for the Hills, moonbats.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Michigan has the highest rate of unemployment?

How long have they been run by Democrats? How long have most political decisions in that state been made based on how much financial gain there would be for unions?

That formula seems to be working well...

Posted by: dbw1 | July 17, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk wrote:

"It won't be long before voters start nostalgically looking back at Republican rule. the Salad days when:
I had a job
I had a 401K"

Only mentally challenged voters will wax nostalgic about the effect eight years of government by Dubya had on their 401K.

Of course, those particular voters will be remarkably tenacious in their opinions, despite all evidence tending to disconfirm their beliefs, thanks in large part to their steady diet of Limbaugh, Beck, Fox, and Drudge.

Meanwhile, in other news, governments across the land are racing each other to limit the amount of salt in peoples' diets.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 17, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8:
"And all the GOP can come up with is the same damn slogan they've been bleating for decades. Cut taxes on the wealthy."

You forgot JFK. It's the slogan the GOP & JFK have been bleating for decades. And not just the wealthy; cut taxes for everybody.


Posted by: dbw1 | July 17, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

shrink:
just think what will happen when they figure out that conservatism is dead.
And it wore a bowtie.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

While it was technically on Bush's "watch," no one knew at the time that the recession started in December (not January) of 2007.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/12/01/nber-makes-it-official-recession-started-in-december-2007/

Will it end before 2010?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

""pretend anyone cares""

It would seem that the voters of NJ, VA and OH have already indicated that they do and that the Libs can find a different job starting in November.

All it takes is for Lib policies to sink in and they are promptly thrown out. all the empty promises might get you elected, but when they are revealed as a sham, you lose.
there is no more formidable empty promise out there now (used to be WMDs, before that, read my lips) than Unemployment will not go above 8%. Guess what happens when that reality sinks in?

Lib solution: We need more spending, of course.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Zouky,
What exactly is the GOP vision these days?? What are their plans for health care and education?? Oh that's right...they don't have any! Hypocrisy...look it up in Websters and keep listening to that drug addict Limp-baugh, Zouky. You have a great future....NOT.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse


king:
now, i will put my money in scientifically based research anyday.

you know the kind.
the factual data, if not corrupted and manipulated, that gets through the cracks of red tape of the idealistic system--
to actually be worth something in the real world.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Michigan also had that 15% unemployment figure in August 1983, one year before Ronald Reagan won a landslide re-election.
Chris, your forecasting skills will either net you a future in the bullpen of the Nats or in the accounting team at Bank of America. Good Luck. ;)

Posted by: htimothyjones | July 17, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, I really thought that you might change after the election, but apparently you've gotten worse - "moonbats" "the messiah" - Has it ever been your intention to join this chat to engage in civil discussion, learn something you don't know, get some food for thought?

Apparently not - you just like to call names. What fun.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | July 17, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

nostalgia is a fascinating disease

word origin 'our past pain'

It is the only hope of the Republican party.

If only, (just please White Full Blooded American God!) one more time, they can conjure the thrill of the yesterdays, like "my car was safe", they will rule again.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 17, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

i'm pausing for laughter King
as the seas part.

and you think the salad days were only republican-ruled days?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh poor Zoukie. It's going to be a long 8 years for you. Well, settle in, pour yourself a scotch, rant to your heat's content and pretend anyone cares. Heck, it's how I survived the Schrub years (which I remember a bit differently than you, BTW), lol.

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 17, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse


king: you disappoint me.
You have NOT done your homework.
-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
-Lily Ledbetter Law
-Small Business Admin. Extension Act
-Homeowner's Affordability and Stabilization Act

6 months.
Remember the President's words.
He will accomplish his 2nd 100 days in 72 days and on the 73rd day, he will rest!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

According to the moonbats on this site, we should not hold the Messiah accountable, even if he did promise that unemployment would not go above 8% if we just did what he said. quickly.

Now , according to this very suspect person, our health costs will drop if we just spend a fortune. Quickly. Hmmm

and of course the Earth wil be saved if we just spend all this money on very suspect fake science. quickly.

I guess you got to be a Lib to fall for this.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Oregon's a weird case. ("Wierd" is a graphical esoteric programming language, I'm told by Wikipedia, but I still like that spelling better).

Its unemployment is chronically high due to the long-term collapse of unsustainable forestry practices upon which it prospered for many a year. Its unemployment is even higher now that demand for lumber for construction has been so low for so long.

A lot of the unemployed old-timers are probably (R) and always have been - more than a few of them, survivalists. The better off who still have jobs (either in government or operating tourist traps, as near as I can tell) are the yuppies who took over that state and have ruled it lo these past 25 years. They're (D) but will go for the occasional politically correct (R). They're (D) on social and environmental issues, but don't share typical New Deal dem ideas on economics, organized labor, and such things.

For a magnificent case study of the exasperations that government by Yuppie (or, to use an equivalent but breathier term, "fruits and nuts imported from California") brings to old timers in a lovely little hamlet in Oregon, get thee to a search engine and look up recent news stories about the "Shady Cove Water District". I'm not kidding. It's one of the most outrageous political stories you'll ever read.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 17, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

It won't be long before voters start nostalgically looking back at Republican rule. the Salad days when:
I had a job
I had a 401K
We were respected in the world
Gas was only $1 a gallon
I could afford air conditioning
My car was safe
Politicians weren't corrupt
there was no shadow government
There were less than a dozen czars
Judges were chosen for accomplishment
Taxes were low
Laws were actually passed by congress
the President could throw a ball further than 10 feet
A teleprompter was not running press conferences
Central and south america were free
Korea didn't shoot missiles at us
the CIA was our friend
Israel was our allie
Iran was our enemy
We were braver than France
the press reported bad things the admin did
unemployment was below 5%
the deficit was under a trillion

Oh, the salad days

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh DOW already at 8700.
My retirement accounts look real again.

Housing starts are back.

Bankers are UberReich!

[one funny thing about German, the word for rich and imperial government is the same word]

The bad news is about the poor, but who really cares? Democrats won this day.

Just like last year, as Obama strolled to victory, I'm just sayin' it is all over but the shouting.

I remember this rich guy from silicon valley svreader, who loved Mrs. Clinton and the cretaceous JakeD. They chanted, it will never happen, it will never happen

The recession is over. Only the libs care about poor people.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 17, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: king_of_zouk - We give the Libs a chance and in 6 short months they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are simply not able to accomplish anything of merit. It would have been sooner but the press was complicit in the fraud.
---------------------------------


Like the proverbial toddlers deprived of a cookie, right-wing lunatic fringer zouky stamps his feet and whines why isn't everything better RIGHT NOW?!?! Just six months into a presidency that inherited the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression and damn it, that watered down stimulus bill--that HAD to include tax cuts demanded by the GOP that does little to nothing to stimulate--isn't giving us immediate gratification and relief? Amazing!


Never mind that Obama had to deal with nutty Republican governors (Palin, Sanford etc) refusing stimulus money to score cheap points with what's left of the whackjob GOP base and that some states are using the stimulus money to shore up budget shortfalls. Never mind that economists said it would take 12-18 months to see results, the WATBs of the Greedy Oil Party want their results NOW!!!!

Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: king_of_zouk - We give the Libs a chance and in 6 short months they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are simply not able to accomplish anything of merit. It would have been sooner but the press was complicit in the fraud.
---------------------------------


Like the proverbial toddlers deprived of a cookie, right-wing lunatic fringer zouky stamps his feet and whines why isn't everything better RIGHT NOW?!?! Just six months into a presidency that inherited the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression and damn it, that watered down stimulus bill--that HAD to include tax cuts demanded by the GOP that does little to nothing to stimulate--isn't giving us immediate gratification and relief? Amazing!


Never mind that Obama had to deal with nutty Republican governors (Palin, Sanford etc) refusing stimulus money to score cheap points with what's left of the whackjob GOP base and that some states are using the stimulus money to shore up budget shortfalls. Never mind that economists said it would take 12-18 months to see results, the WATBs of the Greedy Oil Party want their results NOW!!!!

Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, zoukie, we all really appreciated how you graciously allowed the incoming administration a full six months before concluding your objective analysis that it is a failure. I mean, it's not like you have been shrieking like a scalded cat for the last year about how much you hate Obama and everyone who's political orientation is to the left of Josef Mengele, right? I mean, if Obama was, in fact, doing a good job (just a hypothetical, mind you, don't have an anyeurism), we could depend on you to admit as much, right? Oh never mind, who am I kidding?

Posted by: benjaminanderson | July 17, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

It is WAY to early to start thinking about anyone's election chances in 2010. That's like making out your 2010 Christmas Shopping now. If there's anyone to blame for things not "suddenly" and magically turning around, its our dear Congressional members who devised this Recovery Package. The money they allocated has been paid out at such a staggeringly slow pace, hardly any of it has yet reached the consumers or marketplace.

Posted by: jaynashvil | July 17, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Looked at more broadly, thirteen of the 15 states with the highest unemployment rates in June were won by President Obama in 2008, including near-certain 2012 battlegrounds Nevada (12 percent unemployment), Ohio (11.1 percent), North Carolina (11 percent), Indiana (10.7 percent) and Florida (10.6 percent).

Very simple, Libs are even too stupid to figure out that voting for more Libs only perpetuates the misery. you'd think they would eventually figure out where their interests lie and vote those guys in. you'd be wrong. their grasp of facts is extremely tenuous if at all. In the coldest summer of decades, they insist its global warming. In a bad economy, they think we should raise taxeas and grow government and borrow more and more.
to solve a shortage in health insurance, they think we should just short everyone to make it fair.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

oh geez king---use your head and think.

"Libs take total advantage and lie their way into office"---
and repulsives don't?
The art of the game of politics knows no party.

"One problem. the voters are beginning to figure out that reading flowery words from a teleprompter doesn't solve anything. and spendinh like crazy does not reduce deficits or create prosperity."
--what spending like crazy ?- like Bush's Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. I think we spell TARP ---L I E.
---idealistic talk (that flowery talk) of the american dream, what it is and how to achieve it.....came straight out of the Republican party.
They are known for the idealistic talk.
Making you believe. Axis of Evil and yellowcake are a few (OMG) analogies!

While never getting down to brass tacts with facts and data.

It's as if a Republican will say to you:
The American Dream is a house (because their idealistic talk has been geared towards this)--but don't ask me how you get it. That's your problem. On the "common man/individual" level; don't ya know!
But in the collective - your American dream can be achieved by taking those reigns of liberty and what our founding documents had to offer. Grasp them firm as you go forth and try to find a job. We are America. We can work for the American dream --possible from coast to coast...from border to border. My daddy worked the farm and grew up strong---

wait....i'm idealizing now.
((sorry)


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

So we hit a bump in the road. Libs take total advantage and lie their way into office. now when their futile efforts prove to be exactly wrong, they hope to find some other direction for change, other than down.

One problem. the voters are beginning to figure out that reading flowery words from a teleprompter doesn't solve anything. and spendinh like crazy does not reduce deficits or create prosperity.

We give the Libs a chance and in 6 short months they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are simply not able to accomplish anything of merit. It would have been sooner but the press was complicit in the fraud.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 17, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

faith----has that anything to do with church chris???
(smiles)

i'm missing whatever is going on for the infamous 3PM press release deadline
for friday before the weekend.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

TIME TO REVIVE THE W.P.A.?

That Michigan stat doesn't even take into account those who are underemployed, stuck in low-paying jobs because they can't find anything better, or those who have stopped looking because nothing's there.

What this country needs right now is a 21st century "Work Projects Administration." But the bankers and businessmen who appear to be calling the economic tune would object to such a "Socialist" scheme.

But what's worse? Food riots or some government-initiated "make-work"?

Obama has yet to stand up for the restoration of human and civil rights and liberties. A covert program of extrajudicial targeting and torturous punishment is operating below his personal radar, enabled by forces very close to the seat of real power.

Perhaps Obama could demonstrate his commitment to principal by reviving the WPA, to put America back to work before hunger and desperation lead to all-out class warfare.

It appears that an insidious covert war against the poor, the vocal, "whistle-blowers" and the politically progressive is already underway:

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stream" list or "stories" list)

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 17, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse


of course, Sarah could have stayed as Governor and help her state with their unemployment.
What's Alaska's numbers?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"hey endthespin-are you republican?"

I think endthespin is a cynic

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 17, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe Quittin' Sarah Palin can tell us how she would reduce unemployment if elected president in 2012."

Drill here, drill now. Everyone get drillin'.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 17, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

hey endthespin-are you republican?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The most important number in politics is and has been zero.

Do zero to change what has been done to keep the big bucks coming in from K-Street and their corporate interests.

Do zero on wedge issues to keep the base and the money flowing in from the little people.

Do zero to refrain from partisanship, so politicians, papers, and the people can avoid actually talking about, thinking and working to solve real problems.

Posted by: EndTheSpin | July 17, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Why, faith, of course.

Faith in the lord

Faith in free markets

Faith in what an all-around great people we are. REAL Americans, anyway, small-town churchgoing bigoted Americans.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Quittin' Sarah Palin can tell us how she would reduce unemployment if elected president in 2012.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 17, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

oooh shrink - i think i love you...

The history of the post-modern world shows that up to about 20%, people who are unemployed don't actually matter (in politics) so long as the people who are are doing fine. I don't know why, but that is the way it is.

It is individual versus the collective.
And the definition of each...
applied to each.


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse


unemployment numbers are consistently reported wrong...
5% lower of the actual.
they don't want to scare ya too bad!
plus, the equation used is so outdated.

Therefore, if 6.5% was outrageous at one time (we always stuck at 5.7% and everyone was happy)----
in truth---(based on the mathematical equation in the USCODE that is used and that is also LIKE from the 60s)----
the unemployment rate was more at 11 to 12;
albeit--reported to be 5.7 to 6.1.

Today's numbers don't seem outrageous....
Unless you are the common man with unemployment running out --
with no prospects, and the mortgage lender is posting signs.
Or the SSD recipient that just got cut off the eligibility list and the mortgage lender is posting signs.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The history of the post-modern world shows that up to about 20%, people who are unemployed don't actually matter (in politics) so long as the people who are are doing fine. I don't know why, but that is the way it is.

People vote their beliefs about their economic futures. So long as most people are doing just fine, the people who are not tend to blame themselves, or riot and get fire-hosed and marginalized.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 17, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"it's hard to overstate just how important the economy will be in determining how strong a hand Obama will have to play when he stands for reelection in 2012."

And since we don't know how the economy will affect the 2010 races, much less 2012, at this point its all just speculative.

And its not so much the unemployment rate that matters as the size of the workforce. Those pesky gov't rate calculators let people fall off the unemployed list if they remain jobless long enough.

I'd say watch the rate at which "jobless recovery" or "stagflation" appear in the news; those two terms will have a negative correlation with incumbents' reelection rates in 2010 & Obama's chances in 2012.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 17, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

And all the GOP can come up with is the same damn slogan they've been bleating for decades. Cut taxes on the wealthy. Cut taxes on the wealthy. Cut taxes on the wealthy.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

for sure VT---
he hasn't parted the seas yet either damn it!!!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes remember, remember literally weeks and weeks ago (it is hard, I know) the whole discourse was about preventing the Next Great Depression.

That happened.

Bank failures are a thing of the past, housing starts are up and so it is all over but the shouting.

But wait there is more! The recovery will shoot energy prices to the moon, you'll see. The (Reds!) Chinese bought more cars in the last 12 months than Americans did.

I mean, shouldn't that be against the law?


Posted by: shrink2 | July 17, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The description of the statistic you provide is inaccurate; unemployment rate is never stated as a percentage of residents but rather, as the BLS website shows, as "a percentage of the labor force."

Posted by: AmitDC | July 17, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter who is truly at fault. If you can convince enough people that they are unhappy with the status quo, your candidate wins. In elections, sadly, Truth is less important than Image.

Posted by: Gallenod | July 17, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

What economic doldrums? Banks are winning and that is what this is about. No more zombie banks means no more trouble with the equity markets and that is about where policy issue differences cease to exist.

Don't worry, this or that program will make it rain on the poor, the homeless, people in New Orleans (bad joke), or on whomever complains the loudest...no matter which party controls the money printers.

Experts agree, only >$15. gasoline will cause a difference in the world's boom to bust consumer consumption cycles. At that point, everything will get so expensive, like say, water, that the only money to be made will be in conservative ingenuity. Then we can talk about sustainability or death.


Posted by: shrink2 | July 17, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The recession started in January '07, on Bush's "watch," and is the result of Republican deregulation of the financial sector.

Michigan's excessively high unemployment has the extra help of the automakers, tooling so many factories to make bimbo boxes appealing to psychologically weak drivers, and the bottom falling out of the market for them once fuel prices started to rise.

The exemption from fuel economy standards helped drive the Bimbo Box Boom. Another GOP gift.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I am shocked and appalled that President Obama in 6 months hasn't completely undone all of the damage done to the economy over the last 8 years. It is the outrage to end all outrages.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 17, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

It's not ALL President Obama's fault, just the 8.2% since January.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Bush's dead bodies in the wake

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't need Michigan. Or Ohio for that matter...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 17, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Good luck selling this as Obama's fault, guys, I'm sure you'll pull all the stops trying.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

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