The recession may have ended officially in June 2009, but don’t try telling that to America’s workforce. The nation’s payrolls rose a paltry 18,000 in June after just a 25,000 gain in May. And unemployment climbed to 9.2 percent last month, the highest level of the year.
Given those distressing numbers, Republican presidential candidates don’t have much good to say about President Barack Obama’s stewardship of the economy. They are making their feelings clear Friday.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann came out with the first reaction to the bleak jobs statistics, saying, “Today’s unemployment report is another stark reminder of the failure of President Obama’s economic policies.
“The president promised if we passed the massive stimulus package, that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8 percent. We are now at 9.2 percent. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are suffering today as a result of the president’s broken promise and his policy of attempting to create jobs through massive government spending that has added over 35 percent to our national debt.”
Bachmann noted the talk that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner may leave office before Obama’s first term ends. “We can only hope that the president will be right behind him after the next election,” she said.
“The president promised ‘shovel-ready’ projects [as part of his stimulus plan] that would create jobs, but now the president says ‘shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.’ Mr. President, it’s time to take the shovel out of your hand and stop digging.”
What is responsible for the weak jobs market, Obama might ask. “Your administration’s threat of higher taxes, massive government spending, and overregulation are,” Bachmann answers.
Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney puts the blame on Obama, too. “Today’s abysmal jobs report confirms what we all know — that President Obama has failed to get this economy moving again,” the former Massachusetts governor said in a statement.
“Just this week, President Obama’s closest White House adviser [David Plouffe] said that unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers do not matter to the average American.
If David Plouffe were working for me, I would fire him — and then he could experience firsthand the pain of unemployment.”
Plouffe’s remarks represent a slap in the face to the 20 million-plus Americans out of work, underemployed, or who have ceased looking for jobs, Romney said. Indeed, including those unfortunate folks, the “real” unemployment rate stands at 16.2 percent.
“With their cavalier attitude about the economy, the White House has turned the audacity of hope into the audacity of indifference,” Romney said.