U.S. Economic Recovery? What Recovery?
By: Stephen Lendman
Sep 12, 2010
There is none, and it’s getting worse under a president and his predecessor’s policies – engineering and sustaining economic decline, not recovery, Obama’s latest announced job creation program as bogus as his April 2009 $787 billion stimulus. At the time, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said, besides bailing out Wall Street, it would create millions of jobs and get credit flowing again.
Wrong and he knew it. Credit contraction persists. Job creation is moribund. The true unemployment rate, by 1980 calculations, is 22%, not the bogus 9.6%, and recovery focused on Wall Street, not small business and job creation. The Treasury was looted. Trillions of dollars went to banks, shadow banks (like hedge funds) and insurers, not industrial America, a shadow of its former self by design. More on that below.
As a result, the stock market recovered (a likely blip in a bear market), not the economy. Fiscally, Obama’s $787 package flopped. Half went for tax cuts with little impact. The rest didn’t create jobs. It went for extended unemployment insurance, subsidized medical premiums for the unemployed, some aid to states, and a one-time $250 bonus to Social Security recipients – all stopgap measures, not long-term fixes.
Obama’s earlier and current approach is market-directed to buy time, hoping business will recover on its own. It was never then or now about creating jobs or about resurrecting the fading middle class, what long-term policy aims to destroy, the current crisis accelerating the process, what Obama omitted from his Labor Day speech, disingenuous like his others, saying he wants to create jobs by:
“rebuilding and modernizing America’s roads, rails and runways for the long-term….All of this will not only create jobs now, but will make our economy run better over the long haul.”
Admitting we’re in “difficult times,” he absolves himself of blame and won’t say he plans to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich post-election, instead of acting responsibly by redistributing them to lower income households needing it, not millionaires and billionaires using them to speculate, not spend, leaving consumption and job creation unaided.
Obama’s “yes we can” helps the privileged, not Main Street, suffering under his administration’s neglect, disdainful of the constituency that elected him.
His new plan ignores the jobs crisis, the worst since the Great Depression and certain to intensify. He intends nothing new, instead asking Congress to reauthorize spending routinely done every five years, front-loading $50 billion in 2011, chicken feed compared to the $2.2 trillion the American Society of Civil Engineers says is needed over the next five years and much more thereafter, given America’s long neglected infrastructure.