Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, July 30, 2010

Unemployment To Get Worse, GDP Revised Downward, But Obama Says RttT Is The Most Important Thing He Can Do

President Accountability seems to live in a Bush-like bubble these days:

President Obama gave a speech to the Urban League convention in which he joked about the Jersey Shore’s Snooki and also said the following: “Now, over the past 18 months ... I think the single most important thing we’ve done is to launch an initiative called Race to the Top.”

Have you got that?

The single most important initiative the Obama administration has been involved in has been to dangle a one time cash payment to cash-starved states that forces them to fire teachers, close schools, tie teacher pay and evaluations to test scores and add new standardized tests to every subject at every grade level.

This initiative was so important, in fact, that if Congress took just $500,000 million from the $4.3 billion and used it to keep teachers employed across the country, he would veto any bill that contained that provision.

That's how important RttT is to President Accountability.

Meanwhile in the real world not inhabited by Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Mayor Moneybags, Whitney Tilson, Rahm Emanuel or President Accountability, thousands of teachers are being let go by states out of cash and tying teacher jobs to test scores is NOT the most important thing ever.

In the real world, the economy has slowed considerably and unemployment is expected to ratchet back up to close to 10%.

I mean, things are BAD.

At least for those of us who don't lunch with the beautiful people at $30,000 a plate fundraisers, things are bad.

Unfortunately Obama doesn't seem to get out too much beyond his chosen circle of advisers and basketball buddies like Arne Ducan, so it's clear he really doesn't know what's going on.

I wonder what would help wake him up?

Perhaps a look at the news?

There is no more disputing it: the economic recovery in the United States has indeed slowed.

The nation’s economy has been growing for a year, with few new jobs to show for it. Now, with growth at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the second quarter, and federal stimulus measures fading, the jobs outlook appears even more discouraging.

“Given how weak the labor market is, how long we’ve been without real growth, the rest of this year is probably still going to feel like a recession,” said Prajakta Bhide, a research analyst for the United States economy at Roubini Global Economics. “It’s still positive growth — rather than contraction — but it’s going to be very, very protracted.”

A Commerce Department report on Friday showed that the economy had grown at a faster pace earlier in the recovery, expanding at an annual rate of 5 percent at the end of 2009 and 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010. Consumer spending, however, was weaker than initially believed.

Many economists are forecasting a further slowdown in the second half of the year, perhaps around an annual rate of 1.5 percent. That is largely because businesses have refilled the stockroom shelves that they had whittled down during the financial crisis, meaning there will not be much need for additional inventory orders.

Fiscal stimulus policies are also expiring, which may further drag on growth. And individual stimulus programs like expanded unemployment benefits have faced huge political battles each time they have come up for extension in Congress.

The approaching mid-term elections may further entrench the political stalemate after Congress returns from its August recess. As a result, pressure will probably increase on the Federal Reserve to use its tools to prevent a double-dip. Recent reports from Fed officials suggest the central bank has become increasingly worried about where the economy is headed.

People are losing their jobs, the long-term unemployed cannot get work, people are losing their homes despite (or perhaps because of) the Obama administration's HAMP program, Obamavilles are starting to sprout up across the country, and President Accountability tells us at a speech he gave in between an appearance on The View and two $30,000 a plate fundraisers that RttT is going to make sure more teachers are fired and schools are closed, so all is well.

Simply amazing.

More and more, I see Obama's resemblance to Bush.

Stubborn, arrogant, not terribly informed about much, refuses to change course once he has decided on something, only listens to the cronies around him, and is taking the country down the road to ruin.

Judging by his poll numbers, which are now nearing Bush territory, others are seeing the resemblance too.

And even while Obama publicly mocks polls, he has been spending much more money on them that Bush did.

Clearly he is worried.

The only problem is, he doesn't seem to be too worried about the economy, the job situation, the foreclosure crisis, the state of the war in Afghanistan or all those teachers he's getting fired.

Nope, the only thing that seems to worry him is that he might end up a one term president.

I do have to say, a one term Obama presidency WOULD be change I could believe in.


  1. I agree with everything you said...including that Obama will be a one term President.

  2. Obama said it all by blaming teachers for the situation of American Schooling. Mr. Obama, the buck stops at the top. You lost my future vote! Third party anyone?

  3. As I've mentioned before, Obama is a transitional figure who was understood by his Big Money (foundations, real estate and Finance) backers to be someone who could divert and suck the oxygen out of the political energies that built up in opposition to Bush. The financial crisis in 2008 was a once-in-a-century chance to successfully push a real progressive agenda that could have put Finance on a short leash and revived Labor. Alas, Obama was correctly perceived by the Overclass to be someone who would intentionally not pursue it. Also, unlike Bush, he was perceived as a competent steward of US empire.

    That said, perhaps we should be careful what we wish for: after Obama comes the Hard Guys, who will really push austerity and an even more repressive state apparatus.

    In my darkest moments, I sometimes fear that a liberal corporatist like Obama is the best that can be expected. If that's the case, then we're all truly fucked. Not to excuse Obama's duplicities and weakness, but perhaps this is what the rapid decline of empire looks like.