A Deficit Hawk Writes...
We Have Now the Same Employment-to-Population Ratio We Had Eleven Months Ago

Barack Obama Once Again Goes Off Message


From the White House, on the employment report:

Does One Month Make a Trend?: Fact is, we need much more robust job creation, which leads you directly to the president’s agenda to make sure taxes stay low for middle-class families and small businesses. At the same time, one month does not a new trend make, and we’d be saying the same thing if we got an unexpectedly high payroll number.

That is not what the White House should be saying. The White House should be saying:

We told you so. We need much more aggressive macroeconomic policies--massive quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, another round of money for TARP II, and pulling government expenditures forward into the present and pushing taxes back into the future--and we need them right now. If the Republicans had not blocked our recovery agenda throughout 2009 and 2010 we would be in much better shape right now.

And Mark Thoma attempts to use Jedi Mind Tricks to change the White House's mind:

The Employment Report: This is not the unemployment report we've been looking for. Unemlpoyment has risen from 9.6 percent to 9.8 percent, and job growth is very low.... We should have done something about this months and months ago. But instead, it was easier to rely on the hope that things were getting better and avoid the hard work and difficult politics of trying to spur job creation. What do we hear from the White House now? Are they ready to embrace a less optimistic but more realistic path for employment? Nope. The White House view is that "one month does not a new trend make." When bad news is always discounted as an aberration, and good news embraced as though it is the trend, this is the policy outcome you get -- too little, too late, if at all. The White House needed to push as hard as they could for more help, and it should have started long ago. I realize that they probably wouldn't have been successful due to opposition in Congress, but you don't know that unless you try, and the battle itself would have had value even if it wasn't successful.