This has been a tough year. Unemployment was 9.7% in January. Ten months, billions of dollars, and heaps of undeserved Democratic self-congratulations later, unemployment is 9.6%. Nearly 15 million Americans are greeting the holiday season without a job and with little hope on the horizon for 2011.
General Motors will celebrate Thanksgiving with a lot to be thankful for. The automaker just conducted one of the largest IPOs in U.S. history while millions of taxpayers who helped to pay for GM’s bailout remain jobless, their unemployment benefits used as a bargaining chip by legislators engaged in a post-election turf war.
Mitch McConnell’s announcement that he would support a ban on earmarks was so fraught with contradictions that it would have been better had he said nothing at all. The GOP Senate leader’s support for a non-binding, two-year moratorium would have turned enough heads without the curious justification that preceded his assent.
Posturing aside, legislators from both parties claim to know that our deficit is a bad thing. They know it now, they knew it last year, and they should have known it 25 years ago, because we were already being warned that it was a problem:
The American economy faces unprecedented risks in the years ahead unless the federal government takes measures to narrow the gap between tax revenues and spending.
The partisan battle over taxing success threatens to distract from needed recovery efforts, just as the president’s obsession with replacing our health care system prevented legislators from focusing on job creation. We have hit a record 62-year high for long-term unemployment , and need to get the campaign against the wealthy behind us so we can move forward in January and fix the economy.