President Obama is out fast embracing the better than expected drop in employment stating that “the worst may be behind us” on the recession.
Quick counterpoint. A month to month job loss figure of 247,000 jobs is huge on any normal scale — and just because it isn’t of the same scale we saw in previous months doesn’t mean that we don’t have an enormous set of hurdles ahead.
It’s quite disconcerting that Americans are still losing their homes and that even voices like Martin Feldstein are saying that more needs to be done to put a floor on the housing market — and that foreclosures need to be put in temporary pause.
Also, many analysts see a year of state level “de-stimulative shocks” that undermine the impact of the expansionary policy that the White House and Fed are pursuing. The vicious, deep-cutting budget battles that have played out this year in California are likely to play out in state after state over the next year.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to boost confidence in the country — but when consumption of autos is tied to a coupon strategy, when a quarter of a million people are added to those who can’t even afford to buy with those cash-for-clunker coupons — the White House should not be smug about America’s economic situation.
– Steve Clemons