Where Are the Jobs? Ask the GOP (June 6, 2012)

Last month Mitt Romney wrote a column printed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that presumed to pose an important query to President Obama: “Welcome to Ohio. I have a simple question for you: Where are the jobs?”

Ohio is a key battleground state in the November elections and like any politician worth his salt, challenger Romney is attempting to use the dismal job numbers of the last three months, including news released last Friday that the U.S. added a meager 69,000 positions to payrolls in May, to his advantage. In the course of his open letter Mittens makes an attempt at magnanimity: “I recognize, of course, as do all Americans, that you inherited an economic crisis. But you’ve now had three years to turn things around. The record of those three years is clear. Your policies have failed, not only in Ohio, but across the nation.”

Well I know the right is oh so tired of hearing this inconvenient truth, but the mystery of the disappearing workforce is owing not to the President’s leadership but to eight previous years of treasury looting and voodoo economic policy. Many pundits (some of whom I once considered liberal) and Republican mouthpieces are foisting a giant Jedi mind trick upon all of us, not entirely without success. It’s as if two wars paid for on the credit card, the rapid expansion of health care expenses and dimwitted tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans have nothing to do with our collective and personal debt load, of creating the impression that the American Dream and the middle class are endangered species.

It’s as though the giant bursting bubble of the housing market in 2008 and the foreclosure crisis that has yet to abate, a result of scandalous Wall Street malfeasance, was orchestrated under Obama’s leadership. Like the foundering of the automakers, partly the result of producing giant, fuel-inefficient cars that nobody wanted, a problem that has progressed a long way toward resolution (thanks to ahem, Obama) was the Commander-in-Chief’s master plan.

I know how the GOP will counter: but he’s had almost four years to fix things! He can’t keep using Bush as an excuse! I am the last person to argue that it’s not the responsibility of our current elected leader to correct our wayward path and put us once more on the road to prosperity. But do you know why they say Rome wasn’t built in a day? Because it wasn’t.

All of the aforementioned problems, issues that people forget brought this nation to its very knees in late 2008, have witnessed remarkable rebounds, even as pain continues. This is lamentable but how can there by any sane suggestion that a Romney Presidency, which would effectively serve as Dubya Part II, is the way to go? We’ve been there before. That one percent thinking almost got us killed – literally and figuratively.

Obama has not been a perfect President, but he’s been a pretty damned good one, cool under pressure and able to reform the state of our military involvement, banking regulations, auto industry standards and health care dysfunction even without the participation of the opposition. The housing market and unemployment, two quagmires in need of creative strategy, have a long way to go and the economy should not be considered stable until there has been sustained improvement in those areas. But let Obama have the same eight years to continue the hard work he’s started in resetting the economy, the same period voters afforded George W. Bush to dismantle the budget surplus and national peace he inherited from predecessor Bill Clinton.

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