By Bradley Blakeman
By President Obama's own admission, America -- under his watch -- faces the worst job losses and recession since the Great Depression.
One of the first acts the president advanced after becoming our 44th president was the passage of the more than 1,000 page stimulus bill. A bill, by the way, that most lawmakers did not read and one that the president promised would create enough jobs to prevent the national unemployment rate from rising above 8%.
It is an undisputed fact that our national unemployment rate continues to hover around 9.5% and many economists argue that if you take into account those underemployed, those seasonably employed and those who have given up looking for a job all together, the actual national unemployment rate far exceeds 10%.
Let's look at just two facts with regard to unemployment since Obama took office. The following were compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
*As of 7/20/10 -- 3 million Americans have lost their jobs.
*As of 7/14/10 -- there are 14 million unemployed men and women in the United States.
According the U.S. government's own website Recovery.com, the over $700 billion dollar stimulus bill created 3 million jobs. That works out to a cost of $168,000 per job "created."
The propaganda signs we have all seen pop up along the highways of America touting the stimulus dollars "at work" have cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and created some 17 jobs.
Writing recently for the New York Post economist Ben Stein uncovered the following with regard to the stimulus and union paybacks for supporting Obama:
"Almost half of the $820 billion end up in the pockets of Democratic-controlled unions, such as the Service Employees International Union, and federal, state, and municipal employee unions."
By the president's own standard of success, the "stimulus" was and continues to be a failure.
The answer for the Obama administration and the Democratically-controlled Congress to skyrocketing unemployment has NOT been to create jobs, it has been to pay people to be idle through the payment of unemployment benefits over long periods of time.
The president and Congressional Democrats did not seek to lower taxes, create payroll tax "holidays," reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes, eliminate the death tax or invest in generational capital improvements that would have created private sector jobs.
Instead they choose to grow government, rewarded unions and made Americans dependent on government assistance.
Mr. President, the American people want jobs NOT handouts. They want you and those like you in Congress to concentrate on job creation not government dependence. What good is becoming dependent on a government handout that is far less than what could be realized from a salary derived from permanent employment?
Republicans believe in the old Chinese proverb:
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
The Republicans were right to stand on principle in opposing continued extended unemployment benefits that only results in a deeper national deficit and does not create one single job.
This latest multi-billion dollar unemployment give away that passed in the House and Senate this week, extends benefits through November and is retroactive to the original late May cutoff.
Is it coincidence that the Democrat's extension of unemployment benefits extends through Election Day of 2010? I think not.
Democrats believe in the old Democratic tactic:
Give a man a check, and you are assured his dependence and allegiance for a lifetime.
Democrats can fool some of the people some of the time but, not enough of the people in time to save them from a rout in the midterms.
The American people cannot be bought.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University.