If an Obama supporter such as myself is not sure that attacking lingering unemployment has been at the top of the White House's economic agenda, the President has a problem. (Of course, as it happens, the Democrats have their perennial Ace in the Hole for 2012 - the GOP's lack of credible alternatives and remarkable ability to over-reach in their anti-government radicalism. Will this blowback carry the Democrats through 2012? Some days I think the radicalization and extremism of the GOP is all the Democrats, as a disparate coalition from Blue Dogs to Progressives, have got holding them together.)
is virtually non-existent.
And the White House appears to have reverted to tinkering with corporate taxes in concert with the GOP, to "restoring business confidence" - whatever that means - and promoting exports to China. That's it.
Putting Americans back to work is the central issue of 2012, and the weak record of the past several years is not reasssuring. The story this Times article tells should become a clarion call for Democrats and the White House moving forward:
Roughly 9 percent of Americans who want to go to work cannot find an employer. Companies are firing fewer people, but hiring remains anemic. And the vast majority of economic forecasters, including the president’s own advisers, predict only modest progress by November 2012.
The latest job numbers, due Friday, are expected to provide new cause for concern. Other indicators suggest the pace of growth is flagging...
But the grim reality of widespread unemployment is drawing little response from Washington.