Obama Needs a Full-Employment Policy

The new unemployment figures are a stinging indictment of the Obama economic policy.

Standing now at 10.2 percent, the highest in 26 years, the rate is much worse than Obama’s advisers predicted.

And their song is getting tiresome.

They keep singing that the economy would be much worse off without the $700 billion stimulus.

But that’s no solace to the more than 15 million people who are out of work today.

You can’t tell a guy who got laid off that it could have been much worse for him? What are you going to say: You could have been doubly laid off?

You can’t tell someone who just lost her home that it could have been much worse for her.

It already is much worse for her.

And to keep saying that we’re saving or creating 3.5 million jobs, as the Administration contends, is no solace either when so many more people are out of work.

Until Obama makes a commitment to a full-employment recovery package, he’s failing to meet the crisis at hand.

Several of the best progressive economists in the country—including Dean Baker, James Galbraith, Paul Krugman, and Joseph Stiglitz—warned Obama that he was coming in way too low with his original stimulus package. They predicted that unemployment would surpass 10 percent. Obama ignored them, and now he and his advisers claim that no one could have predicted it would be this bad.

Wrong.

It’s poor economics and poor morals to design a recovery package that leaves so many people unemployed.

And it’s suicidal politics.

With unemployment this high, the voters are likely to take more revenge on the Democrats a year from now.