The question that I wish I knew the answer to is what course the nation would be on if Democratic Senator John Kerry had beaten George W. Bush in 2004?
Had Kerry won, then in 2008 he would most likely have been reelected since sitting presidents always are.
Instead of a left of middle Democrat like Kerry, America has Obama, a wild spending socialist who deceitfully but also successfully campaigned on the promise to generate more jobs for a nation in desperate need of them.
As recently as January 9, then President-elect Obama upped his projection for new jobs from the 3 million he promised during the heat of his barnstorming to 4 million.
Said Obama: "The jobs we create will be in businesses large and small across a wide range of industries. They'll be the kind of jobs that don't just put people to work in the short term, but position our economy to lead the world in the long-term."
How wrong can one person be?
In a frightening but fascinating analysis of the economy, U.S. News and World Report listed nine reasons why the nation's financial condition is more grave than its 9.5 percent unemployment rate indicates. [Nine Reasons the Economy Is Not Getting Better, by Mortimer Zuckerman, U.S. News and World Report, July 9 2009]
Among the most compelling reasons are the least discussed.
For example, the number of workers taking part-time jobs because of the slack economy, a stealth underemployment, has doubled to about 9 million, or 5.8 percent of the workforce. Add those whose hours have been cut to those who cannot find a full-time job, and the total of unemployed and underemployed rises to 16.5 percent, putting the number of involuntarily idle workers close to an overwhelming 25 million.
Another grim take on what the job market might look like when the economic recovery begins, U.S. News projected that many unemployed workers looking for jobs will discover that the "good" jobs like the ones they lost will be impossible to find.
Layoffs during this deep recession will be permanent, not temporary.
Instead of merely shrinking operations, companies have closed whole business units or instituted sweeping internal changes.
Automobile manufacturers have shut down dealerships, eliminated model lines while financial giants like Citi Group and Bank of America cut tens of thousands of jobs that it will never again fill.
U.S. News concludes that by 2010 America could face an small upswing of new low paying jobs while at the same time facing a higher joblessness level at the high end. Job losses may last well into 2010 bringing the unemployment rate to 11 percent.
What's interesting is to compare Obama's evaluation of his job-delivery promise versus the cold, hard facts generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On April 30, Obama said: "We have already saved or created 150,000 jobs."
In June, however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest data showing that 2.2 million jobs have been lost since Obama took office.
Translated that means that Obama erred by a staggering 5 million jobs—the three million he promised added to the two million lost.
Adding to what should be Obama's considerable embarrassment is the recent confession by his two top economic advisors that the stimulus bill allowed for "considerable uncertainty"
Again reading between the lines, I interpret that to mean that Obama and his Democratic Congress authorized and spent more than $800 billion with no clear plan for how that money would help unemployed Americans.
How much Obama's failed economic strategy will hurt the Democrats in 2010 remains to be seen. A poll released earlier this week indicated a 16 percent increase among Americans who are "dissatisfied" with his job performance. [Polls Can Affect a President's Hold on Party, by Susan Page, USA Today, July 20 2009]
Assuming Obama slides further in the polls, the Democrats are in for a rough ride.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.