The unemployment figures release by the Labor Department on Friday were unexpected by Wall Street and the financial community. The news was a huge blow to the Obama campaign struggling to distract voter’s attention from the real problems with their own sidebar topics. This sudden and dismal report can only booster the Romney campaign and his chances to take the White House.
While unemployment went from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent, the predicted number of new jobs was half what was expected. A stunning blow for Obama’s re-election hopes and bad news for the country in general. It opens the door even further to rumors of a second recession.
Is The Economy Turning South?
Both political parties saw the latest economic news as a turning point in the November election.
The race will most likely be a referendum on Obama and his policies. That is the ideal platform for Republicans to run on. But the Democrats are hoping to spin this as the halfway point in Obama’s two terms as president while the nation crawls back to fiscal responsibility.
But the latter is unlikely as the economy continues to move south on the charts.
Linkage to Bush Getting Old
The connection between the bad times and the Bush administration is now almost 42 months old and many Americans are now placing the burden of America’s problems on the current administration.
Meanwhile, the Republicans have nothing to gain by lending a helping hand with legislation that would ease Obama’s strife. Many in Congress feel this is not the time for more costly stimulus measures, but rather a monetary freeze to provide a buffer from the European fiscal dilemma sweeping that continent.
More bad news for a desperate president in search of help from a Republican-led House.
“Our economy is still facing some serious headwinds,” Obama noted in a speech in Minneapolis. He went on the say that gas prices and the financial crisis in Europe are “having an impact worldwide and is starting to cast a shadow on our own recovery.”
Only part of the reason and a vast understatement of the entire economic picture.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney was quick to answer back. He called for a change in economic stewardship that his campaign feels will resonate more clearly with the voters. Stuart Stevens, Romney’s chief campaign strategist, said “This is the race we came ready to run. This is the race we believed we would be in.”
Warning signs that the economy is facing further hits will complicate maneuvers the federal government planned at year’s end. Legislation that will increase taxes nearly $8 trillion when the Bush-era tax cuts expire. At the same time, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts on defense and domestic programs go into force in January.
In other words, a real mess for the president.
Cuts, Cuts and More Cuts
Republicans have been calling for extensions to all tax cuts and a re-thinking of defense cuts. The president and congressional Democrats favor allowing tax cuts for the “wealthy” to expire and are standing firm on the automatic cuts.
Whatever the outcome of this nightmarish situation, it is a sure bet that it will look far different come the November election. It has to or the Democrats may be in for an historic defeat in both Houses and the presidency.
That you can count on.