Debt deal. Done. It's over. And now onto the next big thing, which the president says is jobs.
"And in the coming months, I will continue also to fight for what the American people care most about: new jobs, higher wages and faster economic growth," Obama said.
Now, let me see where have I heard that before. Maybe it was back in January. The State of the Union address, when the president said increasing jobs had to be the number one priority for his administration.
Oops, not last January that was January 18 months ago.
"Jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010& now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America's businesses. But government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers," he said.
Eighteen months and tens of billions of dollars in stimulus spending later -- the unemployment rate has moved down, but barely, from 9.7% to 9.2%. And this is what they've been calling the "recovery."
In fact, the unemployment rate has averaged 9.4% over the past 18 months. Since then, the president has said jobs would become his top focus 13 additional times.
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Look, I don't just want to criticize the president. There are a lot of people in Washington who keep on saying the jobs problem will be solved -- and soon.
Vice President Joe Biden is a good example. Back in April of last year, he had this to say, "I'm here to tell you some time in the next couple of months we're going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month. Because I'm telling you something, folks, we caught a lot of bad breaks on the way down. We're going to catch a few good breaks because of good planning on the way up."
And, who could forget Nancy Pelosi, former House speaker. She had this to say back in January of this year when unemployment was lower than it is now, "Your top priority -- 'saving and creating jobs' -- is our top priority too, and our country's most critical challenge."
Of course, Pelosi also believes that Obamacare will create four million jobs, 400,000 almost immediately.
Still waiting. Still waiting while the jobless rate has been at 9% or higher in 16 of the past 18 months.
Still waiting while that number has increased in each of the past three months. Still waiting while a third of those unemployed have been jobless for a year or longer.
Look the point is this: good intentions aren't enough. Action is what is required.
That action has to be taken by a private sector that is confident it won't be smacked down by higher taxes or more regulations.
Keep on talking, politicians, but empower our private sector to hire more Americans.
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