Words, words, words. President Obama is giving us a lot of those – but not much else.
This week in the Wall Street Journal, Mortimer Zuckerman, chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News and World Report, examined some of President Obama’s most recent claims about the U.S. economy and found a lot between his well-crafted lines.
On July 2 President Obama boasted that the jobs report ‘showed the sixth straight month of job growth’ in the private economy. ‘Make no mistake,’ he said. ‘We are headed in the right direction.’ What he failed to mention is that only 47.7% of adults in the U.S. are working full time.
Last month, the U.S. economy lost 523,000 full time jobs. However, part-time jobs increased by 800,000 – creating a bloated and misleading June jobs report. Now, there are 7.5 million part-time workers – compared to 4.4 million in 2004 – most of whom, are looking for full-time work.
And those with jobs are struggling – a lot. Individuals aren’t getting paid as much as they need, and the concept of being an economic breadwinner is fading fast. Yet the horrible job market is forcing them to stay in their current positions, despite low pay and undesirable hours.
Zuckerman attributes the stagnant job market to a few things:
1. Obamacare. The forced health care law requires employers to provide health insurance for all full time workers. Employers’ solutions? Cut the hours of their existing workers, to less than 30 per week. Not to mention, if President Obama succeeds in making 30 hours the “new full-time,” employers will cut even more hours – seriously harming thousands of Americans.
2. A historically low economic “recovery.” Under President Obama, our economy has lasted three times longer than the preceding recession. As Zuckerman points out, 2013 saw a pathetic 1.9% GDP growth, and in the first quarter of this year it was already seasonally adjusted down to be on pace for an annual rate 2.9% in 2014.
3. Lack of opportunity. Americans are taking these part-time jobs because they have no other options. And, in turn, those who normally take part-time jobs, like young Americans and the elderly, are having the toughest summer of their life.
Zuckerman warns of a dangerous result: the erosion of the American dream. Americans are making less and often stuck in a position of part-time, low wage work. This then translates to less spending, creating an economic domino effect.
But there is a silver lining – just don’t look for it in the White House.
House Republicans have passed multiple jobs bills – many of which directly solve the problems listed above.
Take for example the Save American Workers Act (H.R. 2575) which restores the 40-hour work week, putting Americans back into truly full-time positions – receiving more pay in a more rewarding work environment. You can read more about House-passed solutions here.
Yet although House Republicans are presenting solution after solution, there are two major roadblocks in the way. A Democratic-controlled Senate that’s fine with letting dozens of jobs bills gather dust, and a stubborn President, focused more on partisan politics than action.
The part-time employer crisis isn’t something that’s going to go away with well-crafted wording. Real solutions are necessary – and real solutions are what we have to offer.