Shouldn’t We Be At Full Employment By Now?

The big drama in Washington to start 2014 is yet another extension of unemployment payouts, as the Obama administration begins its big push to focus on “income inequality” in their effort to distract America from the ongoing failure that is Obamacare.

In the end, it’s just another attempt by the Democrats to bribe people into voting for them, and to shame Republicans into going along with their agenda…and by all indications, it will work as planned.

But there are some serious questions that should be addressed about the Democrats’ reasoning behind this next unemployment extension – most notably, why, at this point, do we even need it?

These extensions of unemployment benefits have been ongoing since they were first introduced in 2008, as it was obvious that the economic downturn was going to cause issues for a while…so they extended unemployment benefits, arguing that putting money into the hands of jobless people while they look for work would stimulate the economy.  Then we had the 2009 stimulus bill, which spread hundreds of billions of dollars around for tens of thousands of projects.  Since then, we have had multiple extensions of unemployment benefits, every time with the same reasoning – and just a little tear-jerk politics thrown in, as President Obama and his Democrat allies lament the fact that the unemployed may not be able to set their thermostats as high as they want – rather ironic coming from the president who, during his 2008 campaign, talked about how we needed international approval for how warm or cool we keep our homes.

In his weekly address, President Obama argued that failing to extend unemployment benefits would actually slow down our economy and make it tougher for businesses to hire in 2014.  Apparently, President Obama does believe in trickle-down economics after all…but only if the trickle starts with the government taking money away from taxpayers.

So let me get this straight: extending unemployment benefits is vital to improving America’s job market, which is why they have been perpetually extended for the past five years.  Spending money was vital to improving America’s job market, which is why Congress authorized spending over $800 billion in 2009.  And yet, in January of 2014, the “official” unemployment rate is at 7% – owing in large part to an ever-rising number of Americans dropping out of the workforce.  Job creation in America has largely been stagnant, most months not even keeping up with population growth.  “Real” unemployment – which is calculated without hiding most of the bad news – is close to 14%.  But, the monthly hoopla over the release of the official numbers has allowed President Obama to hoodwink people into believing that America’s employment situation is better than it actually is.  It begs the question: if spending taxpayer dollars is the key to fixing America’s jobs situation, then why isn’t it fixed yet?  Between unemployment extensions, stimulus bills, and entitlement programs, the federal government alone shovels out trillions of dollars, yet it never seems to fix the problem it’s supposed to fix.

Unfortunately, it will only get worse, regardless of whether or not the politicians end up passing this new unemployment extension.  We’re getting ever-closer to Obamacare’s employer mandate, which has already made it more difficult for businesses to plan for the future, and has been a major contributor to the trend of underemployment in the U.S.  America is also facing more regulations than ever – the federal government set a new record in 2013, with a massive 3,659 new federal regulationsin one year – and that’s in addition to the 65 new laws signed by President Obama in 2013.  As long as the big-government politicians keep piling new laws and regulations onto our people and businesses, the jobs situation will never truly improve.  Economic freedom is needed to improve the jobs market and bring prosperity back to America, and President Obama and his brand of socialist progressives are enemies of economic freedom.

This is why, instead of focusing on America’s still-dismal jobs situation and looking into real solutions, the Democrats will instead focus on their red-herring issue of “income inequality.”  It’s the perfect issue for Democrats, because it isn’t a real issue.  Yes, there are some Americans that make more than others, but that doesn’t change the fact that living below the “poverty line” in America still means being far more prosperous than being poor in most other nations around the world…and besides that, it’s a bit difficult to truly address income inequality in America without addressing the safety hammock that has essentially created a permanent underclass in America.  We’ve created an entire network of state and federal government programs centered around rewarding people for failing to achieve, so we really shouldn’t be surprised when people fail to achieve so they can get free money from the government.

For Democrats, the alternative is to continue the national conversation about the ongoing failure that is Obamacare, so of course they would rather focus on “income inequality” and paying people in the hopes that those government checks will translate to votes in November.

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