President Obama today contradicted his senior economic adviser, suggesting more concern about Friday’s lame jobs report than Counsel of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee has been letting on.
During a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama revealed that there must be fear in the White House that the report – which said the unemployment rate had lifted from 9 to 9.1 percent while the economy created only 54,000 jobs - is a sign that hiring was stalling.
This month, you still saw job growth in the private sector, but it had slowed down. We don’t yet know whether this is a one month episode or a longer trend.
On Friday morning however, Goolsbee brushed off the report, whistling merrily that it was little more than a “bump in the road.”
There are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years . . .
The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.
Many economists saw it differently, pegging the jobs number as a sign of a weak recovery. The Dow agreed, closing down nearly 100 points Friday. So Obama apparently decided the happy talk was no longer credible.
Goolsbee will be departing, taking with him his endless reservoir of voluptuous spin. It will now be left to a much less talented sophist, the nasal National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, to take over the job of pretending all economic news is good news though “there’s still work to be done.”
The president today added, though, that he is not concerned about the return of the recession. He may not be, but if he went as far as saying he thought there could be another recession, he knows he might very well cause one.
Note to one of our readers, Granny Jan, who has produced a video on the confusing array of items on Obama’s mind when he goes to sleep and when he wakes up: Obama thinks about jobs upon rising.
But we’ve still got some enormous work to do, and as long as there are some folks out there who are unemployed looking for work, then every morning when I wake up I’m going to be thinking about how we can get them back to work.
In his remarks today, Obama also gave Merkel something of a verbal back rub, letting her off the hook for her failure to actively join the NATO operation in Libya.
With regard to Libya, I’d note that Germany’s deployment of additional resources and personnel to Afghanistan has allowed other NATO allies to increase their support for the mission to protect the Libyan people.
And there is going to be a lot of work to do when Gadhafi does step down, in terms of getting the Libyan people back on their feet; economic, political work that’s going to have to be done. And my expectation is going to be that there will be full and robust German support, as there has been in the past from Germany on a wide range of issues.
Sounds like a true COP OUT to me.
Give her a little grief, dammit. As she mentioned today, we have 50,000 troops in her country ensuring that the Germans can celebrate Oktoberfest without having to sing Moscow Nights. It’s not like we asked them to send the whole Luftwaffe over to help us get Qaddafi out, for goodness sake.