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Tag Archives: Tom Vilsack

Obama Aide: Unemployment Down, Economy Improving

A top aide to President Obama said this week that unemployment is going down, which would be true except that it’s going up.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told an interviewer who noted unemployment was above 8 percent that “actually, unemployment is coming down, we’ve had 27 consecutive months of private sector growth.”

The reason the unemployment rate WENT UP last month from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent is that job growth is relatively paltry and not strong enough to keep up with population growth. Also, you’ll note, Vilsack toes the White House spin line by carefully pointing to “private sector” job growth. The public sector is losing jobs.

In separate remarks, Vilsack opined that “we’ve turned the corner” on the economy.

Vilsack is correct, but only in that the economy has turned a corner and is now getting worse again.

Gross domestic product rose in the first quarter of 2012 by a lousy 1.9 percent, down from a decent if unremarkable 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Federal Reserve Wednesday downgraded its outlook for the economy, which it said would grow this year between 1.9 to 2.4 percent, a half point less than it predicted in April. What’s more, it also said unemployment will not move below 8 percent this year – and possibly not next year either.

Ag Secretary Revealed Obama is the Food Stamp Prez

In the raging debate over who is the Food Stamp President – Obama or George W. Bush – Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack a few months back cast a vote for his boss.

Newt Gingrich of course raised the issue by labeling Obama the Food Stamp President, citing the skyrocketing number of people participating in the welfare program under his stewardship of the nation. But in an interview a few days ago with Diane Sawyer, Obama pushed back:

First of all, I don’t put people on food stamps. People become eligible for food stamps. Second of all, the initial expansion of food-stamp eligibility happened under my Republican predecessor, not under me. No. 3, when you have a disastrous economic crash that results in 8 million people losing their jobs, more people are going to need more support from government.

Enter Vilsack, who in an interview last year touted Obama’s Food Stamp President qualifications, asserting that Food Stamps are part of the Obama economic stimulus program!

So, let’s work with the logic here. Enlarging the culture of dependency by assertively expanding a welfare program is good for the economy. It’s not a necessary evil. It’s pro-growth economic policy.

I would say that makes Obama the Food Stamp President.