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The Los Angeles Times reports that “The labor force participation rate remained at 62.8% in May, the lowest level since 1978 and a sign that many people have given up looking for work.” Total U.S. employment six years after the Great Recession is 6.9 million jobs short of where we should be, accounting for population growth.
“Things are improving, but it’s happening agonizingly slowly,” said Heidi Shierholz, a labor market economist at the Economic Policy Institute.
And the story is even worse for recent graduates. A USA Today headline retails the de rigueur explanation when a liberal occupies the Oval Office: “Job outlook for 2014 college grads puzzling.”
Dear Class of 2014: We regret to inform you that the nation’s job market continues to force college graduates to take jobs they’re overqualified for, jobs outside their major, and generally delay their career to the detriment of at least a decade’s worth of unearned wages. Good luck on your job search.
So what is a transformational president to do after five-and-a-half years of redistributionist economic policies produce, for obscure and puzzling reasons, the weakest economic performance of the modern era?
President Obama slammed congressional Republicans Monday to for refusing to close tax loopholes for the wealthy as a way to pay for initiatives like lowering student loan interest rates and increasing the minimum wage.
“It would be scandalous if we allowed those kinds of tax loopholes for the very, very fortunate to survive while students are having trouble just getting started in their lives,” the president said during a White House speech aimed at unveiling ways to ease the burden of student loans. “If you’re a big oil company they’ll go to bat for you. If you’re a student, good luck. Some of these Republicans in Congress seem to believe that just because some of the young people behind me need some help, that they’re not trying hard enough.”
“If there are no consequences then this kind of irresponsible behavior continues on the part of members of Congress,” he said.
Obama’s so-called “Pay as You Earn” program is actually another brick in the wall between hard work and realized success. Did you slave away day-and-night for four years working toward your computer engineering degree? You didn’t build that! Your high starting salary must be taxed at confiscatory rates in the name of fairness. And you had better pay your student loans back as per the contract, or else. Meanwhile, your unemployed roommate with the gender studies degree will be rewarded for his college focus on pharmaceutically-enhanced party time with a ten-percent-of-income cap on his loan payments. If in a few years he lands that dream government job he can quit the surf instructor gig and, courtesy of the taxpayer, score full forgiveness on the loan balance by his 31st birthday.
According to Senator Elizabeth Warren, all of this fairness will be paid for by imposition of the “Buffett Rule”—a 30 percent minimum tax applied to total income. In practice, this measure will catch those few hayseeds finding themselves officially rich for precisely one year due to a one-off event; perhaps the sale of the family business. The actual rich, including Mr. Buffett himself, long ago arranged their finances to minimize “W-2,” as everyday income is referred to in crony capitalist circles.
Note that unleashing liberty and, consequently, economic growth is never an option for these ideologues of the left.
Paraphrasing Mr. Obama: If there are no consequences this November then this kind of irresponsible behavior continues on the part of the president and the Democratic Party.