The NEW Illustrated Guide to Mendacity and Folly in the 21st Century.
Posted on | December 10, 2009 | No CommentsI am still recovering from my bout of whatever crud I have, though now it’s more had than have. I should really not be working at all, but it’s so near the end of the year and my Christmas break that I can’t see not keeping to schedule. In any case, my last cartoon of the year will be next Thursday’s, and I will begin again on the 11th of January.
President Obama did present his Main Street recovery plan, and I can only hope that this is just a warm-up to use up the moneys that were left over from the bank bailout. Seriously, falling to 10 percent unemployment from 10.2 is not a necessarily a sign that things have turned around, especially with so many underemployed. As Robert Reich said in HuffPo, the real October story wasn’t the dip in unemployment but the number of people who dropped out of the labor force. And Obama’s proposals are such a hodge-podge–a few initiatives to make it easier for small businesses to get loans–not that the banks have started making them yet since after they shored up their bottom lines, they paid themselves bonuses. Some green-incentive thingies–which, of course, mean you can AFFORD to go green before you can get any benefit from the incentives. And finally, $50 billion in infrastructure building–something that actually may produce some jobs.
The Republicans, on the other hand, have suddenly waxed wroth on the deficit–something that hardly mattered to them when George Bush was President. Paring down that deficit is more important than creating jobs. After all, the banks were saved, we’re already in recovery, right? Obama’s anemic jobs initiative can be seen as another one of his compromises, trying to spend just enough to stimulate employment while trying to please the Republicans by not spending too much and thus running the risk of not spending enough. Whether he spends enough or not, it won’t help matters before the end of ’09, a year that will be ended without engendering much nostalgia by its passing.